Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Dialogue - getting the best response from your invitation to review

Far too many hotels (and their CRM software) simply send out post-stay emails expecting a response. Their open rates are poor, their unsubscribe rates are high and their response rates are negligible*. Why?

Because the email is not integrated with the rest of the guest's experience. 

A conversation between our CEO and a US hotelier in LinkedIn's Hotel Industry Professionals Worldwide group

Here we are going to let you in on the success secrets of our hotel client with the highest response rate of all (averaging over 11%). What are they doing right?
  1. The guest checks in - they are asked to confirm their email address and simultaneously are told why: "Because we will be sending you an email after your stay to invite you to let us have a record of you experience." To this is added "Please feel free to speak to me or any other member of staff during your stay, the email is so we can be sure." 
  2. At any stage during their stay individual members of staff, when complemented, have been trained to say "Oh, it would be wonderful if you could mention that when we send you the email."
  3. On check-out: "We really value replies to our email - it does so help future guests decide whether or not this is the right hotel for them to choose."
Do all of the above (in your own way) and the invitation to review will be welcomed - and you will get a great response.

*Large hotel groups understandably like CRM questionnaires; they give head office great data to compare hotels within (and outside) the group. But there is a downside: response rates (as an overall percentage of guests staying in each individual property) are often very low, so the data can be misleading. It is important not to confuse this type of data collection with review management. The two can be combined (and we do so for some of our clients) but it is a difficult act to pull off. Speak to Karen Hutchings if you would like more information.

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