Friday, November 16, 2007
Hotel survey results point to need for better service
According to the results of a recent North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Study by J.D. Power, hotel chains may find it more profiitable to focus on guest relations instead of implementing elaborate hotel renovations and improving their properties as guests staying at hotels noted that their key complaints centered around attitudes of hotel staff and the lack of service experienced. What is surprising is that these two controllable factors were noted as being problems by guests for all types of hotel properties (economy, extended stay, mid-range, upscale, and luxury), not just luxury hotels where there is a heightened expection by the guest of getting top quality service. As noted Linda Hirneise, executive director of travel for J.D. Power, “Hotels have dedicated tremendous resources for renovations and improvements of their properties in efforts to improve satisfaction, but all of this may be for naught if service excellence is remiss.”
The survey questions included questions on costs/fees, hotel facilities, hotel services, food & beverage, guest room, check-in/check-out, reservation, and overall satisfaction. During the one year period of the survey, there were over 47,000 people who responded.
Now in its 11th year, the top rated hotels awarded in the J.D. Power survey in each segment as having the highest overall satisfaction in each category:
Microtel Inns & Suites - Economy/Budget
Homewood Suites* - Extended Stay
Drury Inn & Suites - Mid-Range Limited Service
Hilton Garden Inn* - Mid-Range Full Service
Embassy Suites Hotels* - Upscale
The Ritz-Carlton - Luxury
*Owned by Hilton Hotels Corp.
Other factors that were identified as important included a non-smoking environment (by 82% of respondents). No matter what age group responded, a complimentary breakfast was noted as the most important amenity a hotel can offer, followed by high-speed and wireless Internet access and a television set with a screen measuring larger than 27 inches. Of key importance for me is the wireless Internet access in the room with a fast speed. I have been to some hotels that promised it, but in reality the signal was either nonexistent or slower than dial up. As hotels continue to pour money into remodels and renovations, it all comes down to how they treat their guests.