Getting customer feedback and responding to it properly determine company's success in reputation management. According to the latest report by "Global Trust in Advertising and Brand Messages," 68% of decisions on purchase of goods and services made by Europeans is influenced by opinions of other people. It clearly shows that we are prone to suggestions. We are more willing to buy goods and services recommended by other people. As many as 78% of internauts takes into consideration rating given by other persons while making decisions about their purchases (according to research by Buzz Media). The Internet has become a powerful medium which enables its users to publish most of their opinions. Recommendations or complaints published by customers not only underline strengths and weaknesses of a given company, but also support its reputation management.
What actions would be most beneficial for the company that wants to manage its reputation successfully?
Gathering customer feedback is essential for management of company's image and reputation. At Qubus Hotel over 600 opinions are gathered every quarter via various channels. It is very important that our Guests want to share their opinion with us and know how to do it. This is why we have designed encouraging ‘call to action' announcements that are delivered by our reception desk staff, but also put on display as posters, business cards and envelopes. In addition to those internal materials which encourage our Guests to express their opinions, we also receive feedback via social media, booking portals, such as Booking or HRS and tourism portals, such as Trip Advisor. During 3rd quarter of 2014 we received as many as 645 opinions via these channels. Another valuable tool used to gather information is our e-questionnaire available at r.qubushotel.com. It provides us with about 100 opinions every quarter. Integrity of these two elements, that is knowledge about sources of feedback from our Guests and their awareness of possible ways for expressing their opinions are indispensable in effective reputation management.
Constant supervision of comments left by our Guests via all available online channels helps us to care for image of the company. At Qubus Hotel we constantly monitor 8 channels which help us to answer all fundamental questions: Do Guests express their opinions about the hotel? Where do they express their opinions? What are their opinions? Constant monitoring of customer feedback enables us to react quickly not only to positive opinions, but also to complaints. It is the monitoring that helps us to learn which elements of the hotel service and standards need improving or modernization and which are highly valued by its Guests. Our assumption is that integrated feedback response guarantees satisfaction of our Guests.
Yet, getting some feedback and its monitoring is only the first step towards success. From the viewpoint of our Guest, it is our response that really matters. Such communication leads to a dialogue with the Guest and shows him/her that his/her opinion matters. Such response encourages our Guests to share their opinions with us, as they realize that they can have their say in development of our accommodation or gastronomic services. Response to any feedback must be quick and polite. Real Time Customer Feedback applies to all online and offline channels. The answer published in response to feedback should clarify the circumstances and reduce negative emotions of the Guest. At Qubus Hotel all employees have access to opinions given by Guests but managers and directors receive additional notifications from our central office. Such approach enables us to react quickly to opinions expressed by our Guests. Our specialists have enough time to edit and deliver every statement. The key point of our strategy is focused on negative comments received from our Guests. It is also direct contact with our Guests that truly matters in our response strategy. Any signs of discontent received from our Guests must be acknowledged immediately and, if possible, the situation should be explained at the hotel. If the Guest refuses to share his/her opinion with us, it is a good idea to present him/her with a personal business card and ask for sending his/her complaint by e-mail. It enables us to explain the issue without use of external channels (Booking, HRS). Positive opinions make powerful motivation and confirmation that our standards of service work well and needs of our Guests are met accordingly.
Complete and regular analysis of feedback is crucial in summary of reputation management. There are many providers in the market that offer advanced software for gathering and analysis of comments received via various channels. At Qubus Hotel we use our own, original software for interpretation and summing up of opinions. The software is an invaluable tool that prepares, sums up and exports detailed linear charts which present trends in estimated values of Qubus Hotel. We analyse such areas as breakfasts, accommodation, equipment available in rooms, service and infrastructure in a given facility. The collected data show not only degree of satisfaction of our Guests, but also outline increase and decrease in rating of individual hotels in reference to external reservation channels. Qubus Hotel chain analyses customer feedback every month which allows it to make plans about actions that improve quality of service in individual hotels.
Drawing conclusions and introducing changes
Managing one's image and reputation does not end up with gathering, monitoring and analysis of customer feedback. Control performed without conclusions does not result in supervision of a virtual image of a brand. At Qubus Hotel chain every negative piece of information is analysed for introduction of possible changes. Customer feedback is the most real and reliable way to verify the quality of services. The main distinctive feature of Qubus Hotel is the highest quality of services.