Mrs. Marie-Christin Vollmer, manager at TrustYou, talks to TravelDailyNews about hotel surveys, their benefits and the common mistakes that hotels have been doing regarding the way they hold surveys.
Mrs. Marie-Christin Vollmer participates as a speaker at the Digi.travel EMEA Conference & Expo which will be held in Athens from 22 – 23 November.
TravelDailyNews: How important is for a hotel to hold surveys to its customers? What are the main benefits?
Marie-Christin Vollmer: Online reviews have become more and more important. There are several studies that show the impact of online reputation on guests making a booking decision and on the daily rate a hotel can charge. So online reputation is an important topic for hotels and increasing their online reputation is often one of their main goals. So the question is how can they increase their online reputation.
The easiest way is with their own survey. Reviews from hotel surveys show significantly higher ratings than reviews on online websites. In a study with our clients, we found out that their survey reviews are rated significantly higher than all other reviews they receive. When taking that into consideration and putting these reviews into our guest feedback platform, hotels will see an impact on scale, so not only their internal reputation score will increase but also the TrustScore that is shown on websites like Google, Kayak and Hotels.com. The other main benefit is that hotels can ask very specific questions to get to know more about what their guests like and dislike.
This will help hotels to improve their product and in the end will influence their online reputation positively. The third big advantage is content. With their own survey, hotels create unique user generated content that they can for example use for their website. As reviews play a big part in making a booking decision, showing information like that will get more people to book directly and having this unique user generated content on their website will also help them in terms of SEO.
TDN: What are the common mistakes that hotels have been doing regarding the way they hold surveys?
M.V.: A lot of hotel surveys are either not appealing in terms of design or are way too long. It is important that once the guest opens the survey, they directly recognise the hotel brand and see that they are able to fill out the survey in a few minutes. Furthermore questions should be easy to understand, so hotels should avoid asking complicated or extremely long questions.
Another mistake that we often see is that two things are covered in one question like "How did you like our Restaurant & Bar". Guests perhaps enjoyed the Bar but did not like to food options in the restaurant, so the feedback the hotel might get is not really helping. A last point I would like to mention is that a survey should not have too many mandatory questions and a lot of text fields as we see high dropout rates with those surveys.
TDN: In what way, TrustYou is differentiated?
M.V.: TrustYou is the world largest guest feedback platform, we analyse data (reviews, posts, comments, etc.) from over 500.000 hotels worldwide on over 250 websites daily.Today more people see TrustYou data than any other review data. How did we achieve that? We are working together with big partners like Google, Kayak and Hotels.com, all of our over 150 partners realised that we came up with a great review summary, the TrustYou Meta-Review, so they decided to integrate our data on their website.
The great thing for our clients is that once they improved their scores they will see a direct impact on the websites of all our partners, so really an impact on scale. Besides this, we have great semantic analysis. We do not only analyse all the scores guests give hotels but the entire text guests write and show them to hotels in different categories, like Service Friendliness, Bathroom Cleanliness or Air Conditioning, furthermore we show them which of those categories really had an impact on their score. This helps hoteliers to focus on those things that will help them to increase their scores and better match the expectations of their clients.
With our new Messaging product we now closed the gap between the search & booking process and post-stay feedback. TrustYou is now everywhere in the guest feedback cycle where feedback is. TrustYou Messaging gives hotels the possibility to communicate with guests pre-stay or on-site through SMS, Email and Facebook messenger in real time, in order to make their stay even better and help to exceed the expectations of an unsatisfied customer. TrustYou is the only one-stop-one-shop solution when it comes to guest feedback.
Marie-Christin Vollmer will be joined at Digi.travel Athens by: Conference Chairwoman, Dr. Marianna Sigala; Panos Paleologos, President and Founder of Hotelbrain; Henri Roelings, Chief Executive Officer of Hsyndicate media; and Alexandros Vassilikos, president of Athens – Attica & Argosaronic Hotel Association, just to name a few.
Tatiana is the news coordinator for TravelDailyNews Media Network (traveldailynews.gr, traveldailynews.com and traveldailynews.asia). Her role includes monitoring the hundreds of news sources of TravelDailyNews Media Network and skimming the most important according to our strategy.
She holds a Bachelor's degree in Communication & Mass Media from Panteion University of Political & Social Studies of Athens and she has been editor and editor-in-chief in various economic magazines and newspapers.