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Sunday 21 April 2019

One way for hotels to alienate their guests

I stayed one night in a perfectly good Sydney hotel this week, and another in a pretty good apartment hotel.

As I knew would happen, within a couple of days I received needy, whiny emails demanding to know how my stays were.

Now, in the olden days, hotel managers would stroll around the lobby chatting to their guests. Asking them what they liked about the hotel and what they would like to see improved.

Reception desk staff (in the days when they were English speakers) would inquire as to how satisfactory your stay was.

Nowadays managers are far too busy cutting costs to actually mingle with the folk who keep them employed, while check-in/check-out staff are operating at full speed to reduce the queue in front of them following those staff reductions. No time for pleasantries.

Instead, hotels will demand your email every time you check in and then send you a message along these lines:

"Thank you again for staying with us. We truly hope you enjoyed your stay.

"To help us learn from your feedback, we recently sent you a survey link. If you have already filled out the survey, thank you for doing so. If you have not yet had a chance to complete the survey, a quick review for your stay will only take a couple minutes. We really appreciate your feedback."

Now they want guests to do their work for them. Why should a guest, having spent good money on a hotel room, then be expected to spend their time filling in a questionnaire that will almost certainly be ignored?

Hey, hotels, you are in the hospitality industry. If there is nothing in it for me, the guest, you can take your survey and shove it. 

And then you won't find out how absolutely useless the night desk guy was when I checked out. 

Offer me something useful, even as simple as a free cup of coffee next time I check-in, and I might feel differently.

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