Top complaints among hotel guests, and what we’ve done about them
J.D. Power and Associates measures customer satisfaction on just about anything you can think of, and the hotel business is no exception. The firm’s 2011 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study did exactly that for the 15th consecutive year.
Among the many things J.D. Power researched were the things hotel guests complained about most.
You might not be surprised by the No. 1 complaint: noise.
Another big complaint was spotty internet connections.
We’ve very pleased to say both of these issues have been dealt with at The Rose Hotel; not because we had an inordinate number of complaints about noise or our free wi-fi service. It’s just a matter of understanding what’s important to our guests and being proactive about delivering it.
Let’s start with the noise issue. We have taken overt steps to minimize noise. Unlike most three-story buildings, which are built using wood-frame construction, The Rose has a structural steel frame and concrete floors that minimize vibration and the transmission of sound. Noise is further minimized by extra thick window coverings.
We are also blessed by our location. Unlike so many hotels that are located next to airports, freeways or other types of heavily trafficked thoroughfares, our property is situated on a quaint, historic Main Street in downtown Pleasanton, Calif. While the street bustles with foot traffic and its share of automobiles, it’s quiet and pedestrian (and hotel guest) friendly.
We also recently installed a faster, more secure wi-fi system for our guests. Internet access has become vitally important to people who rely on connectivity to be professionally productive and personally entertained with their personal computers, iPads, tablets, smart phones, video-game consoles, digital audio players and so on.
Our guests are big users. That’s why the hotel installed a more technologically advanced wi-fi system. Our upgraded wi-fi is delivered via state-of-the-art hardware and is faster than the previous system.
Our guests data is also more secure because of the improved security, which is password protected and has a SonicWall NSA 240 firewall to prevent hacking. That’s important to both our business travelers, who carry sensitive company information on their devices, as well as our leisure travelers, who have personal financial data on their digital instruments.
According to the J.D. Power report, noise, poor internet service and other guest complaints have a “strong negative impact on overall hotel guest satisfaction.”
“Hotel guests should feel justified in reporting any problem that negatively impacts their satisfaction with a hotel,” says Mark Schwartz, director of the global hospitality and travel practice at J.D. Power and Associates. “Hotel staff and management will usually try their best to resolve these issues, particularly since they understand that solving a problem can result in a happier, more loyal customer.”
The 2011 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study is based on responses gathered from more than 60,000 guests from Canada and the United States who stayed in a North American hotel between May 2010 and May 2011.
We’ve always taken this aspect of customer service very seriously. We didn’t need a research report to understand what’s at stake for our guests. But we are gratified that J.D. Power has lent additional credence to the priorities we have set.