NEW YORK—Hotel operations platform ALICE released research uncovering what factors influence hotel satisfaction and found that almost two-thirds of guests (62%) with complaints said unfriendly staff are the most frustrating part of their stay.
The “Hotels at Face Value” report, commissioned by ALICE and conducted by third-party research firm YouGov, also revealed the changing expectations of modern hotel guests.
Modern Hotel Guest Priorities
According to the research, when booking hotels nearly three in five (59%) guests who prioritize amenities care most about high ratings and reviews, and almost half (49%) prioritize friendly hotel staff—calling attention to the need for hoteliers to ensure staff are attentive and welcoming, delivering more favorable guest experiences to ultimately drive positive reviews.
During their stay, guests with frustrations expressed a demand for hotels to improve their operations and guest-facing technology. When discussing the most frustrating experiences about hotel stays:
- Nearly two in five (38%) said the front desk taking too long to complete requests
- More than one-third (34%) said outdated technology in rooms
- Nearly one in three (31%) said delays in service from hotel staff
Diversity of Communication Channels
When communicating needs to hotel staff, nearly a third (32%) of guests said they prefer to do so by walking up to the concierge, front desk or other staff member directly. However, this preference is not representative of all guests, as the research indicated hotels should provide a diversity of communication channels. When it comes to how different generations prefer to make special requests, nearly one in every seven (15%) millennials (ages 18-34) want to text message with hotels, almost one in five (17%) of 35-54-year-olds want an email survey from the hotel before they arrive, and roughly two-thirds (66%) of those 55 and older prefer to call hotels directly.
“No hotel guest is the same, which is why, above all else, hoteliers must perfect the practice of personalization and deliver tailored experiences to every single guest. Knowing that a majority of guests pay the most attention to staff friendliness and attentiveness, hoteliers cannot afford to forget the art of hospitality,” said Alex Shashou, president/co-founder of ALICE. “Hospitality is a feeling guests get, and personalization is how it is delivered. If hotels don’t want to be viewed as a commodity, then they need to stop treating their guests like one. The biggest brands in the world are looking across their entire customer journey to create experiences and hotels do the same. A guest is so much more than their reservation. Guests deserve to be treated like family. Once they are, meaningful relationships will not only forge, but flourish.”
ALICE commissioned YouGov, a third party, professional research and consulting organization, to poll the views of 1,219 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between Dec. 12-13, 2018. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all US adults (aged 18+).