Innovation… we think we see it daily, but then again we also feel that we have seen an idea somewhere before. When reading Tnooz last week, I came across an article that tickled my voice-of-the-customer-fancy and I just had to quickly mention it here on Actual Insights.
Tnooz reported that a company called GuestComment opened its doors last week. GuestComment will be providing electronic kiosk systems to hotels to allow hotel owners to get customer feedback, directly from the customer during checkout.
Instant Feedback… with a nudge
The difference that GuestComment will make in collecting customer feedback is quite huge. Gone will be the days of feedback forms in hotel rooms and the ineffectiveness of feedback machines collecting dust in a corner. GuestComment changes the game by allowing hoteliers to place the machine on the desk where the customer checks in and out, allowing the hotel employees to kindly request feedback from the visitor in a 1-on-1 scenario.
Short simple feedback options will ensure that the process will not take more than a few seconds. The insights gained from this method are instantaneous.
Here is how it will work:
Insights cost Money. Make every cent count!
Tnooz reported that:
The company gets revenue from a set-up cost to provide hotels with the kiosk units, iPad, software and dashboard system, as well as a subsequent monthly fee for reporting and trend charts, email and SMS alerts (for promos) and integration into the property’s website. GuestComment will initially focus on the US market before devising plans to set up shop internationally.
A logic business plan, but like any other tool or report, true value will lie in the act of the business owner actually doing something with the insights gained. There are feedback systems a-plenty in today’s marketplace, the true winner in the customer centricity race will be the company that takes action.
Retain your customer, not the Tripadvisor user
Besides business plans and what-not… what I like most about GuestComment is the barriers that it breaks down between customers and business owners, hoteliers in this case.
In the travel industry, companies are very dependant on platforms such as Tripadvisor, to collect and research customer sentiment.
Online behavior is being dictated by buying on Website A, telling our friends about the purchase on Website B, and reporting what we think of it on Website C. This fragmented approach, behavior caused by poor user research knowledge of companies trading online, causes business owners to travel to tons of websites to learn what is (de)motivating the customer.
GuestComment, and other tools such as Bazaarvoice, allow business owners to start collecting, analysing, and reporting on their customers while keeping them close to the source. Let’s be honest, rating and review websites exist because companies do not have the resources to this themselves, and this could be a potential business flaw, especially where retention and poor experiences are concerned.
A Single Concern
GuestComment will allow clients to share the feedback that they have collected. My only worry is the honesty of the business owner. Tripadvisor is neutral (well… to some extent) in that it will show both positive and negative reviews. Who is going to keep an eye on the business owner when sharing the data? How objective can you be with your own data when the data is not as good as you expected it to be?