What do comment cards, social media sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor, 1-800 numbers, on-site surveys, online surveys, Quick Response (QR) codes, and mobile feedback apps all have in common?
They’re making it easier and more complicated than ever for hospitality-centric businesses to receive, manage and respond to guest feedback.
The mobile feedback app landscape alone is reminiscent of the US Wild West. It seems that every developer on the planet is claiming to have the latest cure-all guest feedback app on the market.
Some apps are genuinely useful; others are more like snake oil. Fortunately, it appears that the snake oil peddlers are quickly being edged out of the mobile feedback market as customers and businesses alike stop accessing them in favor of truly useful mobile feedback tools.What benefits can a solid mobile feedback app provide to businesses?
The easiest way to begin to understand the benefits that mobile app feedback can bring to the table is to take a look at traditional types of guest feedback and make comparisons.
There are three major types of guest feedback: received feedback, elicited feedback, and collected and delivered mobile feedback.
1. Received Feedback
Received feedback is the passive guest feedback that you find on Yelp and TripAdvisor. Unlike received or passive feedback, the mobile feedback you receive from an independent provider isn’t public.
No one but the guest, the mobile feedback provider, and you or other members of your organization see the guest’s comment. Your organization isn’t embarrassed publicly by negative comments or complaints and you or your team members are able to respond to the guest’s feedback on a more personal level than would be possible on a public forum.
2. Elicited Feedback
Elicited feedback is the proactively sought after feedback that you receive through things like comment cards, the 1-800 numbers printed on your receipts, on-site and online surveys, and QRs.
Elicited feedback serves a number of purposes, but it typically doesn’t empower businesses to provide guests with on-the-spot resolutions. Elicited feedback tends to make guests feel anonymous and walk away feeling unheard.
While elicited feedback can help business owners and managers make key changes that improve service levels over time, it very rarely presents businesses with opportunities to respond to the unique complaints of individuals in real time.
Mobile feedback, on the other hand, enables businesses to respond to complaints and resolve them immediately—often while guests are still on the premises.
3. Collected and Delivered Mobile Feedback
If you’re an owner or manager of a hospitality-centric organization, private feedback that you can respond to on a personal level in real time can benefit you in a number of ways. Particularly when the mobile app being utilized is supported on the back end by real people who understand that their job is not just to relay guest feedback to a business, but to act as advocates for both guests and businesses.
It’s one thing to receive actionable feedback; it’s quite another to be able to rely on the company gathering and delivering the feedback to suggest solutions or assist you with the development and delivery of appropriate responses in the moment.
As hospitality professionals know, it takes people to actually resolve issues and turn a negative guest experience into a positive one. There are many benefits organizations can reap from solid mobile feedback, but the greatest is the ability to improve the guest experience as it’s happening. Mobile feedback companies that provide support services and insights that enhance and empower their technologies are particularly equipped to do just that.