Study: Only 25% of Hotel Guests Report Service Issues

Just one-quarter of respondents to a recent survey indicate they report a service problem at a hotel, and more than one-half said that they would return to it again if a poor experience was turned into a positive one.

These were among the findings in Zingle’s 2019 Guest Service Report, issued annually by the text messaging software company, which serves the hospitality, travel and retail industries. To help you make the most out of this report, Smart Meetings has broken down key findings so you can put them to use to boost your business or venue.

What is the Zingle Study?

The statistics found in the Guest Service Report that Zingle put out this year were gathered from a survey of more than 1,100 American consumers. They weighted the survey by age, gender and region, and broke down the participants by age, gender, region and income. The survey consisted of nine questions regarding the likelihood of a customer reporting a problem to a hotel, speculation about why or why not they would report a problem, and their expected response if the problem was solved.

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Some Key Findings

  • Nearly one in three respondents of those who say they don’t report issues don’t do so because there is “not an easy or quick way to do so.”
  • More than one in three guests are willing to pay up to $50 more for hotels that provide better service than nearby competitors.
  • Forty-two percent of respondents say they would return to a hotel if it were able to turn a poor experience into a positive one by solving a problem immediately, and an additional 52 percent would “certainly consider it.”
  • Eighty-seven percent of respondents report that they at least sometimes feel “more emotionally connected” to a brand when their customer service solves a problem for them.
  • Fifty-one percent of respondents say online reviews “greatly” impact their decision to give a hotel their business.

Good News for Hoteliers

While the survey found that only 25 percent of customers report an issue, the survey also outlines ways in which businesses can improve this percentage. For example, 45 percent of respondents said they would prefer to report an issue through SMS (text message) and 36 percent said that they might prefer this. Therefore, making text messaging available for guests could improve their tendency to report any issues they may have.

The study also found that although guests do not tend to extensively report their issues, when they do, and if the said issue is then resolved, they are likely to return to the hotel. In fact, 42 percent of respondents said they would stay at that hotel again while 52 percent said they would certainly consider it if their poor experience was turned into a positive one.

We all know things go wrong in hospitality. Even if you plan every last detail, you can still run out of a wine, accidentally. But when a mistake is made, if you can remedy your guests’ experience, they are likely to stay in your hotel again. So, don’t worry—not every misstep means a lost customer!


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