Hotel La Tour is the amongst the first in the luxury hotel market to publish live, unedited customer reviews gathered by a third party, on its website.
We are using Feefo, the global feedback engine, to collect feedback from guests and the reviews are then posted on our homepage at www.hotel-latour.co.uk .
Feefo’s service requests the opinions of verified customers thereby ensuring genuine reviews. We see the move as an important tool to allow customers to make an informed choice and in its aim of delivering outstanding customer service.
MD Jane Schofield said: “We started to engage with our guests on Tripadvisor, Twitter and Facebook when our hotel opened in Birmingham in March 2012. Working with Feefo is an extension of our customer-focused approach to encouraging reviews and responding to genuine customer opinion. Prospective customers can go to our site and click on the Feefo button to see all of our verified reviews. It is a valuable tool in helping to improve our customer service and also for prospective customers when choosing where to stay.”
All comments received via Feefo are published and each review receives a unique response from our General Manager. The aim is to respond to every review within seven days and to any negative comment within 24 hours plus a follow up telephone call from a director of the hotel.
Since the system was implemented in March last year, some 1,300 reviews have been posted. An average of 95% of correspondents describe service at the hotel as “good” or “excellent” and a similar percentage also rate the hotel product as “good” or “excellent.”
A number of business changes have been made at Hotel La Tour as a result of the insights gained from this genuine customer feedback. These include placing bottled water in bedrooms, providing a choice of pillows, enhancing water pressure in showers, and altering the TV and radio channel selection so guests can receive BBC Radio 4 and BBC Midlands in the hotel bedrooms.
Specific requests from individuals can also be addressed, such as a comment about wifi login where a regular customer was contacted directly by the hotel’s IT team in order to assist on future visits. This touch of personalisation with regular guests is something Hotel La Tour aspires to offer wherever possible.
Feefo has been integrated into the hotel’s Micros booking system. Guests now automatically receive an email from the hotel thanking them for their stay and notifying them they will receive an invitation to provide feedback on their stay. Feefo then emails guests directly for their comments and ratings along a four point scale from “excellent” to “bad” in the areas of hotel and restaurant service, hotel accommodation, conference facilities and dining experience. All hotel guests receive a Feefo request and returning customers are invited to respond once every three months. All responses are posted directly on the hotel’s website, as well as Feefo’s. The system is completely independent and allows no editing or deletion except for the cases of personal details being disclosed or profanities being used.
Mrs Schofield added: “Our policy is to embrace social media and online customer reviews: it makes good business sense to listen to your customers, respond to what they are saying and, where appropriate make business changes which will enhance our offering. Guest comments are also extremely valuable in the on-going training of our team. All our customers are invited to share their experiences via Feefo and around 16% do so. This is above average for the hospitality sector and we continue to work to encourage more to take part.
“The fact that the system is completely independent, affords credibility and demonstrates our determination to ensure all our guests have the very best possible experience when staying with us. At the same time we know that, on occasion, things will go wrong and I think that anyone looking at our reviews can see that we genuinely do strive to deliver the very best customer service.”
Andrew Mabbutt, MD of Feefo, said: “We are proud to have Hotel La Tour making such good use of the Feefo platform. Consumer reviews are now a key stage in the buying process across the travel and hospitality industries. The businesses that embrace, and make the best use of the intelligence gained from their genuine customers are the ones that will prosper. The commitment to customer service demonstrated by personal responses, making specific changes based on feedback and being able to develop an ongoing relationship with customers will make a real difference to Hotel La Tour winning and keeping new business.
Hotel review statistics
45% of personal travellers and 54% of business travellers have made travel plans based on reviews and experience of others. (Google, Think Insights)
When deciding between two hotels, 65% of people say that seeing a management response would sway them to book with the responding hotel. (Forrester)