J.D. Power and Associates continues to observe that high levels of customer satisfaction are dependent on problem prevention, rather than problem resolution. That is not to say that service recovery is not required when a guest experiences a significant problem; however, it is more difficult to achieve the satisfaction level of those guests who don’t experience a problem in the first place, than for guests who experience problems that are eventually resolved.
Across the industry, overall satisfaction is 144 points higher when guests did not experience a significant problem (781), compared with when they did (637). While there is a significant gap in satisfaction among the guests for whom the problem was resolved (705), compared with those for whom the problem remained unresolved (582), satisfaction still falls significantly below that of guests who did not experience a problem in the first place.
While it is possible to so impress and exceed a guest’s expectations during recovery that they are more satisfied after recovery than if they never had a problem, these are rare occurrences. We certainly would not advocate creating false problems in order to heroically swoop in and solve the problems for guests as a business model, but it does reinforce the important opportunity recovery represents. It makes a statement to guests about your brand and how you value their business.
You might wonder, what are the most frequently occurring problems that guests cite?
Across the industry, the top three problems guests cited are:
- Hotel/room maintenance
- Heating ventilation and AC problems