Almost every owner and manager in the hospitality industry understands the importance of “listening to the customer”. But how many truly know first-hand what is happening behind the scenes, on a day-to-day basis, especially when they’re not around?
Mystery Guest Reviews are a useful way of measuring efficiency and customer experience.
But first let’s consider some key points relating to the customer experience and what this actually means for your guests and your bottom line.
What is ‘customer experience’?
Customer experience is the impression a guest has of your brand, with various important customer touch points coming into play.
Touchpoints for a hotel are felt before, during and after a stay, and can include the communications experience (website, emails, social media, telephone), the hotel lobby, front desk and check-in experience, the services offered by housekeeping and the waiter services, the spa, restaurant and bar areas, the products and menu options available, the maintenance department, and so on.
For hotels, improving customer experience is the single most critical goal, and those who excel in this area are likely to gain a significant competitive advantage over the competition.
The management of the customer experience – the process of surveying, analyzing, and enhancing customer interactions across your hotel business – is therefore critical to your success. Customers must have a positive experience each and every time they visit your establishment. This is key to ensuring a happy customer who, will be likely to become a loyal customer, who will hopefully also promote and recommend your business – and help to boost revenue.
What is a Mystery Guest Review?
Professional, independent Mystery Guest Reviews, enable service industry businesses to quickly ascertain and enhance the true quality of service, identify inefficiencies and detect potential risks.
A Mystery Guest Review for your hotel or hotel group entails an independent assessment, undertaken by an external team, who will be on site, actively and anonymously assessing various aspects of your business’ service offering, for example:
- What is the check-in process like?
- Are staff adequately trained?
- Is the facility equipment of a sufficiently high standard?
- Is cleanliness maintained in private and public areas and rooms?
- Is the food of a high quality?
- What is the service like?
- Are the range of menu options sufficient and cost effective?
- What does the availability of beverages look like?
A Mystery Guest Review or an ‘independent verification method’ is one of the most effective tools for detecting defects in service at all levels, whilst providing valuable independent insight into a business’ operations, service delivery and standards from a customer’s perspective.
How does Capcon undertake Mystery Guest Reviews?
Following a briefing with you or your nominated representative, our operatives attend your sites unannounced, as an undercover guest, to review and rate the full experience that your real guests receive. We can work to your chosen dates, or select our own dates, adding to the element of surprise.
- Our operatives make their own room booking at the best available rate at the time of booking and, if possible, on a room only basis, giving the opportunity to make an additional cash test purchase for breakfast. They will aim to arrive at the hotel around normal check in time and leave after breakfast the following day.
- Operatives will make a number of cash test purchases around the hotel, covering various areas such as the bar(s), restaurant(s), room service, hotel merchandise from reception/concierge etc. Of course, each visit can be tailored to meet your bespoke requirements, adjusting the focus as necessary.
- If the hotel has an evening function with a cash bar, operatives can try to gain entry at the appropriate time and dependent on the level of security, just to check the function of the cash bar and make some cash test purchases. Operatives can also use some UV marked £50 notes if required – we would anticipate these should show in the banking when checked, as £50’s are unlikely to be handed back out as change.
- Should you require focus in a specific area during the visit, or a particular product targeted, this can be included in the operatives’ brief.
- Upon completion of the visit, we will provide a full report of our findings, which includes detailed information on test purchases carried out, as well as feedback on the customer’s experience.
It is important to note that the service we provide is not just a tick box exercise, and we always send two operatives on each hotel visit, for corroboration of evidence, and because two guests will blend in better if attending bar areas or functions for any length of time.
Mystery Guest Review’s offer valuable insight and objective feedback to help you improve service and efficiency across your hotel, thereby enhancing customer and brand experience and increasing profitability.
Capcon’s Mystery Guest Reviews offer a deep, independent, analytical analysis of a cross-section of service standards across your business.
We will undertake assessments to ensure that there are no internal risk concerns such as discrepancies amongst staff, including theft or fraud, that employees are competent and committed to exceptional customer service, and that they are offer enhanced sales skills to ensure a consistently high level of customer service – and, where relevant, the subtle ability to upsell products and services to enhance revenues.
Talk to us about how we can help your business manage risk and grow profit.