Measuring the Perceived Experience of a Hotel Guest

This is the second installment of a 3 part article series about the stages of guest satisfaction called the perceived experience with some suggestions for the questionnaire design and the follow up analysis.

Once the guests enter the doors of the hotel, their perception of the hotel starts forming and that perception will keep on forming until the guest stay is over and the guests depart from the hotel. This stage is naturally of absolute importance, because it will measure to what extent the expectations of the guests were met (discussed in the first part of this article series).

Now, it could be argued that the three main areas to be measured at this stage are

General indicators: overall satisfaction, price/value, intention to return and recommend
Performance indicators: different departments
Problems

And here is why, it is absolutely crucial to measure the performance of different indicators such as the rooms, staff, check-in, check-out, restaurants, cleanliness etc. with 3 or 4 questions addressing each area as this will give fundamental information about the performance of each department. However, this itself is not enough, the guest should also be given an opportunity to mark in the questionnaire if any problems were experienced during the stay concerning the aforementioned areas. Which leads to one of the main points of this article…

by recording the problems in the guest satisfaction questionnaire, the relative impact of problems on overall satisfaction, intention to return and intention to recommend can be studied.

For example in the last quarter 50 guests in hotel X experienced problems with the rooms and conversely 20 guests experienced problems with the staff. By looking only the number of complaints recorded the staff seem to be performing better, however if these cases were evaluated based on the overall satisfaction rating of the stay, the result might be greatly different.

Hypothetically speaking, even though more problems were recorded regarding the rooms, the overall satisfaction of these guests could still remain relatively high. There were fewer staff complaints, but those guests who had marked problems with the staff could have experienced greater dissatisfaction in relation to their overall satisfaction experience. There is also a fair amount of academic literature supporting this point of view.

To analyze the relative impact of problems on overall satisfaction, the questionnaire data should exist in digital format such as in Excel so that it could be easily exported to e.g. IBM SPSS for further analyses, especially if there are hundreds or thousands of questionnaires in the data set, thus avoiding human errors and saving more time.

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