The award-winning luxury Sofitel Queenstown Hotel and Spa in New Zealand sits against the dramatic backdrop of The Remarkables mountain range, a popular destination for outdoor lovers and adventure seekers. As an upscale hotel brand known throughout the world, Sofitel must deliver a high standard of customer service to its guests. The hotel general manager, Jeremy Samuels, came into contact with Local Measure when seeking a guest feedback solution.
Samuels explained to the Local Measure team that one of the hotel’s biggest challenges was obtaining real-time guest feedback during their stay, not after. “The feedback was often verbal, difficult to track or quantify, and not always actionable. We wanted to be able to source meaningful customer feedback in real-time, to allow us to respond quickly and effectively to positive and negative comments.”
After considering their options, Samuels’ team chose Local Measure Pulse as the way forward: “We spent a great deal of time and energy researching solutions, to ensure we would definitely receive ongoing, meaningful customer feedback during the guest stay.” Pulse was identified as a tool that saves time and obtains customer feedback from check-in or each WiFi log-in, he said, so the team decided to implement it as the best solution for their needs.
“As a hotel that takes great pleasure in creating surprise and delight moments, Pulse has certainly given us the edge to deliver this."
Setting up the customer feedback solution simply involved giving a URL to the Sofitel Queenstown’s internet provider to integrate Pulse into its system. As guests or visitors arrive and connect to the hotel’s WiFi, a page is displayed that asks the guest to rate their experience on a 1–5 scale using emojis.
If a guest leaves a low rating, a follow-up screen asks them to comment and provide their room number, so a team member can quickly handle that issue. Reviews scored 4–5 receive an auto-reply, but are still reviewed for any actionable feedback.
To efficiently handle guest responses within an hour, the Local Measure dashboard is constantly checked by the manager on duty, giving them 24/7 real-time visibility of guest feedback. To rapidly escalate and resolve any serious comments, push notifications are shown on all reception computers as well as the phones of the Guest Relations Manager, Front Office Manager, Rooms Division Manager and General Manager.
Since establishing the new process, Samuels said the team’s input of time spent on customer feedback remains the same, but more of this time is now spent proactively handling Pulse comments, rather than retroactively resolving feedback after check-out. “As a hotel that takes great pleasure in creating surprise and delight moments, Pulse has certainly given us the edge to deliver this."
The success of Sofitel’s new process using Local Measure Pulse has been proven to drive results:
1. Guest satisfaction scores now the group's highest in New Zealand, Fiji and French Polynesia
When analyzed to assess the impact of Pulse from July 2018 to July 2019, the hotel’s guest satisfaction score has increased from 90.6 to 91.2. The team is very happy with this score: the highest from any Accor Hotel in New Zealand, Fiji and French Polynesia.
2. 1–2 would-be negative experiences are recovered every week
Since guests do not always voice complaints in person, Pulse has allowed them to pick up on more fixable guest issues. Samuels reports that the team are able to turn, at minimum, six negative experiences per month into positive customer experiences.
3. Volume of guest feedback triples in last quarter
In this first year of usage, Samuels said that the hotel averaged 85 Pulse survey responses per month, but this has skyrocketed over the past three months to 250 responses per month.
4. Actionable insights allow team to create more personalized experiences
Jeremy Samuels has reported that the level of personalization in customer service has increased, “One example is of a regular guest telling us through Pulse that while they enjoy the chocolate plate they receive on arrival, they actually prefer savoury flavours. That enabled us to prepare a cheese platter instead of chocolates for their next stay, with a note thanking them for letting us know that preference."
So what’s next for the team at Sofitel Queenstown? Samuels says the future goals for the team include improving customer service response time and consistency of actions taken, and looking into other ways to incorporate Local Measure Pulse beyond guest WiFi.