More than a third of hotel guests don’t interact with staff after check-in

By Barbara De Lollis

Do you ever talk to hotel staffers after you check-in with a front desk clerk?

Research firm J.D. Power and Associates posed that question to 61,300 travelers for its just-released, 15th annual study of hotel guest satisfaction.

A whopping 38% said they, in fact, do stop interacting with hotel staff after they leave the check-in desk.

A stat worth watching

We don’t know how the 38% figure compares to past years because this was the first time that J.D Power posed the question in its annual study of North American hotel guest satisfaction.

But clearly, this is a stat worth watching – and you can bet hotel owners will place a high priority in tracking it, too.

Just imagine the piles of money that hotel owners could save if travelers wean themselves off real people entirely (kidding).

Seriously, though, the stat will be particularly important to watch as hotels roll out more technology – such as hotel check-in kiosks – that have the potential to reduce human interaction, and also as travel rebounds, typically a time when hotels expand their payroll.

The 38% figure varies by hotel type

Does the 38% figure apply cross the board? No.

In budget hotels, for example, a full 50% of travelers said they don’t interact with anyone in a hotel other than the front-desk staff, according to Stuart Greif, general manager of the travel practice at Westlake, Calif.-based J.D. Power and Associates. In the extended-stay category, it’s 41%.

At luxury hotels such as a Ritz-Carlton, Four Seasons or the Montage shown above, only 20% of travelers surveyed said they don’t interact with staffers aside from front-desk staff. These well-heeled guests might rely on a valet to retrieve their car, a driver to chauffeur them to a restaurant, a concierge to arrange dinner reservations and perhaps a butler who might draw their bath.

During the period when travelers were getting used to automated check-in kiosks in airports, satisfaction initially dropped – but then rebounded, Greif says. But hotels shouldn’t count on the same pattern, he says.

Read the entire article on USAtoday

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Posted on July 20, 2011, in Luxury Brand Influence and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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