How to Analyze Unhappiness

Your guest complaints may tell you everything you need to know.

In our last blog post, we introduced the idea of learning from negative guest reviews. We suggested that property managers keep some sort of log with information about each complaint, including date of the complaint, the department within your company that it most closely relates to, and a few short sentences summarizing the problem. Now that you’ve collected all that data (or are planning to start!), it’s time to think about analyzing it. Here are a few ways to look at your data that might be most helpful when you start your analysis:

Complaints by Business Group

Analyzing complaints by business group will show you if specific parts of your business are falling short of expectations. If a particular department is underperforming, it may be time to review their process and procedures. It’s possible that your business has grown or changed and that department hasn’t yet adapted to these new demands.

For example: if you consistently receive complaints about the cleanliness of a property, it’s possible that your housekeeping teams aren’t cleaning to the required standards or that guests’ expectations have changed. It may be time to increase your housekeeping staff, adopt new standards, or adjust your check-in and check-out times to allow for more thorough cleaning.

Complaints by Season

If you’re in a highly seasonal location, reviewing complaints by season can give you an idea of how your guests’ needs and expectations differ between these times. With this information, you can start to anticipate the changing needs of your seasonal guests, avoiding the need for them to complain altogether.

Here’s an example: Numerous guests have left reviews saying that your rental properties, while clean and comfortable, are too far from the ski lifts to be convenient and that they’d stay somewhere closer to the slopes next time. You’re concerned that this feedback will deter future guests from staying with you. This is a great opportunity to partner with a local shuttle service and promote your new door-to-gondola service on every listing. You may even consider wrapping the cost into your nightly rental rate.

Complaints by Resolution Time

Looking at how long it takes to resolve guest complaints can show you that some of your departments need more resources. If certain complaints always take more time to resolve than you think they should, approach the department and ask them what additional help they need. You can even compare how long it took to resolve a concern to how satisfied the guest was with the resolution.

If you receive consistent complaints from guests that the deposit process was confusing, they didn’t receive their deposit back in a timely manner, or that a promised refund hasn’t yet been processed, check in with your guest services team. They may need a refresher course on how to respond to guests asking for a refund, what type of reimbursement they’re allowed to offer, or even how to use your property management software correctly.‚Äč