Customer Satisfaction With North American Hotel Brands Hits New High

Increase in hotel guest satisfaction is largely driven by decrease of people encountering problems during their stay.

With our spotlight on customer experience and marketing within travel this month, to coincide with the summer holidays, J.D. Power’s latest customer satisfaction index is perfectly timed as it focuses on the hotel industry.

SEE ALSO: How British Airways Has Changed the Landscape and Enhanced Customer Experience in the Sky

Gauging the views of North American hotel guests for the 19th year running, the study found that satisfaction with hotels has reached a record high with a score of 804, up 20 points from 2014.

The North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index measures overall guest satisfaction across eight hotel segments: luxury; upper upscale; upscale; upper midscale; midscale; economy/budget; upper extended stay; and extended stay.

Seven key factors are examined in each segment to determine overall satisfaction: reservation; check-in/check-out; guest room; food and beverage; hotel services; hotel facilities; and cost and fees. Satisfaction is calculated on a 1,000-point scale.

This is the first time satisfaction has surpassed the 800-point mark, and J.D. Power says that the increase is driven by a 20 per cent reduction from 2014 in the number of guests who report experiencing a problem during their stay, the lowest incidence since 2006.

Rick Garlick, global travel and hospitality practice lead at J.D. Power, said: "Hotels that proactively meet guest needs have the ability to create a positive guest experience. While service recovery is extremely important in the hotel industry, it’s most effective when the entire guest experience is a positive one.

"Hotel staff members need to maintain a proper balance between proactively addressing needs and responding to problems effectively. Doing so can help guests feel good about their selection of the hotel brand and increase the likelihood they will return for another stay or recommend it to others."

SEE ALSO: What Marketing Trends Are Shaping the Travel Industry?

The study found a strong relationship between guests’ perceptions of how well the hotel brand meets their needs and overall satisfaction. Among Scrutinisers – guests who thoroughly research their hotel choice to ensure it meets their specific needs – 56 per cent say the hotel brand they selected was "perfect for them". Satisfaction among Scrutinizers is 898, which is the highest among all guest groups.

In comparison, among Price Buyers – guests who select their hotel based primarily on price – only 15 per cent say the hotel brand they selected was "perfect for them". Satisfaction among Price Buyers is 740, the lowest among all groups.

Among hotel guests who said they were "delighted" with their experience (an overall satisfaction rating of 10 on a 10-point scale), 80 per cent say they "definitely will" recommend the brand to a friend, relative or colleague, compared with only 2 per cent of those who are "disappointed" (ratings of 5 or below).

Additionally, among hotel guests who are "delighted", 66 per cent say they "definitely will" stay again, compared with only 4 per cent of those who are "disappointed".

Hotel brands that ranked highest in the 2015 study are: The Ritz-Carlton (luxury), Omni Hotels & Resorts (upper upscale), Hyatt Place (upscale), Drury Hotels (upper midscale), Wingate by Wyndham (midscale), Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham (economy/budget), Homewood Suites by Hilton (upper extended stay and Candlewood Suites (extended stay).