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Study Finds Customers Demand More Communications From Hotels

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The 2020 J.D. Power and Associates Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study revealed guests want more communication from hotels, both before and during their stay. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, customers are demanding more information about what safety protocols hotels are taking.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues with no end in sight, travelers are demanding more information up-front from hotels, including safety protocols and open amenities. The findings come from the J.D. Power 2020 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index.

Pre-Stay Communications and Limitations Key to Customer Satisfaction

Respondents in the study focused on two areas where hotels need to provide additional service in light of the pandemic. Hotel guests asked for more information before their stay, as well as direct communications about service limitations due to the novel Coronavirus outbreak.

When hotels don’t talk to their customers prior to their visit, the J.D. Power survey discovered satisfaction scores dropped 66 points. A separate survey found that in particular, guests want to know about specific cleaning and sanitation procedures before they arrive.

In addition, hotel guests want to know what limitations they may face upon arrival. Because hotels are operating with closed common spaces and limited amenities, guests need to know how hotels are adapting their services around safety requirements. Above all, guests want honest communications and level-setting before and during their trip.

“The other critical variable for the industry right now is proactive communication with guests—both about the specific steps hotels are taking to protect guests and about any service and amenity limitations due to COVID-19,” Andrea Stokes, hospitality practice lead at J.D. Power, said in a press release. “As we continue to take the pulse of travelers during the pandemic, the ability of hotels to clearly manage guest expectations, both pre-stay and at the property, will be key to maintaining high satisfaction during this difficult period.”

The survey follows new cleanliness guidelines from the American Hotel and Lodging Association, recommending all hotel guests to use face masks when in common areas. Several hotel chains noted they would implement the measures, including Marriott International and Hilton Hotels.

The good news for travelers is that hotel cleanliness satisfaction is at an all-time high. Guests surveyed rated cleanliness of their recent stays at an 8.53 on a scale of 10, increasing for the fourth straight year.

Best Hotel Chains Spread Across Brands

When it came to naming the best hotels by service segment, there was only one repeat winner. For the 15th straight year, Drury Hotels won as the best Upper Midscale hotel in the category. Other best-in-class winners include:

Luxury: The Luxury Collection by Marriott
Upper Upscale: Wyndham Grand Hotels
Upscale: Hyatt House
Midscale: Tru by Hilton
Economy: SureStay Hotel by Best Western

Do you agree with the study’s findings? Discuss your thoughts on the FlyerTalk Forums!

tigerhunt2011 July 29, 2020

What a joke JD Power & Associates is. On what planet is Hyatt House "upscale" and Wyndham Grand "Upper Upscale"? For Luxury, they simply must not be aware that Four Seasons, Aman, Peninsula, Dorchester, Mandarin Oriental, or Leading Hotels of the World exist. Is this pay to play by Marriott, Wyndham and Hyatt, or simply apathy to evaluate the actual competitive landscape?

Sydneyberlin July 28, 2020

America maybe?

cmd320 July 26, 2020

In what world does someone consider Hyatt House to be 'upscale' or Wyndham to be 'upper upscale'?