MarketingDaily shares new Forrester research that shows most brands haven’t improved customer experience scores. The majority of brands involved in the indexing report – 154 total across 14 industries – had less than stellar results: over 60% scored “OK” or “poor”. In the Fall of 2012, we related the lowlights of a J.D. Power and Associates Hotel Guest Satisfaction study, which had similar findings:
- Overall, guest satisfaction with the hotel experience is down 7 points compared to 2011
- Nearly 50% of guests surveyed had an average or low opinion of hotel staff
Not surprisingly, satisfaction is significantly higher among guests with a high opinion of hotel staff, as well as advocacy and loyalty rates. As Jessica McGregor, senior manager of the global travel and hospitality practice at J.D. Power and Associates, notes, “A friendly, service-oriented staff helps drive top- and bottom-line financial performance, not just satisfaction, by also generating greater repeat business and positive word of mouth.”
What the hell, man?! We’ve previously referenced the idea that negative word of mouth is passed on more than positive WOM (contrary to many reports on the subject), which should be enough to kick-start a fiery focus on the customer experience for any size brand. But we continue to see shortfalls here across all industries.
With such low expectations (and results), isn’t this an arena ripe with opportunity to impress and engage? I’ll answer that for you – HELL YES. Check out this article on the improved guest environment at LaGuardia airport, an important step in the right direction for an industry that desperately needs a better customer experience. Recently, we’ve been working with a local medical group to take the stale doctor’s office environment and completely upend it into an enjoyable process (we’re shooting for reactions like this one).
Take some of that energy and time spent on traditional “marketing” activities and reroute it into analyzing and improving the customer experience. We’d all – including consumers – be best served by this. Do you agree?