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Guest Satisfaction with Hotel Experience Continues to Deteriorate as Hoteliers
Fall Further Behind in Meeting Guest Expectations According to the
J.D. Power and Associates 2012 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study

The Ritz-Carlton, Drury Hotels, Omni Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn,
Homewood Suites, Hilton Garden Inn and SpringHill Suites (in a tie), and
Jameson Inn Each Rank Highest in Their Respective Segment


WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif, July 25, 2012 -- While the hotel industry continues to gradually recover from the economic downturn, guest satisfaction with the underlying hotel experience continues to deteriorate as hoteliers fall further behind guest expectations, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2012 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index StudySM released today.

Now in its 16th year, the study measures overall hotel guest satisfaction across seven hotel segments: luxury; upper upscale; upscale; mid-scale full service; mid-scale limited service; economy/budget; and extended stay. Seven key measures are examined within each segment to determine overall satisfaction: reservations; check-in/check-out; guest room; food and beverage; hotel services; hotel facilities; and costs and fees.

Overall guest satisfaction has declined to 757 on a 1,000-point scale, down 7 index points from 2011. However, guest satisfaction with the underlying experience has deteriorated much more than this score suggests, as relatively high levels of satisfaction with cost and fees mask declines in other areas of the guest experience. Satisfaction with check-in/check-out; food and beverage; hotel services; and hotel facilities are at new lows since the 2006 study and satisfaction with guest room has declined within one point of its lowest level in the past seven years.

"As the industry continues to recover and rates increase, hoteliers need to get back to the fundamentals and improve the overall guest experience," said Stuart Greif, vice president and general manager of the global travel and hospitality practice at J.D. Power and Associates. "Charging guests more and providing less is not a winning combination from a guest satisfaction perspective, much less a winning business strategy. In short, hoteliers are falling further behind and need to catch up."

The Staff Opinion Model, a new portion of the 2012 study, examines guest satisfaction with hotel staff by staff type across the guest experience. Overall, 56 percent of hotel guests have a high opinion of staff; 34 percent have an average opinion; and 10 percent have a low opinion of staff. Satisfaction is significantly higher among guests with a high opinion of hotel staff (average of 841 index points), compared with those with an average (673) or low (570) opinion of staff.

"Advocacy and loyalty rates are also much higher among guests with a high opinion of the hotel staff. These guests are also more likely to use various hotel services, such as eating at a hotel restaurant," said Jessica McGregor, senior manager of the global travel and hospitality practice at J.D. Power and Associates. "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."

Yet it's not just room rates that affect customer satisfaction with costs and fees; as more than one-half of guests use the Internet during their hotel stay, charges for access can drag down satisfaction. The study finds that 55 percent of hotel guests use the Internet during their hotel stay—an increase from 20 percent in 2006—and 87 percent use Wi-Fi to connect. Among those that use the Internet, only 11 percent are charged an additional fee to connect. Yet those that were charged a fee have an average costs and fees satisfaction score of 688, 76 index points lower than those that were not charged a fee or the fee was part of the room rate. Complimentary Internet access is more likely included at mid-scale limited service, mid-scale full service, upscale, and economy/budget hotels.

"Guests enjoy Wi-Fi for free in many places outside of their hotel experience, such as in coffee shops, restaurants and other locations, setting expectations against which hotels are compared," said McGregor. "When guests learn they have to pay for Internet or when connection speeds are slow at a hotel, they are much more dissatisfied than they were in the past"

Research conducted by J.D. Power's Consumer Insight & Strategy Group[1] to track social media activity finds that:

  • Hotels that charge extra for Internet access are perceived as taking advantage of guests, especially given the number of places that offer this service for free.
  • While consumers use social media to complain about how slow Internet connections are at hotels, it is not uncommon for hotel guests to praise hotel brands that are known for fast, reliable Internet service.
  • While complaints about Internet fees charged by hotels are common, rolling Internet charges into a generic "resort fee" heightens resentment among hotel guests.
  • Loyalty club members have come to expect free Internet as a perk at their hotel of choice.

The following hotel brands rank highest in guest satisfaction within their respective segments:

The study also examines how guests book their hotel stay. Guests who book through an online travel agency (OTA) tend to be more price sensitive; have lower levels of satisfaction with their stay; are less loyal to hotel brands; and tend to report more problems, compared with guests who book through the hotel website or call the hotel or hotel brand directly. Satisfaction among guests who book through the hotel brand website or call directly averages 774 and 768, respectively, compared with guests who book through an independent website or online travel agency (OTA), 729.

"There will always be some guests for whom price sensitivity trumps all else and who will use independent websites or OTAs to make their reservation," said Ramez Faza, senior manager of the global travel and hospitality practice at J.D. Power and Associates. "However, independent website and OTA customers still represent an opportunity for hoteliers. Once these guests are at a hotel, there is the opportunity for the hotel to provide an outstanding experience and create reasons for them to return to the brand and book through its channels for future stays."

For hotel guests, J.D. Power and Associates offers the following tips:

  • If you book via any channel other than directly through the hotel, call the hotel to confirm your reservation and get the hotel's confirmation number for your reservation.
  • Ask the hotel staff if Internet is included in the room rate or if there are additional fees so there are no surprises when you check out.
  • To make the check-in process quick and easy, have your reservation confirmation, credit card and driver's license ready. Verify that the rate charged is the rate originally quoted.
  • If you have a problem during your stay, report it to the front desk right away—the hotel staff can't help if they aren't aware that there is an issue.
  • Most hotels have established checkout times ranging from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. If you need additional time, request it in advance; otherwise, you may be charged an additional fee.

The 2012 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study is based on responses gathered between August 2011 and May 2012 from more than 61,700 guests from the United States and Canada who stayed in a hotel in North America between June 2011 and May 2012.

Customer Satisfaction Index Ranking


J.D. Power.com Power Circle Ratings

(Based on a 1,000-point scale)


For Consumers




Luxury Segment



The Ritz-Carlton

864

5




Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

856

4

JW Marriott

834

4




Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts

830

3

Luxury SegmentAverage

822

3

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts

818

3

W Hotels

811

3




Loews Hotels

798

2

Grand Hyatt/Park Hyatt Hotels

797

2

InterContinental Hotels & Resorts

784

2

Included in the segment, but not ranked due to small sample size are: Mandarin Oriental, Sofitel, St. Regis Hotels & Resorts and The Luxury Collection.


Upper Upscale Segment



Omni Hotels & Resorts

811

5




Embassy Suites Hotels

805

4

Marriott Hotels & Resorts

796

4




Hilton Hotels & Resorts

792

3

Renaissance Hotels

789

3

Upper Upscale Segment Average

789

3

Westin Hotels & Resorts

788

3

Hyatt Hotels & Resorts

787

3




DoubleTree by Hilton

781

2

Sheraton Hotels & Resorts

773

2




Upscale Segment



Hilton Garden Inn

811

5

SpringHill Suites

811

5

Aloft

808

5

Hyatt Place

808

5




Courtyard

793

3

Hotel Indigo

793

3

Upscale Segment Average

789

3

Wyndham Hotels and Resorts

782

3




Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts

766

2

Delta Hotels and Resorts

763

2

Four Points by Sheraton

757

2

Radisson

755

2

Included in the segment, but not ranked due to small sample size is Cambria Suites.


Mid-Scale Full Service Segment



Holiday Inn

766

5

Best Western

749

4




Red Lion Hotels

745

3

Mid-Scale Full Service Segment Average

739

3




Clarion

723

2

Quality

714

2

Ramada Inn/Plaza

709

2

Howard Johnson Hotels/Plaza

693

2




Mid-Scale Limited Service Segment



Drury Hotels

841

5

Hampton Inn/Suites

811

5




Holiday Inn Express

796

4




Wingate by Wyndham

790

3

Fairfield Inn & Suites

789

3

Country Inns & Suites

783

3

Comfort Suites

782

3

Mid-Scale Limited Service Segment

780

3

La Quinta Inns & Suites

770

3

AmericInn

745

3




Sleep Inn

744

2

Baymont Inn & Suites

739

2

Comfort Inn

735

2

Ramada Limited

686

2




Economy/Budget Segment



Jameson Inn

751

5




Microtel Inns & Suites by Wyndham

736

4

Red Roof Inn

709

4

Days Inn

695

4

Howard Johnson Express/Inns

691

4




Super 8

683

3

Economy/Budget Segment

676

3

Econo Lodge

667

3

Motel 6

659

3

Travelodge

651

3




Americas Best Value Inn

639

2

Rodeway Inn

633

2

Knights Inn

620

2

Included in the segment, but not ranked due to small sample size are: America's Best Inns & Suites , Budget Host Inn, Budget Suites of America, Country Hearth Inn & Suites and Red Carpet Inn.


Extended Stay Segment



Homewood Suites

838

5




Staybridge Suites

823

4

Residence Inn

819

4

Hyatt House

815

4

TownePlace Suites

798

4

Candlewood Suites

796

4

Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham

791

4




Extended Stay Segment

770

3




Homestead Studio Suites Hotels

704

2

Extended StayAmerica

702

2

Included in the segment, but not ranked due to small sample size are: Crossland Suites, InTown Suites, MainStay Suites, Studio 6 Extended Stay, Suburban Extended Stay and Value Place.

Power Circle Ratings Legend:
5 – Among the best
4 – Better than most
3 – About average
2 – The rest

About J.D. Power and Associates
Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company providing performance improvement, social media and customer satisfaction insights and solutions. The company's quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. For more information on airlines, hotels and rental car reviews and ratings, car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit JDPower.com. J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

About The McGraw-Hill Companies
McGraw-Hill announced on September 12, 2011, its intention to separate into two public companies: McGraw-Hill Financial, a leading provider of content and analytics to global financial markets, and McGraw-Hill Education, a leading education company focused on digital learning and education services worldwide. McGraw-Hill Financial's leading brands include Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Indices, Platts energy information services and J.D. Power and Associates. With sales of $6.2 billion in 2011, the Corporation has approximately 23,000 employees across more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Additional information is available at http://www.mcgraw-hill.com/.

Media Relations Contacts:
Jeff Perlman; Brandware Public Relations; Woodland Hills, Calif.; (818) 598-1115; jperlman@brandwarepr.com
Syvetril Perryman; J.D. Power and Associates; Westlake Village, Calif.; (805) 418-8103; media.relations@jdpa.com

No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the information in this release without the express prior written consent of J.D. Power and Associates. www.jdpower.com/corporate

[1] North America hotel guest social media research includes information gathered online from July 2011 through May 2012, and consisted of more than 86,000 online communications across various social media.

.
Contact: 
 

J.D. Power and Associates

http://www.jdpower.com

 
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Also See: Hotel Guest Satisfaction With Costs and Fees Improves From 2010, Despite a Decline in Overall Satisfaction; The Ritz-Carlton, Embassy Suites Hotels, Hotel Indigo, Holiday Inn, Drury Inn & Suites, Microtel Inns & Suites and Homewood Suites Rank Highest in Customer Satisfaction / J.D. Power and Associates / July 2011

As Industry Begins to Rebound from Downturn, Satisfaction with Hotels Increases Notably; The Ritz-Carlton, Omni Hotels, Drury Inn & Suites, Hilton Garden Inn, Homewood Suites and Microtel Inns & Suites Rank Highest in Customer Satisfaction / J.D. Power and Associates / July 2010

Complete Rankings for Customer Satisfaction Across Six Hotel Segments; Despite Industry Downturn, Satisfaction With Hotels Increases According to J.D. Power and Associates / July 2009

Top Customer Satisfaction Rankings Reported by J.D. Power - The Ritz-Carlton, Embassy Suites Hotels, Hyatt Place, Drury Inn & Suites, Microtel Inns & Suites and Homewood Suites; Hotel Guests Are Considerably Less Satisfied in 2008 / July 2008
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