Staff Service, Effective Problem Resolution Keep Guests Coming Back for More Amid Ongoing Travel Boom
With average U.S. hotel occupancy on track to reach 63.8% in 2023,1 just shy of the pre-pandemic level of 65.9%, business and leisure travelers are packing into hotels throughout North America for a second consecutive year. Hotels have risen to the challenge by ratcheting up staffing and doubling down on customer service. According to the J.D. Power 2023 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index (NAGSI) Study,SM released today, staff service garners the highest level of satisfaction among all guest experience factors measured. Driven in large part by a hiring surge in the leisure and hospitality sector during the past 12 months, new and returning hospitality workers are providing a generally positive hotel stay experience.
“Hotel hiring continues to increase, and leisure and hospitality is the ‘rock star’ among industries reported in monthly U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics employment figures,” said Andrea Stokes, hospitality practice lead at J.D. Power. “This boost in hotel staffing is showing up in the form of high customer satisfaction scores. Staff service is now the highest-scoring factor in this study across all hotel segments from economy to luxury, underscoring the critical role that frontline staff play in defining the guest experience.”
Following are additional key findings of the 2023 study:
- High scores for hotel staff linked to low problem incidence: Overall satisfaction with hotel staff is 701 (on a 1,000-point scale), making it the single highest-scoring factor in this year’s study. Hotel staff play a key role in avoiding and resolving problems, with 86% of hotel guests saying they experienced no problems during their stay.
- Creating a perfect lobby: Guests’ experience with hotel lobbies/common areas can positively affect overall satisfaction, but it plays out differently in various hotel segments. Among luxury hotel guests, for example, it is important to have a lobby that is modern and unique. In upscale hotels, particularly upscale extended stay hotels, guests are looking for a lobby that is welcoming and inviting.
- Value remains crucial to satisfaction: Value for price paid given quality and service received is still top of mind for hotel guests. Overall satisfaction among guests who rate the value for price paid of their guest room as excellent or perfect (on a scale of poor to perfect) is 302 points higher than among guests who do not.
The following hotel brands rank highest in guest satisfaction in their respective segments:
Luxury: Waldorf Astoria
Upper Upscale: Hard Rock Hotels
(723) for a third consecutive year and Margaritaville Hotels & Resorts
(723), in a tie
Upscale: Cambria Hotels & Suites
Upscale Extended Stay: Hyatt House
(729) (for a second consecutive year)
Upper Midscale: Trademark Collection by Wyndham
Upper Midscale/Midscale Extended Stay: Home2 Suites by Hilton
Midscale: Tru by Hilton
Economy: Americas Best Value Inn
(637) and Microtel by Wyndham
(637) in a tie
Economy Extended Stay: WoodSpring Suites
The North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index (NAGSI) Study was redesigned for 2023. Now in its 27th year, the study measures overall customer satisfaction based on performance in six factors (in alphabetical order): communications and connectivity; food and beverage; guest room; hotel facility; staff service; and value for price. The study benchmarks the performance of 102 brands across nine market segments and is based on responses from 33,754 hotel guests for stays between May 2022 and May 2023.
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