Customer Experience News & Trends

Where will your next customer experience idea come from? Probably not you

If you want to know where to invest time and money to improve the customer experience, there is one thing you want to seriously consider now:

Online reviews.

Hotels are increasingly keeping a close eye on review sites such as TripAdvisor and Yelp, plus booking sites such as, to decide where their improvement money would be best spent.

What’s being done now

Why are online reviews a reliable resource these days? Customers are quicker to complain on review sites and social media. They’ve learned that they often get an immediate response or reaction when they air their grievances in a public forum.

For instance, Omni Hotels and Resorts planned to update lighting fixtures and electrical outlets as part of their room upgrades after seeing countless complaints about the lack of those things on review sites. At one Loews hotel, the design team in charge of a renovation scoured online reviews for ideas on making rooms more functional.

Get feedback first

While you can learn a lot from customers’ social media accounts and review site posts, it’s not the ideal way to get customer feedback. If customers have issues or suggestions, it’s better to get them directly from the source.

So before you start an all-out campaign for online complaints and compliments, build a better system to catch customer feedback internally.

Some ways:

  • Make it oh-so-easy. Post a number — not an email address — on all website pages, invoices, promotional material and anything else customers see that they can call directly with a complaint or suggestion. Even better: Give them a name to call on. One grocery chain tells customers to call “Cindy at …” if they have a complaint. When an employee picks up the phone and hears a request for Cindy, he or she knows it’s serious and to act kindly and quickly.
  • Be proactive. Send email surveys (with permission) after every transaction. If customers mention a problem, follow up immediately with a call to resolve it before they even have time to get online.
  • Follow up. If follow up on complaints, suggestions or requests for action takes too long or never happens, customers will go right to social media and review sites. Put in place a plan for follow-up on all issues.


Even with a solid feedback system in place, some customers will still turn to social media and review sites to air their dirty laundry.

Having trouble keeping up with online customer comments? There are a lot of software and third-party vendor options for staying on top of posts about your organization.

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