The tables have turned giving hotels the possibility of commenting on their guests’ stay and not only guests on hotels, through platforms such as TripAdvisor and Booking, which was the normal way. The difference is that, if the guest gives their consent, the hotel registers them and their information is now stored in a database. Elitebook.es already offers this service in Spain.
This new network is inspired by other similar systems in the United States and United Kingdom. Those responsible for providing protection from problematic hotel guests: excessive noise, theft, blackmail and even excessive criticism in website reviews have access and from their website confirm that it is “reassuring” the hotel already knows what type of guest they are going to find.
The system is designed for the hotel industry professionals who want, paying the relevant subscription (the cost varies depending on the size of the group or chain),to know more about the people who sleep in their establishment. This way, the hotelier reassures avoiding problematic individuals who can prove to be a headache during their stay.
Without going into the controversy this situation can generate from the Date Protection Act perspective, our expert Online Reputation Manager (ORM), Gastón Richter exposes the future of these sites as a business model.
Following the article AEERC website, Richter believes that the introduction of customer information in databases has several deficiencies and so he is not very optimistic about their future:
1) Variable database size. They are directly proportional to their size. They must have very small dimensions compared to the amplitude of the entire market. I sense that the amount of data (registered guests’ full name, ID number, etc…) is almost neglible from a general point of view, so it is quite likely that when a hotel enters a potential customer’s details (through a requested reservation), the platform will respond with “No data on this customer.”
2) Limited effectivity. Giving the hotel an additional task: entering customer data that you want to “investigate” before confirming the reservation. At a first glance it appears to be an unproductive task. Elitebook.es system does not offer the option for registered hoteliers to receive alerts for particular conflictive clients, or to be able to make assessment filters.
3) Nonobjective characteristics. What makes a hotel consider a customer conflictive?
If they do not like the assessment that has been made in TripAdvisor? When the guest complains that the room was not clean or that the room service was not 24 hours? The truth is that this type of evaluation seems to me uninteresting.
4) Low profitability. This service has a charge. Possibly, if the results are bad, the hotel will stop using it, in addition, many hotels now have their own blacklists.
5) Unproductive and secondary. I doubt that entrepreneurs will want to invest resources in Online Reputation Management to enter their customer data in these platforms, being the business of these companies. What is the point valuing a customer “normal” or “good”, if this procedure takes time from carrying out other tasks? In this business you have to accept that some of your guests are not the most friendly or pleasant. It is subject to public scrutiny in TripAdvisor and Social Networks, so my priority should be to give the best possible service to customers that come to me, not value them if they are good or bad.
Richter also highlights that TripAdvisor, Holidaycheck or Booking work because they are easy to use, free and provide additional services, features that are far better than the tools offered to give hoteliers customer control.