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Charlie Thompson of QHotels reveals customer satisfaction plan
By Helen Andrews 21 Nov 2014
QHotels’ ambitions for better return rates to its spas have resulted in the newly launched (as of 1 November) signature package with ESPA products.
UK Spa Association chair and group spa support at QHotels, Charlie Thompson revealed how he and his team at QHotels has managed to attain 90.9 per cent customer satisfaction at throughout the hospitality group’s 21 properties – 18 of which have spas.

Thompson, who works for QHotels between Tuesday and Thursday on a weekly basis, spoke to Spa Opportunities about how he has come up with a strategy to minimise the risk to customer service levels in response to high volumes of guests.

“When I joined QHotels at the beginning of April, the group was in a period of double digit growth in terms of residential spa revenue,” said Thompson. “We didn’t want our expansion to be short-lived so we decided to focus on consumer feedback.”

Thompson adapted consumer feedback survey questions to try to find out what the client enjoys and to work out why some clients don’t like us. “It sounds simple, but we weren’t even asking if guests were happy with their treatments,” said Thompson.

The next step was to use this customer feedback to engage staff. “This is something I did when I worked at Virgin too,” said Thompson. “After looking at customer data, we made meaningful decisions based on majority opinions. We put in a weekly process at QHotels where I give therapists in spas a piece of information to be displayed on staff notice boards about that particular spa’s performance. This was mostly positive information so it started to help engage therapists, thus contributing to therapist retention levels.”

We then highlighted four centres of excellence, out of the 18 spas in the group, holding them up as a standard or benchmark for the other spas to try and reach,” added Thompson. “When the other spas started to catch these four centres up, it made the initial four tighten their games up.”

Additionally, Thompson says that to understand consumer satisfaction, he took control over the hospitality group’s Tripadvisor sites. “We had no control over how to measure if the reviews on this particular website were the same as those we were generating from our internal data. Once we took over our particular sites, we realised the internal results were consistent with external reviews.”

By taking control over a Tripadvisor site, QHotels can manage comments or complaints via the integrated customer service portal. While comments cannot be deleted, public member posts can be replied to.

QHotels’ ambitions for better return rates to its spas have resulted in the newly launched (as of 1 November) signature package with ESPA products. “By spending more time on customer service and offering exciting packages, we can spend less on marketing to entice guests back,” said Thompson. The overnight spa business forms 25 per cent of QHotels’ residential business and the group hopes to build on that. The ESPA package is one way they expect to do this in five of the group’s best facilities.

“The good thing about our hotels is that they are four-star and that’s not going to change,” said Thompson. “We are affordable, so even if we are not perfect, guests know what to expect and therefore they will return.”

Thompson says that while customer service is at its highest yet, he needs to see higher repeat rates before he is satisfied, therefore his next big project will be to drive employee engagement.

“For the next three years, we have a plan to implement essential, desirable and optimal levels of customer service skills throughout the group,” added Thompson. “We have identified ways to reward these staff, by looking after them properly with the right levels of contractual engagement.”

Speaking as the UK Spa Association chair, Thompson revealed that he is planning a research collaboration with the French Spa Association (SPA-A) – which will be relevant to members of the UK market too. Details of the research are set to include benchmarking information.


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NEWS
Charlie Thompson of QHotels reveals customer satisfaction plan
POSTED 21 Nov 2014 . BY Helen Andrews
UK Spa Association chair and group spa support at QHotels, Charlie Thompson revealed how he and his team at QHotels has managed to attain 90.9 per cent customer satisfaction at throughout the hospitality group’s 21 properties – 18 of which have spas.

Thompson, who works for QHotels between Tuesday and Thursday on a weekly basis, spoke to Spa Opportunities about how he has come up with a strategy to minimise the risk to customer service levels in response to high volumes of guests.

“When I joined QHotels at the beginning of April, the group was in a period of double digit growth in terms of residential spa revenue,” said Thompson. “We didn’t want our expansion to be short-lived so we decided to focus on consumer feedback.”

Thompson adapted consumer feedback survey questions to try to find out what the client enjoys and to work out why some clients don’t like us. “It sounds simple, but we weren’t even asking if guests were happy with their treatments,” said Thompson.

The next step was to use this customer feedback to engage staff. “This is something I did when I worked at Virgin too,” said Thompson. “After looking at customer data, we made meaningful decisions based on majority opinions. We put in a weekly process at QHotels where I give therapists in spas a piece of information to be displayed on staff notice boards about that particular spa’s performance. This was mostly positive information so it started to help engage therapists, thus contributing to therapist retention levels.”

We then highlighted four centres of excellence, out of the 18 spas in the group, holding them up as a standard or benchmark for the other spas to try and reach,” added Thompson. “When the other spas started to catch these four centres up, it made the initial four tighten their games up.”

Additionally, Thompson says that to understand consumer satisfaction, he took control over the hospitality group’s Tripadvisor sites. “We had no control over how to measure if the reviews on this particular website were the same as those we were generating from our internal data. Once we took over our particular sites, we realised the internal results were consistent with external reviews.”

By taking control over a Tripadvisor site, QHotels can manage comments or complaints via the integrated customer service portal. While comments cannot be deleted, public member posts can be replied to.

QHotels’ ambitions for better return rates to its spas have resulted in the newly launched (as of 1 November) signature package with ESPA products. “By spending more time on customer service and offering exciting packages, we can spend less on marketing to entice guests back,” said Thompson. The overnight spa business forms 25 per cent of QHotels’ residential business and the group hopes to build on that. The ESPA package is one way they expect to do this in five of the group’s best facilities.

“The good thing about our hotels is that they are four-star and that’s not going to change,” said Thompson. “We are affordable, so even if we are not perfect, guests know what to expect and therefore they will return.”

Thompson says that while customer service is at its highest yet, he needs to see higher repeat rates before he is satisfied, therefore his next big project will be to drive employee engagement.

“For the next three years, we have a plan to implement essential, desirable and optimal levels of customer service skills throughout the group,” added Thompson. “We have identified ways to reward these staff, by looking after them properly with the right levels of contractual engagement.”

Speaking as the UK Spa Association chair, Thompson revealed that he is planning a research collaboration with the French Spa Association (SPA-A) – which will be relevant to members of the UK market too. Details of the research are set to include benchmarking information.
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The UK Spa Association has organised National Spa Awareness Week (NSAW) from 3-7 November 2014 to increase awareness of the mental and physical benefits regular spa treatments can bring.
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