University Club of Chicago, New York Athletic Club among properties reporting enhanced member/guest satisfaction following implementation of Feedback.

Two of the nation’s leading city clubs are benefitting from enhanced service levels and a wealth of member/guest intelligence resulting from implementation of an online member feedback solution from b4, producer of the hospitality industry’s premier fully customizable reservations system and guest satisfaction feedback tools. With Feedback, b4’s electronic feedback and reporting solution, University Club of Chicago and New York Athletic Club have seen average customer response rates soar to over 20%, as compared to an average of 5% with the previously used paper comment cards.

“The surveys we receive through the Feedback system are extremely useful,” says Daniel Perez, assistant general manager of New York Athletic Club. “They help us identify those individuals who are providing great service so we can reward them, and conversely, we can identify any individuals who might need additional training. If there are physical problems with the facility, we can address them promptly. More than ever before, we know what our members and guests are happy with and what isn’t working.”

Other clubs that still use paper comment cards are at a huge disadvantage. The low response rate tends to generate feedback surrounding a specific issue or concern, making it difficult to determine whether such feedback is an outlier or representative of larger trends. “Since clubs generally cater to more discerning clientele than a typical hotel, member/guest satisfaction intelligence is absolutely critical. For clubs offering overnight accommodation, the guest survey system is even more important than the booking engine,” says Saar Fabrikant, president and CEO of b4.

The Feedback system typically generates survey response rates ranging from 17% to 38%. These responses, combined with a dynamic reporting system, give management a degree of intelligence that was previously unimaginable. This allows managers to quickly identify any areas of concern and respond immediately with a solution, converting dissatisfied customers into loyal guests.

As any manager knows, one critical factor that dictates whether a guest issue can be successfully recovered is speed of response. With paper comment cards, it often takes 10 days or more to address a complaint because of lag time in mailing and manually compiling responses. With Feedback, properties can respond virtually instantaneously. “If a guest had a negative service experience, we can address the issue immediately and try to make it right, where in the past maybe we didn’t even know about an issue for days,” says Ed Tindall, clubhouse director at University Club of Chicago.

The wealth of guest intelligence generated by the automated Feedback system comes with another less obvious but invaluable benefit: providing guidance for capital expenditure decisions. Cap-ex budgets are limited, requiring prioritization. With the specific intelligence gained from Feedback, this prioritizing no longer needs to be based on managerial assumptions or isolated anecdotes.

Feedback surveys are fully customizable, with a bespoke design to match any property’s branding and questionnaires are customized for insight where it is most needed. “b4 is extremely accommodating to what we want,” Perez says. “Everything is customizable. We don’t have to take what another property has – we can make it exactly the way we need it to be.”

Through the Feedback product, survey results can be monitored in real time, reviewed quickly, distributed departmentally, and responded to in an efficient and timely manner. Integrated analytical reports measure satisfaction levels within specified areas of the property. Reports are designed in a flexible manner that allows for statistical period review, word search, guest search and a communications log.

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