The free amenities that were once considered special perks that add value to the customer experience have become the new norm, according to The J.D. Power 2016 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study, released this week.
The study found that while overall satisfaction with hotels increased by 2 points in 2015, to 806 points out of a possible 1,000, that was a much smaller amount than in years past. J.D. Power calculates satisfaction based on seven factors: reservation; check-in/check-out; guest room; food and beverage; cost and fees; hotel services; and hotel facilities.
Guests no longer appreciate the free amenities they receive, said J.D. Power global travel and hospitality practice lead Rick Garlick. “As perks become standard, customers are quick to ask, 'What have you done for me lately?'"
The top amenities customers look for are free Wi-Fi, breakfast and parking, the survey found. Loyalty programs also help: satisfaction is highest among hotel reward members, though that may be because travelers frequent the hotels they like best. More Baby Boomers are members of frequency programs (66%) than travelers in Gen X (56%) or Millennials (39%).
J.D. Power polled more than 63,000 consumers from Canada and the United States who stayed at a North American hotel between May 2015 and May 2016.
Hotels segment rankings
Most hotel segments remained stagnant in satisfaction, with the exception of the luxury sector, which improved by 12 points overall.
The brands ranking highest were:
- Luxury: The Ritz-Carlton
- Upper Upscale: Omni Hotels & Resorts
- Upscale: Hilton Garden Inn
- Upper Midscale: Drury Hotels
- Midscale: Wingate by Wyndham
- Economy/Budget: Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham
- Upper Extended Stay: Hyatt House
- Extended Stay: Home2 Suites by Hilton