Listening to the customer
Sokos Hotels systematically collect feedback from its customers both through personal interaction and the electronic Assi customer satisfaction survey. Assi is used throughout the year, and in 2014, a total of 20,343 replies were obtained.
The hotel chain closely monitors the query results, and customers' suggestions for improvement are taken into account in the chain's product and service development.
For example at Solo Sokos Hotel Paviljonki, customers have wished for longer opening hours for the restaurant, among other things.
"Longer opening hours for the restaurant would not be financially profitable. However, we have developed a range of additional products that customers can order to their room if they arrive late and wish to dine", says Solo manager Päivi Kinnunen from the Paviljonki hotel.
Displaying TripAdvisor feedback
At the beginning of 2014, Sokos Hotels started cooperation with TripAdvisor, world's largest travel website. With the partnership, Sokos Hotels display the feedback and reviews their customers have provided through TripAdvisor directly on their own website.
"By showing reviews of our hotels added to TripAdvisor by our other customers, we make decision-making easier for our customers. Customers no longer need to leave our website to see reviews while making a reservation. We also utilise the comments in product development."
- Outi Vitie, Marketing Director, Sokos Hotels
Customers involved in product development
At Sokos Hotels and S Group restaurants, customers also participate in service and product development. Restaurants' new products, services and complete business ideas are tested together with customers at Food Lab, located in Helsinki.
Food Lab is a real restaurant located at Citykäytävä in Helsinki, and at the same time, a testing ground for new ideas shared by SOK and HOK-Elanto. At Food Lab, products, services and entire concepts are developed with the help of customers. In 2013–2014, a salad bar, a smoothie and a hot dog combination, and filled sandwiches have been tested, among other items.
Every one and a half years, Rosso restaurants organise a traditional children's dish competition, with the winner dish added to Onni the Squirrel children's menu. Adults were involved at Rosso restaurants in the spring of 2014 through the Nonna competition, and dishes from the competition were included in the Rosso menu.
For the "Original by Sokos Hotels" brand, customers have been asked for comments at the hotels and online concerning various subjects related to service and product development. These wishes and tips are taken into account at the hotels. For instance, soap dispensers will remain at Original hotels as they are considered to be environmentally friendly by customers.
A survey was organised for child customers in the summer of 2014 where they were asked to design their favourite hotel room. Almost 5,000 replies were received. The ideas obtained are now utilised in the product development for family rooms.