Entries in J.D. Power and Associates (3)


Hotels with Highest, Lowest Guest Satisfaction

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The hotel industry continues to regain its footing from the economic downturn, and hotels may be taking a cue from the airlines: Charge more, provide less. That seems to be taking a toll on guest satisfaction, according to a study from J.D. Power and Associates of nearly 62,000 American and Canadian hotel guests between August 2011 and May 2012.

The study, now in its 16th year, examines guest satisfaction across luxury, upper upscale, upscale, mid-scale full service, mid-scale limited service, economy/budget and extended stay hotels.  Within each segment: reservations, check-in/check-out, guest room, food and beverage, hotel services, hotel facilities, and costs and fees are considered.

Overall guest satisfaction has declined since 2011. Satisfaction with check-in/check-out, food and beverage, hotel services and hotel facilities are at new lows since 2006. Satisfaction with guest rooms has also declined significantly.

“As the industry continues to recover and rates increase, hoteliers need to get back to the fundamentals and improve the overall guest experience,” said Stuart Greif, vice president and general manager of the global travel and hospitality practice at J.D. Power and Associates.  “Charging guests more and providing less is not a winning combination from a guest satisfaction perspective, much less a winning business strategy.  In short, hoteliers are falling further behind and need to catch up.”

It seems the staff might be the key to hotel success, at least as success relates to customer happiness.  Satisfaction is significantly higher among guests with a high opinion of hotel staff.  It’s also good for business. These guests are more likely to use various hotel services, such as eating at a hotel restaurant.

Internet and WiFi access also play a big part in guest satisfaction. Hotels that charge for access have a lower satisfaction rate than properties that have free access or include it in the room rate.

It turns out that how a person books their hotel stay may also be related to their satisfaction.  The study found that guests who book their hotel stay with online travel agencies (Orbitz, Expedia and competitors) tend to be less satisfied with their stay then those who book directly with the hotel website or over the phone.  These travelers tend to be more price-sensitive, have lower levels of satisfaction with their stay, are less loyal to hotel brands and tend to report more problems.

Hotel brands that ranked highest in guest satisfaction in their respective segments:

  • Luxury: The Ritz-Carlton (for a third consecutive year)
  • Upper Upscale: Omni Hotels & Resorts
  • Upscale: Hilton Garden Inn and SpringHill Suites (in a tie)
  • Mid-Scale Full Service: Holiday Inn (for a second consecutive year)
  • Mid-Scale Limited Service: Drury Hotels (for a seventh consecutive year)
  • Economy/Budget: Jameson Inn
  • Extended Stay: Homewood Suites (for a third consecutive year)

Hotels that came in below average in satisfaction:

  • Loews Hotels (Luxury segment)
  • Grand Hyatt / Park Hyatt Hotels (Luxury segment)
  • Intercontinental Hotels and Resorts (Luxury segment)
  • DoubleTree by Hilton (Upper Upscale)
  • Sheraton Hotels and Resorts (Upper Upscale)
  • Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts (Upscale)
  • Delta Hotels & Resorts (Upscale)
  • Four Points by Sheraton (Upscale)
  • Radisson (Upscale)
  • Clarion (Mid Scale Full Service)
  • Quality (Mid Scale Full Service)
  • Ramada Inn / Plaza (Mid Scale Full Service)
  • Howard Johnson Hotels / Plaza (Mid Scale Full Service)
  • AmericInn (Mid Scale Limited Service)
  • Sleep Inn (Mid Scale Limited Service)
  • Baymont Inn & Suites (Mid Scale Limited Service)
  • Comfort Inn (Mid Scale Limited Service)
  • Ramada Limited (Mid Scale Limited Service)
  • Americas Best Value Inn (Economy / Budget)
  • Rodeway Inn (Economy / Budget)
  • Knights Inn (Economy / Budget)
  • Homestead Studio Suites Hotel (Extended Stay)
  • Extended Stay America (Extended Stay)

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Banks Lose Customer Loyalty, Survey Finds

Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Thinkstock(WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.) -- Americans don't feel that banks are particularly loyal to them so why should they feel the need to stick with their banks?

A new J.D. Power and Associates survey finds that more customers switched allegiances last year, with 9.6 percent admitting that they opened an account at another bank in 2011.  In 2010, the number of bank-changers was 8.7 percent.

The survey reveals that a third of those who leave their banks cite higher fees as the reason they made the switch.

J.D. Power official Michael Beird remarks, "When banks announce the implementation of new fees, public reaction can be quite volatile and result in customers voting with their feet."

The winners in all this appear to be smaller banks and credit unions.  Their customer base grew by 10.3 percent in 2011, a whopping 2.2 percent increase in new accounts from last year.

A big reason why people decided to leave their old institutions was last November's Bank Transfer Day, a grassroots movement to protest Bank of America's decision to charge some customers $5 a month to use their debit cards.  The bank has since rescinded that policy change.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Lincoln Tops 2011 Vehicle Dependability Report

STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- J.D. Power and Associates, a global marketing information firm, released the findings of its vehicle dependability study Thursday. 

The company said that overall vehicle dependability has improved from last year, noting the success of auto manufacturers for cutting down on problem rates.  However, newer technologies and features presented some hurdles for automakers, according to the report.

The comprehensive study, used by and large by automakers to improve design and build better vehicles, also helps consumers to make more informed decisions when purchasing both new and used vehicles.  The company conducts the study annually based on the problems experienced in the last 12 months by the original owners of three-year-old  (2008 model year) vehicles.  This year's study included feedback from 43,700 respondents.

Lincoln received the highest score for durability, leading in overall nameplate rankings.  Lexus, Jaguar, Porsche and Toyota rounded out the top five nameplates for 2011, the study found.

As for long-term dependability, imported brands outperformed domestic in 2011,  though the report notes that domestic manufacturers have closed the gap considerably in initial quality.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio