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Everyone has become a critic

Results from the new J.D. Power and Associates survey show overall hotel guest satisfaction is down. No doubt the consumer media is going to jump all over this and take the industry to task for not doing its job.

On a 1,000-point scale, the index dropped seven points this year to 757. The survey said satisfaction with check-in/check-out, food and beverage, hotel services and facilities are at new lows since the 2006 study. Satisfaction with the guestroom has declined within one point of its lowest level in the past seven years.

You know what I am here to say: I know you take this seriously, but relax. Most of you are doing a good job, if not better than ever before. There are certainly pockets of weakness, and economic issues facing operators might be playing a bit of a role in this result, but I think service — with the aid of technology — is generally getting better, not worse. Guestrooms have better beds, flat-screen TVs, connectivity, nicer showers and more. F&B is responding to health and wellness concerns, sourcing locally, offering convenience and innovating at every turn.

What I think is that everyone has become a critic in this world of social media, blogging and online bragging and bitching opportunities offered by the likes of TripAdvisor. And all those people filling out the J.D. Power surveys now feel emboldened to criticize even further. It makes them feel better and feeds their new social media-driven egos. Whether what they say is completely truthful, I am not sure.

I am not trying to take J.D. Power and Associates to task. This is merely what my gut is telling me. What do you think?

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