The prestigious Elite Hotel Knaust is located right in Sundsvall's beautiful city centre. The hotel occupies a building dating back to 1891 and is renowned for its magnificent mirror hall and unique marble staircases.
The city of Sundsvall, Sweden, was rebuilt after that a fire took place in 1888. This time, however, the city was completely built in stone in order to protect it from future fires. Wealthy families along with well-written insurances meant that the city could be rebuilt in a very grandiose manner including beautiful facades and stairwells.
Hotel Knaust was constructed during the years following the fire. Despite never being label as a city hotel it quickly began filling this function as it started gaining more and more recognition. Hotel Knaust (named after the Knaust family that built the hotel) is particularly well-known for the magnificent marble staircase and distinctive details across three floors.
Despite a successful reign, the years took its toll on the hotel and the Knaust family became less involved. In December 1978, the hotel closed down and was replaced by offices and apartments that opened up in the building. However in 2002, the hotel was finally re-opened as part of Elite Hotels of Sweden and has been thriving ever since.
With history dating back over a century, there are lots of tales told about Hotel Knaust involving crushed porcelain, wild parties and prominent guests. The most famous one involves the story of a horse and the marble staircase. The beautiful architecture and the many tales has made Hotel Knaust one of Sweden's most talked about hotels.
Ulrica, General Manager at Hotel Knaust, was kind enough to take her time to share a few secrets to their success, including how they boast an impressive 9.0 rating on Booking.com.
Guest Feedback is of the utmost importance. How do you integrate guest feedback for daily and monthly decision-making?
We have a goal of responding to all incoming feedback through Loopon within 48 hours. Complaints within 12 hours. We measure and evaluate performance within our hotel group based on how well we're responding to feedback in a timely manner and how satisfied our guests are. Hotel Knaust is always at the very top, even though we have high expectations to live up to. We like the challenge and see it as extra motivation.
We make sure to improve on topics or feedback that comes up continuously to the best extent possible. Sometimes mistakes do occur even for us and in those cases we can use incoming feedback to discuss internally with the relevant department and with the person responsible. We've identified this as a very effective way to get to the bottom of any problem.
In which way does Elite Hotel Knaust use Loopon to improve guest satisfaction?
We always want less satisfied guests to return to us in order to give them the opportunity to have a different and better experience. Therefore we don't hesitate to compensate with free nights if we feel that the feedback was justified. Unfortunately there are guests that try and take advantage of our generosity, therefore I as Site Manager handle those cases individually.
Loopon is the tool that allows us to collect feedback from our guests as they rarely give feedback on site or when checking out. It is extremely important to us for the guest to share their experience from their visit and we really value the feedback that we receive.
With Loopon's feedback feature we also gain knowledge of organisational problems and areas of improvements, such as the quality of our breakfast or language use in the reception. This gives the head of each department the direction in how to work towards improvement.
Are there any trends within the hospitality industry that you are keeping a close eye on in 2019?
The environment and sustainability is becoming increasingly important for guests. Receiving and replying to feedback with Loopon allows us to continue driving this topic further.
Without giving away too much, which tips would you give to other hotels looking to achieve the same guest satisfaction as Elite Hotel Knaust?
It is important to have the right person at the right place when it comes to the staff. It's not good enough to simply offer a delicious breakfast, a clean room and a beautiful staircase.
The guests should feel welcome and really feel that they are viewed and treated as guests. Only some people have the ability and willingness to communicate that feeling to the guests. Motivating the staff and going the extra mile for your guests doesn't cost you anything. That's my tip.
Which is your favourite Loopon feature?
This is a tough question. I think the number one feature has to be the ability to benchmark and compare your score with other hotels in your competitor set. Otherwise you won't know if for example an 8.5 is a high or low score.
We saw your NPS score and were very impressed, can you tell us a bit more?
Our NPS for 2018 was 77 and we had the same number in year 2017. This is something that we are extremely proud of. (NPS is measured on a scale from -100 to 100)
Thank you to Ulrica and Elite Hotel Knaust for taking the time and we look forward to continue following their success. If you want to book your stay at Elite Hotel Knaust and visit the city of Sundsvall, click here.