In the era of digitalization there are three fundamental questions we should be all asking ourselves:
- How do we gather and analyze data to understand customer behavior?
- How do we get our systems to work together and talk to each other?
- How do we show the ROI on our efforts?
One smart lady once told me- don't overpay for new technologies if your system is not ready to adopt it and utilize it. Common sense tells us that our guests are seeking added value and value for money is crucial to them. We are all talking about personalization but still offering standard amenities upon arrival.
There were freshly baked cookies and chocolates and bottles of water waiting for me in my room so many times, which was really a nice touch, but I like to go gluten free and low sugar.
Interesting research has been conducted showing us that customer satisfaction is higher when they are paying for things that matter to them- like the best sea view room, better Internet connection or a premium bottle of wine. For example, if you are on a business trip and staying in a luxury property that is offering free spa perks you won't be able to use, but charging extra for better Internet service that is crucial for you, it is less likely you will be a satisfied customer.
Many insights from review sites available to us and guest comments we collect at our properties show us exactly what we are doing wrong and what our end game is all about.
Sometimes we cannot change our location or our room size, but we can show that we care and understand our guests’ needs by offering added value they really care about.
Have you ever ordered a so-much-needed cocktail after a long work week, and what you got
Pricing your hotel rooms and services is pretty much the same.
Recognizing the hotel attributes that influence hotel choice and the features that are perceived as being important by guests help hoteliers to make optimal decisions for hotel development and pricing strategy.
A study published in the International Journal of Hospitality Management revealed the monetary values for six different unique hotel attributes: floor levels, room views, access to clubs, cancellation policy, free smartphone service and free alcoholic drinks in mini-bars. What they proved was that the hotel in question was charging a much higher price for their cancellation policy and a much lower price for a better room view compared to what customers were willing to pay.
The father of modern management, Peter Drucker, famously stated that “you can't manage what you can't measure. “ Many hotels that recently started using handy, a complimentary smartphone offering instant connectivity, free roaming and all-around Internet to their guests inside and outside the property, had a major concern in mind- how will I measure my ROI? Interestingly enough, they didn't ask the same question when distributing free bottles of water and chocolates, they just believed it would pay off through increased customer satisfaction in the long run.
However, in addition to a measurable TripAdvisor review rating increase and the extra revenue generated through handy push message system, they also experienced significantly higher engagement with their guests in real time. They've also been able to collect data about their guest preferences they couldn't collect before.