How To Connect to Your Guests

The recent article New Demand Trends Force Marketers to Adapt is right on target. As an industry enveloped in change, we need to step up to the challenge.

There’s no denying profitability is driven by guests. Hoteliers need a deeper understanding of their guests in the context of the products hotels should offer.It’s easy to say, but more difficult to accomplish. However, the data is usually right in front of us. It’s just a matter of interpreting it, which is why several businesses look to consultants and outside resources for help. But you can go it on your own and here are a couple of ways to get started:

  1. Conduct, not one, but a few surveys of your guests.
    • Be sure to get a good sampling of at least 10-30 guests (depending on the size of you property).
    • Offer an incentive, like a free beverage at your restaurant; it will definitely increase responses.
    • Try to keep the survey short and succinct with 10-12 questions.
    • Avoid open-ended questions; they’ll skew your results.
    • A few surveys throughout the year will help assure you get a good variety of guests, not just a particular season, etc.
  1. Use data you already have.
    • Most hotels take data about guests that is often left untouched. Putting simple guest information, like male/female or billing addresses, into data processing software can tell you some basic demographics and geographical locations about the majority of your guests.
    • Backend and administrative systems of most hotels keep data that will tell you everything from the most revenue generating times of day to how your guests are using products your property offers and how often.

Using your resources to interpret what guests do and want is one way to bite into “big data”. It may sound intimidating but in small pieces, hotels can really take advantage in this time of turnaround and gain big payoffs by getting it right.