Analytics and Reporting Digital Marketing Strategy Hotel Social Media Hotel Websites and Design

Rethinking Hotel Guest Satisfaction and Hotel Website Analytics

I want to share two very simple but powerful ideas that could radically transform the way the hotel industry utilizes measures like the hotel guest satisfaction index, web analytics, etc.

1. Taking ‘measurement’ beyond just numbers

We all know that to be truly hospitable, one must go beyond just providing the necessary physical comforts that hotel guests and travellers demand. More often than not, what keeps guests coming back again and again are not the features and amenities…but the relationships and memories (after all, human beings ARE 80% emotion and 20% intellect). So perhaps it is time to step beyond the easily quantifiable attributes of a stay and start measuring actual guest ‘happiness’. When was the last time you asked a hotel guest about what made them really happy? Guest satisfaction scores and indexes often fail to consider the true value that employee-guest relationships bring to the table. Plus, since guest satisfaction depends on your employees being happy…how many hotels do you know that actually go beyond the typical corporate HR mumbo-jumbo and actually understand what makes their people tick? Why do they come to work? What makes them happy? What would they like to achieve…and can we help them get there?

A great video to watch for some inspiration is Joie de Vivre Hotels CEO Chip Conley’s TED talk. He touches on a variety of great points… from the move by countries towards measuring National Happiness…rather than stale old GDP numbers…to what he learnt from a housekeeper that has worked for him for over 2 decades.

Measuring happiness may sound like a pipe dream…but we’re already on the way. Social media is a great way for the hotel guests to let brands and companies know really what they think. Already here, analytics companies are scrambling to perfect the art of sentiment measurement. I’m sure that given enough time, semantics and creativity we’ll get there with the technology to measure the ‘unmeasurable’…but what’s really needed to make this happen though, is a shift in thinking and underlying corporate culture at hotels.

2. Gaming your way to better analytics

Games are more powerful that one would imagine. They have a remarkable way of drawing us in, teaching us and entertaining us. Gaming is also increasingly creeping into everything we do… from traditional console & PC gaming to the world of social networks and even the offline world. Games tend to bring out the competitive streak in most of us – I’m inclined to think Frequent Flier and Hotel Loyalty Program Junkies will testify that the thrill of getting to their ‘million’ points (or similar goal) is just as satisfying (if not more) than the actual accompanying benefits.

Though a bit on the extreme side, I loved the idea shared by game designer Jesse Schell (in his DICE summit talk) that games will eventually permeate into every aspect of real life – from scoring points for seemingly mundane everyday actions (like brushing your teeth) to point subsidies for making the right choices everyday (like using the bus to be more ecological) and even gaining direct benefits from allowing marketers to reach out to you with their messages. Watch the video below (a little long so you may want to skip ahead):

http://g4tv.com/lv3/44277

I think we can also apply the gaming idea to the way we deploy and utilize web analytics (and various other things, for that matter!). Instead of purely focusing on clickstream analysis and traffic stats for your hotel websites, why not try to figure out the actual value of those who visit your site? The act of simply assigning points to the actions users perform on your site can dramatically change the way you identify user engagement levels and the types of users based on behaviour. For example – assign a score to your hotel website actions or success metrics like viewing hotel details, making a booking, filling a hotel loyalty program subscription form, refer a friend function, etc in the order of their importance. Then, as users visit your hotel website, they accumulate points for their actions…the higher the score, the higher the desired engagement. You can then match these user segments to valuable insights like Average Room Rate Booked (are high engagement site visitors also big spenders?), Geo-Source (how does engagement vary by country or city), etc… these are all things that can ultimately help you understand your customer better and improve your hotel website and internet offering.

There we go… two very simple ideas, but ones that can be re-purposed and applied at will (preferably creatively!) for happier employees, happier guests and higher profits for hotel owners.

6 comments on “Rethinking Hotel Guest Satisfaction and Hotel Website Analytics

  1. Doctorjyot

    Experiential Marketing and Experiential Designs based on the customers / consumers / users feedback will improve the product and services satisfaction delivery. Although many of the satisfaction can not be quantified, a qualitative measures will do wonders. Is the customer relationship representative, receptionist, room boy, door man, luggageboy, food services, food delivery time, food quality & varieties, and so many things will count to really deliver satisfaction to Hotel Guest.Dr Jyot, Baroda, Gujarat India

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  2. Fernando Daguerre

    Let start with AAA standards are fake for the most part. I’m a Guest Services Manager in a property with very good reputation and I know how things work from the inside. The AAA inspector come to the each property they ask for the GM at the front desk before the inspect anything. After that they take a tour of the hotel and the AAA inspector gives us the four diamonds rating simple as that. It is all political since AAA doesn’t want to any upset anyone in the service industry for being afraid of compromise their business. At the same time the nationwide standards are going to the toilet. This is part of the way we act as society just acting out of hypocrisy and playing the system all the time instead of try to sincerely excel to our best. This extent to most of the professions in this country now and that is what it makes other countries in the word the opportunity for over perform us in many ways including services. Who doesn’t believe that customer service is just bad in this country? Have you go to Home depot or Lowes recently or call to your phone provider or TV service to ask for assistance. It is clear disconnection between the CEO massage and operation plan and the middle management of most of the large companies in this country and it is caused for what I like to call inability to put in practice the company philosophy. This analysis could continue for some time but I like to conclude that honesty could be a new and revolutionary way of doing business in this country with extraordinary results for the long run livelihood of the business.
    Fernando Daguerre

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  3. We couldn’t agree more — We are in the inception of our Social Media Program for Crowne Plaza Dallas Downtown. We have monitored many competitors who simply push out content, but do not “listen” or monitor sentiment and actually interact with their followers once content is pushed out. That, to us, is the value of social media — you can learn from your customers, make your business better, and empower them to evangelize your business for you. 🙂

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  4. Yannis Anastasakis

    This is very interesting and correct stuff. I own a consultancy (www.ehotelworks.com) and for the last couple of years I have been doing a major project with a company called Avvio in the UK. These guys have a product called Brand Karma that crawls the likes of TripAdvisor and also social media like Fb and Tw, and picks up references to any hotel. It then trends what is being said and profiles (with scoring) the performance of a hotel in whatever it is that is being discussed; it also pigeon-holes the psychological profile of the person that wrote!

    Obviously Avvio have a set of actions that they can take to improve performance in the media – which actually has visible results – but the point is that this kind of technology is available and proven to be useful!

    On the other hand, I can understand why hoteliers aren’t all positioned (or interested) to have a look at all this. It isn’t always easy, but I am certain we will eventually get there 🙂

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  5. Rebma0609

    I think my boss should take a look at this. It may improve our customer service and customer satisfaction. People are really more inclined to a positive response if they feel like the person they are talking to really cares and actuallylistens instead of giving the customer a blow off answer like ” That is toobad”, or I’m sorry to hear that” really listen to the customer. Care about their feelings and their problems. Do for them what you would want done for you, and truely follow through with that. Then the customer and the guest willboth leave on a positive note. Thanks Amber T. HOLIDAY Inn Express And Suites in Wheat Ridge Colorado. Go Broncos!

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  6. Great Article and very inspiring. I believe in that you gain customers by their trust and satisfaction.

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