Little Known Ways to Impact Occupancy with Killer Customer Service
By John Ely Senior Vice President of Marketing, Signature Worldwide | February 20, 2010
An "evoked set" is a textbook marketing term for the options you decide to choose from when making a purchasing decision. Often, consumers mentally organize their evoked sets in order of preference. For travelers, it's hotels they already are aware of, and think well of, when considering a reservation.
Naturally, as a frequent traveler, I have an evoked set of hotels in mind when I go to central Florida. Some are luxury hotels and resorts, others are near the convention center, and still others are used when traveling strictly for business. Each one has made my evoked set list for a specific reason. Most are there because they have provided a memorable level of customer service that has exceeded my expectations on at least one previous trip. In fact, for all segments of the travel industry, most of the companies that make my evoked set are based on the quality of customer service I've experienced in the past.
This trip is for business purposes, and while I won't give you the name of my chosen hotel here, if you are a regular reader of my blog, I'm sure you'll figure it out. I've had great experiences at this hotel, which is why I'm staying again. Hoteliers should never forget that every guest interaction is an opportunity to affect customer loyalty, and thus occupancy. This is particularly important to remember, given that in this economy, we are all fighting for the same, limited customer pool.
Future occupancy rates are directly impacted by the way a guest feels about his or her experience today. Even small things can make a huge difference. If I feel someone has gone out of their way to help me, it makes an impression.
For example, I remember a guest services representative taking time to help me find a local attraction near the hotel. This saved me precious time both in looking for information, and in finding the best directions. And, on another trip, when I got to a hotel four hours early, the GSR called housekeeping immediately to clean my room instead of making me wait until the "proper" check-in time! Both of these instances occurred several years ago and while I don't expect that level of service all the time, it is no surprise that each of those hotels has earned its spot on my evoked set - and has earned my repeat business.
Here are some tips that impact customer experience today and help your property end up on your customer's evoked set: