The Wired Hotel: Getting to Know Your Visitors

By Jerry Tarasofsky CEO, iPerceptions Inc. | January 27, 2012

Understanding who your web site visitors and customers are, what they want to do, how they tend to behave and if they've had a rewarding experience at your web site does not necessarily have to be a complicated process.

To develop a deeper understanding of who your visitors are and learn how to create a site that accommodates their wants and needs, you should now or in the very short time commit to the ongoing development of a solution to monitor customer satisfaction and their web site experience.

Let's face it - web sites are designed by people, for people. For a site to succeed, it must attract and please your visitors and customers. If a site is intended for, or targeted to a particular type of visitor, then the appeal and functionality of your site must be optimized for that type of individual. If your site is intended for a particular type of visitor ie. a business traveller, then an obvious measure of the site's success is the extent to which the business traveller's needs and desires are met. When you get right down to the basics, the best way to understand if that business traveler's needs were met is to ask them.

On the net, the visitor is king and you should be using your site to engage them in a dialogue. You can't assume by simply watching what they do that you know what they are thinking. Even more important, every opportunity you give your customers and visitors to interact with you is another opportunity to extend your relationship with them and increase lifetime customer value. It builds goodwill and fosters a sense of community that is so critical if you want to increase visit frequency to your site.

There are many ways to get to know your visitors.

The first and most obvious is to ask them for input. Why not place a "feedback" button on every page of your site or in the site's navigation bar. Every touch point is another opportunity to collect visitor feedback. Depending on the nature and structure of your site, you may want to solicit customers, visitors, or both. If you do provide this feature you must ensure that people who have submitted comments or require feedback receive response within 24 hours. It is also an excellent idea to acknowledge their feedback, even by using auto-responder type e-mail.

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Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.