Optimizing User Feedback

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

Your site could and should encourage feedback from your users. It makes sense to hear what people have to say. The more you listen, the sooner you can create a user experience that really connects.

Feedback is particularly important for the marketing team working on your site. They need to listen carefully to their audience. They need to understand what your users want and what they need in order to understand what upsets or pleases them. After all, if you don't know whom you are talking to, how on earth do you know what to say to them?

At the end of the day the key objective of most web sites in the hospitality sector is help boost revenues as an alternate reservation channel or to support and enhance the organizations marketing and advertising efforts as well as strengthen the organization's relationship with its customers. And because relationships are dynamic, what web site users need today to build a strong relationship with your hotel may be different from that of tomorrow.

By continuously listening to and responding to what users like and don't like about your property and/or its e-commerce media, a strong relationship is created that turns users into repeat customers and repeat customers into loyal advocates - in effect, your users become "in the trenches" visionaries for your hotel as well as advance scouts and pro bono consultants so to speak.

The key to building such loyalty is not only discovering these previously invisible connectors, but also knowing how to use them to increase the bond between the organization and the user. The deeper the bond, the greater the value each brings to the relationship, and the stronger the brand.

When organizations regard users as long-term assets, they maximize this exchange of value. By listening to users, responding to them and collaborating on what the relationship means from their point of view, an organization not only increases the web site's ROI, it gains other valuable benefits such as user advocacy, brand loyalty and trust.

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Coming up in November 2018...

Architecture & Design: Expecting the Unexpected

There are more than 700,000 hotels and resorts worldwide and the hotel industry is continually looking for new ways to differentiate its properties. In some cases, hotels themselves have become travel destinations and guests have come to expect the unexpected - to experience the touches that make the property unlike any other place in the world. To achieve this, architects and designers are adopting a variety of strategies to meet the needs of every type of guest and to provide incomparable customer experiences. One such strategy is site-integration - the effort to skillfully marry a hotel to its immediate surroundings. The goal is to honor the cultural location of the property, and to integrate that into the hotel's design - both inside and out. Constructing low-impact structures that blend in with the environment and incorporating local natural elements into the design are essential to this endeavor. Similarly, there is an ongoing effort to blur the lines between interior and exterior spaces - to pull the outside in - to enable guests to connect with nature and enjoy beautiful, harmonious surroundings at all times. Another design trend is personalization - taking the opportunity to make every space within the hotel original and unique. The days of matching decor and furniture in every room are gone; instead, designers are utilizing unexpected textures, mix-and-match furniture, diverse wall treatments and tiles - all to create a more personalized and fresh experience for the guest. Finally, lobbies are continuing to evolve. They are being transformed from cold, impersonal, business-like spaces into warm, inviting, living room-like spaces, meant to provide comfort and to encourage social interaction. These are a few of the current trends in the fields of hotel architecture and design that will be examined in the November issue of the Hotel Business Review.