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 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.