How to Utilize Feedback Information to Secure Repeat Customers

By Richard D. Hanks Chairman and President, Mindshare Technologies | October 28, 2008

Chances are you're familiar with early 20th-century Italian economist Vilfredo Federico Damaso Pareto. Doesn't sound too familiar? Perhaps the "Pareto Principle" rings a bell?

Maybe you recognize it as the "80/20 rule." Pareto discovered that 80 percent of the land in Italy was owned by 20 percent of the population. That ratio seemed to manifest itself in other areas too, and today is widely adopted by businesses as a rule of thumb in many areas. For example, more often than not, roughly 80 percent of your sales will come from 20 percent of your client base.

For the lodging industry, this is a critical rule. Your loyal customers will look for your brand in every city they visit. If you really treat them right, they will go out of their way to find your hotel, even if it's in an inconvenient location.

The random, one-time transient guest is certainly critical, and a strong way to improve REVPAR is to put heads in beds. But, getting them to return over and over again is the best way to increase long-term profits.

The question then is: what turns a one-night resident into a frequent guest? You may think you have the answer within your existing operations - nice beds, clean rooms, friendly staff, tasty menu, etc. These are all important, but there may be something else your guests are looking for, something more subtle. Find out what that is, and they'll keep coming back.

Acquiring Customer Opinions

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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.