Big Data for Hoteliers

By Frank Vertolli Co-Founder, Net Conversion | August 18, 2013

Co-authored by Ryan Fitzgerald, Co-Founder, Net Conversion

"Companies have access to vastly more information than they used to, it comes from many more different sources than before, and they can get it almost as soon as it's generated." - The Wall Street Journal

There is an ever-increasing amount of guest intelligence available to hoteliers, and it can be overwhelming. Big data is a hot topic across business sectors, but in many ways the travel industry has been a data-rich channel for years. Make it more manageable, and effective, by getting back to the basics and evaluating current data as it relates to your goals.

Big Data is a Journey, Not a Destination

It's true, and it doesn't matter where you are on the journey. Start simple. We find when working with our clients that most hotels and resorts already have a substantial amount of data. It's just not organized and accessible. Using the tips and tools below, you can gather a surprising amount of data on your consumers and begin to put together the puzzle of who is coming to your website, who is staying with you and how they are getting there.

  • Website Metrics - The website is the most important consumer touch point, outside of the travel experience itself, as it offers the most comprehensive source of what your business has to offer, branded your way. Also, travelers are often in the early stages of the planning process when they visit your website. This is a gold mine for data, from click throughs to bounce rates, and other behavior.

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Coming up in April 2019...

Guest Service: A Culture of YES

In a recent global consumers report, 97% of the participants said that customer service is a major factor in their loyalty to a brand, and 76% said they view customer service as the true test of how much a company values them. And since there is no industry more reliant on customer satisfaction than the hotel industry, managers must be unrelenting in their determination to hire, train and empower the very best people, and to create a culture of exceptional customer service within their organization. Of course, this begins with hiring the right people. There are people who are naturally service-oriented; people who are warm, empathetic, enthusiastic, pleasant, thoughtful and optimistic; people who take pride in their ability to solve problems for the hotel guests they are serving. Then, those same employees must be empowered to solve problems using their own judgment, without having to track down a manager to do it. This is how seamless problem solving and conflict resolution are achieved in guest service. This willingness to empower employees is part of creating a Culture of Yes within an organization.  The goal is to create an environment in which everyone is striving to say “Yes”, rather than figuring out ways to say, “No”. It is essential that this attitude be instilled in all frontline, customer-facing, employees. Finally, in order to ensure that the hotel can generate a consistent level of performance across a wide variety of situations, management must also put in place well-defined systems and standards, and then educate their employees about them. Every employee must be aware of and responsible for every standard that applies in their department. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.