In any industry, striving for customer loyalty is central. And earning that loyalty depends strongly on the customer experience. For hotels, resorts and other businesses in the hospitality sector, delivering exceptional customer experiences is essential to earning repeat patronage, personal referrals and word-of-mouth marketing.
Retaining customers is generally easier and more cost-effective than winning new ones. But brands aren’t always successful. Consider, for example, findings from customer relationship management firm experience showing that nearly 40 percent of travelers return regularly to one particular destination, but fewer than 10 percent of them repeat a stay at the same property.
While it’s safe to assume that some want a different experience each time, it’s also a safe assumption that many simply weren’t delighted with their previous stay. So, the customer experience fell short.
Today, the digital age makes it easy to collect customer data at numerous points of contact. That data can be a treasure trove of information about what your customers do and don’t want, gaining valuable insights into how to improve their customer experience. Tapping in just requires the decision and the know-how to analyze the data and the willingness to apply what you learn.
What is Customer Data?
Customer data is any personal information about your guests or other consumers. It includes contact information like home addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers—usually the first data any brand collects. It also typically includes demographic info like age, birthday, family size, occupation, income, and nationality. Plus, it may involve information about transaction histories, travel or spending habits, hobbies, dining preferences, what services they use during a hotel stay, how customers make travel or purchasing decisions and more.
Where Does Customer Data Come From?
There are lots of ways to collect the various types of customer data, and much of it happens digitally. People often provide contact information when filling out a form or subscribing to a newsletter on your website or when making a reservation. Data can be collected via analytics for your website, blog, social media pages, and online advertising, too. However, the most useful and in-depth data is directly solicited. This can be done by asking questions of your customers in person or on social media, with feedback cards at your property, with online or printed customer surveys or with similar methods.
How Do You Use Customer Data to Improve the Customer Experience?
The possibilities here are practically endless. For starters, customer data allows you to personalize your marketing efforts, which makes them much more effective. You’re able to address people’s particular pain points and desires, speaking to them in relevant ways and making offers they’re more likely to appreciate. You can also tailor products and services; hone a loyalty program; develop more engaging and compelling social media pages, blog content, and ads; and make improvements to your processes based on what your guests or customers like and don’t like about the existing ones.
Looking to Improve Your Hospitality Brand’s Customer Experience?
Making smart use of customer data is a great way to improve your hotel’s customer experience, but don’t overlook the basics, like assembling a stellar staff. Contact the staffing experts at Gecko Hospitality to discuss your needs and let us help you recruit your next top talent.