By Helena Murphy on March 22, 2016 at 10:00 AM
This month we're dedicating our blog to the various ways you can increase revenue. One way to get there is by getting a handle on your target guest. Understanding who your guests are is so important if you're going to deliver a guest experience that will have them coming back time and again and spreading the good word.
When was the last time you looked at what motivates your guests to book? What is it about your property or location that many of your guests find compelling? The chances are you can answer these questions using data you already have. Here are a few ways to do it:
Your property’s online reviews is the best place to find this valuable guest information. Guests always mention things they liked, disliked, and what could have been better. Use this information to your advantage and tailor experiences around their commentary.
How often do you ask guests to fill out a satisfaction survey only to get half hearted answers. Online reviews are no holds barred so you know they're being open. There are many ways you can tap into your guests’ interests through reviews. Maybe you’re in close proximity to museums or famous landmarks. If so, you can offer pass deals or local information on them at the frontdesk. Or perhaps you attract the adventurous type who want experiences tailored to thrilling activities.
Use all your reviews (positive, negative, or neutral) to find what matters most to your guests. No property’s guests are exactly the same and that’s a great thing. Everyone has different expectations and interests vary, but it helps to categorize what your guests care about. After you understand their wants and needs, you can better target them.
Google Analytics is arguably one of the most powerful web analytics applications available today whether you are an expert or just a beginner. And even better, it's entirely free! The fact that hoteliers can understand the behavior of their guests when they visit their hotel website makes Google Analytics one of the most necessary tools for hoteliers. For many hotel owners and general managers knowing just a few more things about their guests could easily lead to more revenue.
Why Should Hoteliers Use Google Analytics?
It's a very powerful and accurate application for tracking traffic patterns on your hotel website. Let's say that your website looks like this:
You have a nice and simple navigation bar with a few options, "Home", "Rooms", and more. Wouldn't you want to know if your website visitors are clicking more on "Rooms" or "Services"? Or even more interesting, wouldn't it be great to know if those who go to the "Services" are more likely to go for "Special Offers" compared to those who go to "Rooms" instead?
Knowing that could help you understand that maybe there is something more interesting in the "Services" section of your website and maybe you can learn from it. Simple information like that could help you get a few more direct bookings from your website in a month (or even more) and that means more revenue.
Read our beginners guide to Google Analytics here.
The interesting part is that you really don't need to be an analytics expert to see what's happening in your website.
On the surface, target deals and offers seem simple. But, you need dig into the data to find out what your guests actually want. Good surveys with well written questions can help you get the information you need.
Facebook’s page insights are another great place to look for data. With over a billion people on the platform, Facebook has done a great job of helping marketer’s target groups of people. If you navigate to your page, and click “Insights” on the top navigation, you’ll be taken to a dashboard. On the left hand side, you’ll see a vertical list. Click ‘People’ all the way at bottom.
You’ll then be taken to a screen that shows you a snapshot of people who like your page. It includes what percentage are men and women, as well as what country, city, and language they speak. All of this information is helpful in the same way Google Analytics is helpful. For example, let’s say your followers are all from Brazil. What are deals and offers you can promote to entice that group of people to stay with you?
Understanding the nature of your guests’ trips will help you offer tailored deals and experiences to future guests. Perhaps your property attracts foodies because your city is filled with world class restaurants. If this is true, then you can offer guests exclusive deals or experiences with a few restaurants to entice them to stay with you.
As you look into your existing data from various different sources, you will start to see similarities. Use these similarities to understand what your guests want, and then give it to them. As soon as you understand who you’re marketing to, it will be much easier to dial into what’s relevant to them.