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In any business, it is all too easy to fall into the trap of viewing guests and customers as being ‘transactions.’  With revenue goals often being the dominant business strategy, these pressures can cause any major hotel property to focus only on increasing guest transactions.  When this happens, the guest is reduced to a number on a spreadsheet.

But, is something missing with systems that lack integration across properties and brands?

Thanks to a world of data that is available at any hotelier’s fingertips, there are highly effective ways of personalizing services to the point where front desk staff can wish a guest a happy birthday, correctly pronounce a guest’s last name, or make local restaurant suggestions based on real preferences.

While this level of personalization can be a challenge for large organizations – with unrelated systems across multiple touch points throughout a property – it is possible to mine this data and make it personalized and actionable for guests.

From a guest feedback perspective, Hospitality Technology recently ran a story about how hoteliers need to create measurable guest feedback programs – that expand beyond capturing online ‘rants and raves.’

As structured guest feedback program needs to be implemented to gain insights on where guests have been, where they are now, and what needs to be done to drive them to where they want to be.  A core component of this is tracking and understanding historical guest data, which can be tied to a valid goal-setting program.

A proper program requires statistics be collected on a consistent basis from a valid sample of guest experiences to determine the efficient use of its resources and a strategy on how to improve operations.  This is where hoteliers should consider extending beyond just analyzing online reviews, because it just does not provide the statistical validity needed to analyze guest experiences before, during and after a visit to a hotel.

A hotel’s ability to access its historical data and make connections to trends are imperative to operational issues and short- and long-term investment decisions.

By implementing a proper guest feedback program, a hotel will gain deeper knowledge of their next move and gain an advantage over their competition – especially to those hotels that rely only on transparent online feedback.