Russell Of Hotels

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Who owns the Guests?

             by Russell L. Edmond

           by Russell L. Edmond

Google, Amazon & AirBNB — Which is the biggest threat to take your customers/guests? The obvious choice would be AirBNB since they operate within the same space as Hotels. But take it a step further. Who else is trying to get into the Travel/Hospitality space? Yes! Google & Amazon. Who owns a lot of your Data and knows your buying habits? Yes, Google & Amazon! What are we doing as Hospitality Professionals to keep our Guests? Question: Are you still using the same resources to attract new clients? Are you moving Market Share or are you just advertising and promoting your brand to the same guests who are now buying the same product or service at a cheaper price or rate? These challenges are what keeps at least two CEO’s from the largest Hotel Companies in the world up at night. Remember, without compromising anyone's privacy, receiving good Customer Data is the key. Are we investing in using new Technology? For example, GEOFencing or WIFI Targeting? Don’t know what it is? Look it up! Have we even totally immersed ourselves in Social Media, meaning are we “posting” & engaging with our guests on an ongoing and consistence basis? Most of us are not! The roles of a Director of Sales & Marketing & General Manager have changed. No longer can you sit in your office or in meetings the better part of the day, these are the days of gathering Big Data, Personalization, Engagement & Connecting on an Emotional level with our current & potential guests. Connecting on an emotional level is what we have over Google, Amazon & AirBNB. How many times has a representative from Google, Amazon or even AirBNB called and thanked you or asked you anything about your purchase or stay? As Hotel leaders, our guests come into our hotels daily and we are able to connect with them on an emotional level,. We have a captive audience; however, some of us don’t realize the power of the information that can be received from our guests. Branded hotels with their Loyalty Programs have it a little easier; however, even those programs need to be revamped and offer greater perks for your loyal Guests. The better the Loyalty program, the better the Data you will receive. That’s where the Personalization comes in. I haven’t even addressed the Lifestyle or Indie Hotels who don’t consistently partner with Loyalty programs. Bottom line, if we don’t begin thinking outside our Hospitality boxes, we too will be up at night wondering why companies that are not hospitality driven are owning our Guests.

Russell Edmond