5 Major Determinants of Success in the Hotel Business
Category Analysis – Hotels
Region – USA
In the past decade, the gross hotel booking economy has expanded from $116 billion to $185 billion in the US alone! On the global front, the number of establishments in the hotel industry is expected to reach the mark of 406,059 by 2022, resulting in the CAGR touching 2.34%. Interestingly, within the industry, luxury hotels have emerged as the fastest-growing segment with a CAGR of 3.79%, while Budget Hotels are experiencing a slowdown with a CAGR of 1.54%.
This report offers an in-depth analysis of the hotel industry while, at the same time, factoring in the perception drivers, emerging trends, customer beliefs, and more in order to identify the investment opportunities.
The analysis is based on customer reviews and conversations online in the segment. The analysis results presented are completely unbiased and not based on any subjective judgement. The source data used for the analysis are user conversations available publicly online like public forums and social media.
Total number of customer conversations analyzed
Top 5 Perception Drivers
What is Customer Perception?
Perception is an awareness or an understanding of a particular thing. Consumer perception plays a vital role in the consumer behavior thereby affecting the demand for a product. Hence it becomes key to understand the attitude that influences consumer behavior.
Through a detailed analysis of 40,338 traveler and guest conversations, Clootrack has created a list of the top five guest perception drivers that visitors consider before booking a hotel room.
Here are the top 5 factors that guests consider while booking a hotel:
1. Buffet Breakfast
A large breakfast spread can offer additional comfort to your guests’ stay. A survey by Hotels.com indicated that a breakfast buffet is one of the most important hotel amenity that customers look for when booking accommodation.
Hygienic and attractive food stations and a wide variety of food options are crucial for your hospitality business. Customers are expressing a predilection towards visually pleasing presentation and serving of food.
Quite naturally, customers will be put off if they walk into dirty, unmaintained rooms and bathrooms. Customers expect clean and tidy rooms, which is not only restricted to the condition of the room itself but also of the bathroom.
In fact, studies indicate that about 75% of hotel guests judge the cleanliness of the hotel by the condition of the bathroom. Further, 84% of guests examine the bathroom within 15 seconds of entering the room. Hence, cleanliness is of the utmost importance.
Additionally, clean, freshly laundered sheets, pillows, and blankets will leave a positive impact on the customers. Offer regular housekeeping services to ensure stringent cleanliness levels are met. From cutlery to bedding – everything must be in a spick and span condition.
Most customer conversations revolve around the service provided to them during their stay. Hence, it is not only important to promise a host of services, but it is also equally important to deliver on the same.
Basic services include online booking of rooms, room details along with images, flexible check-in and check-out timings, and booking assistance. The more services you offer, the higher your customer satisfaction will be.
Additional services like free Wi-Fi, laundry, access to a gymnasium, or pick-up and drop-off services can also make your hotel stand out.
4. Staff Behavior
Your staff is the point of contact between your customers and your business. Hence, staff behavior is of the utmost importance to give the customer a memorable experience. Customers will expect polite and professional exchanges, so they have a pleasant stay.
As a business owner, you may want to ensure that your staff undergoes basic training with respect to customer handling, while also grooming their soft skills simultaneously.
When a traveler thinks of boarding at a hotel, all they wish to do is show up, check-in, and unwind. However, they will not be happy if they spend a big chunk of their travel time in locating the hotel! This is why the location of your hotel is of extreme importance. For this reason, travelers look for centrally-located hotels, which is well-connected to main attractions, local markets, and eateries. Visitors prefers to have a quiet and a comfortable location to experience a memorable stay during their vacation.
Top 4 Emerging Trends
Due to the fact that an increasing number of individuals are choosing to explore foreign locations, hotels are doing what it takes to enhance their experience.
Be it adding local experiences or guided tours of the location, hotels are going the extra mile in terms of offering customer satisfaction.
Here are a few emerging trends that can redefine the way hotels conduct business:
1. Choice of eco-friendly hotels
With the general population becoming more environmentally conscious, customer conversations are more focused on sustainable and eco-friendly hotel options.
Green hotels have created a niche for themselves by being erected from eco-friendly materials. They also offer features like low-flow water outlets, LED bulb lighting, presence of recycling bins, reusable dishes and utensils, and even making use of locally-sourced ingredients!
2. Use of technology
Technology is ruling our lives, and hotels recognize the importance of technology in attracting prospective guests. Proper use of technology can facilitate self-check-in and check-out using electronic kiosks, online payments, and even online booking, which offers great convenience to the guests.
Rooms equipped with Internet of Things (IoT) elements like Amazon’s Alexa allows the guests to simply speak out their requests and be served in an instant.
The introduction of technology also improves the efficiency and functioning of your hotel. A number of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) suites are available, that help in managing the internal processes.
3. Use of water-saving technologies
The efficient management of water is the responsibility of the hotel. Guests should be able to avail the services that your hotel offers without negatively impacting the planet, especially its water resources.
Hotels can introduce technologies like low-flow toilets, low-flow showerheads, and aerators on the sinks. Additionally, large-scale water conservation measures can include the recycling of greywater. These steps will also cut down your utility bills by as much as 10%.
4. Gourmet food options
Travelers are stepping out to experience the true culture and cuisines of the destination and surrounding areas. They are looking for unique experiences, and food forms a vital part of this experience.
Food tourism is emerging as a new global trend, and hotels can offer gourmet food options to tickle the palates of their visitors. Remember, guests wish to see a greater variety and fancier food items on their plates.
Brand must reflect customer beliefs. When it comes to convincing consumers, the secret is to understand the consumer beliefs and their behavior. This will eventually lead you to know what a buyer wants from your business. A customer has a deep understanding of what they want from a product.
What do consumers believe in?
To offer a memorable stay, hotels must know what goes on in the guests’ minds, so they can improve or avoid common errors while enhancing what works in their favor. When it comes to booking a room at a hotel, guests have their own sets of beliefs. This helps them identify which hotel they may select.
Here are some common customer beliefs:
1. Extensive breakfast buffet is a sign of a good hotel
Travelers often believe that an extensive breakfast buffet indicates that they are opting for a good hotel. It reinforces their belief that they are receiving value-for-money services and that the hotel will not be a let down on their expectations.
2. Friendly hotel staff overcomes the other shortcomings
While high-tech hotels are in demand, it is the high-touch hotels that enjoy greater preference. Pleasant human-to-human interaction will make the guest feel more at home and safe at the hotel. The importance of friendly and helpful staff is so great that it overcomes any other shortcomings.
3. Bathroom hygiene is questionable in hotels
The guests are of the belief that hotels will not be able to meet their expectations in terms of offering a hygienic bathroom. Most of the negative reviews for hotels, when collected across platforms, indicate “bathroom” as a primary factor.
Thus analyzing customer conversations reveals a lot about what customers think while they book a hotel. Depending on how well you analyze your customer conversations, you can make a massive benefit to your business.
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