Data analysis is one of the most powerful tools available to hotel owners and investors, and those seeking innovative ways to enhance the hospitality experience.
By identifying and understanding guest preferences, and anticipating their needs, hotels can deliver elevated, highly-tailored guest experiences sure to surprise and delight, or at least engage guests on a new level.
Hotels collect a variety of guest data throughout the lifecycle of a hotel stay. Loyalty programs, booking processes, staff interaction, guest surveys, and social media are all opportunities to collect actionable guest intelligence. Data analysis can provide useful insights regarding everything from personalized guest rooms and experiences, to flexible room design, to adaptable public spaces, and community-based design, all of which can be catered to the unique preferences of the guest.
Personalization is Key
“Are you traveling for business, or pleasure, or both?” The response could be used to inform the selection of a room with appropriate furniture – one with ample workspace, relaxation space, or both. Some hotels are designing flexible rooms, which use customizable or modular furniture arrangements that accommodate the guest who plans to work, relax, and socialize in their room. Understanding the traveler and their intent can be used in countless ways to customize the guest experience, including everything from accommodations, to hospitable gestures, to recommended amenities and activities, and more.
Many hoteliers use predictive analytics to forecast future demand and adjust pricing and availability accordingly. This helps maximize revenue while still offering guests appropriate value. The same data can be used to enhance the guest experience. By analyzing past trends in booking, and identifying key future phenomena — like upcoming major sporting events — a hotel can predict when and why travelers might be booking rooms and offer programing or promotions likely to appeal to those guests. Holiday weekends, big local festivals, major sporting events, and tradeshows all draw significant crowds with predictable travel intent. Travelers visiting the area to see their team take on a major rival are likely to consider their experience elevated by some good-spirited gamification around the hotel.
Adaptable Public Spaces
Occupancy, usage, revenue, and customer feedback are all useful in understanding the performance of public spaces like lobbies, fitness areas, conference rooms, ballrooms, and outdoor spaces. Data can provide useful insights and support informed decision-making regarding proposed improvements. How frequently are spaces used, by whom, and for what? If a lounge area is consistently overcrowded at certain times of the day – during breakfast or happy hour, for instance – the hotel may consider repurposing or reconfiguring adjacent space to improve circulation. The hotel might also develop multifunctional spaces, which can serve diverse purposes throughout the day, week, month, or year. Using a single space for multiple purposes can maximize its value to the hotel while elevating the guest experience through enhanced amenities.
Hotels can use community-based design to build better connections with guests based on their needs, preferences, and behaviors. Demographic data, such as age, income, education level, cultural background, and spending habits can inform decisions about which amenities to offer or which design elements to incorporate. If a hotel typically attracts an older clientele, it may be beneficial to design common areas with more comfortable seating and softer lighting; hotels frequented by young professionals tend to incorporate modern, trendy design features. Some hotels are using emerging technology, such as internet of things (“IoT”) sensors and devices to control room features, such as lighting, temperature, and entertainment. Enhancements like these may be appealing to some guests and disagreeable to others. Surveys, focus groups, and social media analysis can all be used to gather input from, and about, key guest demographics, which should be incorporated into the design process.
Wellness and Other Guest Experiences
Wellness amenities offer lots of flexibility in terms of scalability and customization to meet guest preferences. Which amenities or services are most interesting and attractive to guests? Which are unused or underused? Hotels can record and analyze usage data to determine which wellness amenities and activities their guests in general find most engaging. A step more sophisticated, savvy operators might also use data research and analysis to craft recommendations customized for specific individuals. These might include healthy dining options that cater to a guest’s dietary needs, fitness plans calibrated to conditioning levels, interest-based activities like mountain biking or kayaking, or unique experiences like digital detox programs featuring guestrooms devoid of technological temptations.
The key to delighting a guest is understanding their preferences and needs, and tailoring their experience accordingly. Data analysis can provide useful insights to inform design and renovation plans, and help hoteliers capitalize on insights about their guests. Do you have a wealth of data about your guests? Are you looking for new ways to use that to enhance their experience? Contact us today, and let’s start exploring the possibilities for your next renovation.