Sunday, June 16, 2024

You Don’t Really Care About Your Guests

Not one hotelier really cares about their guests.

Otherwise – the industry wouldn’t have let, Expedia, TripAdvisor etc. run roughshod over the entire marketplace. It wasn’t disruption – it was takeover. And you all gave up on your customers – you’ve let them be forced through a price driven ‘farmers market’ of decision making – completely out of your control.

Otherwise – the industry wouldn’t spend millions believing that digital technology will save the day – will create better ‘experiences’ for customers and potential customers. Ignoring the fact, that all is really happening is that you are all bastardising each other’s revenue and putting it straight in the hands of digital monoliths who don’t care about customers either.

Otherwise – you wouldn’t be looking to connect with ‘influencers’, who care little for their followers and even less about you.

Otherwise – the industry wouldn’t be turning into the airline industry – creating an ever more obvious segmentation of people into the have’s and have nots. Trying every trick in the digital workbook “only 5 left at this price”, “last room available”… it smacks of desperation.

Otherwise – you wouldn’t be asking for TripAdvisor reviews, you’d be confident that people would return and would tell their friends and would do it without being prompted

Take back control of your industry.

Treat people like people, like adults. Go back to good old fashioned customer service. Create digital experiences that don’t focus on conversions, that focus on informing and building a relationship. Demand different ideas and levels of planning from your partners and agencies. Demand that leaders in the sector start really challenging what is becoming the digital norm.

Talk to people, to guests and customers – not through benign surveys and data capture, through conversations and anecdotal feedback.

Trust in your experience as hoteliers. Get back to what created the industry in the first place– providing a service and experiences that one could not get at home, that took people out of the day to day and into (however briefly) another place.

Trust yourself to develop your own experiences, take control of your digital footprint, make it about your customers and you – that symbiotic relationship – not about software, platforms, influencers and surveys.

You can if you want – or maybe you are all happy with the way things are?

Dave McRobbie
Dave McRobbie
Dave McRobbie is digital strategist, working with digital agencies and direct clients to help them better understand how they can meet ever changing customer demands and expectations. He has worked within media, fintech, digital and public sectors and has led programmes as diverse as the creation of specialised social care services for the government and the NHS, through to the design and build of hotel booking engines. Currently working on several different projects including a new digital product launch, he tries to ignore the delivery mechanism and focus on the service a human receives but he is easily distracted by new music and old wine. He speaks at a number of industry events and can be found on Linkedin, Medium and Twitter (@davemcrob).

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