Transforming Online Customer Insights Into Action
By Jerry Tarasofsky CEO, iPerceptions Inc. | January 27, 2012
You need to have a mechanism in place that can capture the true feelings of your visitors. It makes perfect common sense to hear and listen to what people have to say. The more you listen, the sooner you can take action to create an experience that really connects with your guests. Feedback is particularly important for the marketing team working on your site. To be effective, your marketing team needs to get inside the hearts and minds of your customers to discover the issues that matter most to them - in real-time and with exact details. They need to know what if any changes to the site might enhance the customer's level of satisfaction. They need to be able to listen to what customers have to say and paint a picture of the strengths and weaknesses of your visitor's experience. Once you understand who, when, and why visitors are coming to your site, if you have the right analytics, you can start to predict the key criteria of user satisfaction. As well, listening helps you track trends and create benchmarks to assess how your site stacks up against the competition and aggregated industry norms.
If you aren't listening to your customers then how on earth do you know what to say to them?
The key objective of most web sites in the hospitality sector is to increase revenues via online reservations. Secondary objectives are focused on supporting and enhancing your marketing and advertising efforts as well as strengthening your property's relationship with its customers. And because relationships are dynamic, what you need today to build a strong relationship with your customer may be very different from that of tomorrow so you not only have to listen to your customers, you need to do it on a continuous basis - something we call "continuous listening".
By continuously listening to and responding to what users like and don't like about your property and/or its e-commerce media, you create a strong bond with your customer that turns visitors into repeat customers and repeat customers into loyal advocates - in effect, your users become "in the trenches" visionaries for your hotel as well as advance scouts and pro bono consultants so to speak.
The key to building such loyalty is not only discovering these previously invisible connectors, but also knowing how to use them to increase the relationship with your site visitor. The deeper the bond, the greater the value each brings to the relationship, and the stronger the bond.
When organizations regard site visitors as long-term assets, they maximize this exchange of value. By listening to site visitors, responding to them and collaborating on what the relationship means from their point of view, you not only increases your web site's ROI, you gain other valuable benefits such as user advocacy, brand loyalty and trust.