HOTEL-AN EXPERIENCE RELIVED AND ENRICHED


By
Dr. Padma Srinivasan
Faculty-MBA Finance Area
The Oxford College of Engineering
Bangalore
E-mail:
padma@sindhucargo.com
 


Key words:
Customer's experience, Hotel experience, Services Marketing

Introduction:

Hotels as a concept originated in the 6th century BC in the form of inns. These were run by couples and provided sleeping arrangements in big rooms similar to today's dormitories in youth hostels. Hotels as is known today emerged in Switzerland and were patronized by aristocracy, in England inns catered to mobility and taverns to common man. A hotel is defined as a "Place where a traveler can receive food & shelter provided he can pay for it" 

Hotels provide the ambience and entertainment a customer requires after a tiring day. It soothes the minds and gives them an experience wholesome with food, board and shopping to while away his time gainfully. After all, he carries back these as memoirs with only the hotel bills. The customer also comes back to the same hotel only because of the earlier experience. All hotels therefore try to give him the delight he anticipates. It helps the business to grow, to include more services and develop brands that survive despite global onslaught.

WHAT MOTIVATES THE CUSTOMER TO GO TO HOTELS:

The customers visit or stay at the hotels for varied reasons. Some of them could be:

    1. Home away from home: The customer may hail from another part of the region/ nation. So to have the homely comforts, he may visit / stay with the hotel on his personal/business pretext.

    2. Business networking: The customer may feel it necessary to meet his business contacts outside his office premises formally or informally. A hotel may suit his purpose and facilitate the communication and networks.

    3. Professional needs:  Due to his work needs or professional aspirations, a customer may visit a hotel. To gain additional knowledge also, he may visit a conference hall of the hotel or the art galleries.

    4. Esteem needs:  At times he wishes to be at the right place to enhance his esteem. So no longer he goes to hotels for board and lodge.

    5. Psychological satisfaction: The customer would just prefer to be around to give him a Psychological pep and zeal

    6. Boredom: The customer may visit a hotel along with his friends / family to while away the time and rejuvenate his body and mind.

    7. Hotel promos: Feeling curious on the ongoing events or a new shop opened, he may visit. Special themes of promos or food fests may attract him

    8. Promoters: When hotel have been floated by famous personalities like Sachin Tendulkar, the customer may be motivated to go to hotels.

    9. Research: Searching for some data/ clues may also motivate a customer to visit the hotel.

    10. Themes: The customers may attracted by the theme of the hotel and visit the same hotel often.

    11. Shopping, Bar & multicuisine restaurants, Swimming pool, Spa, Gym, Therapy, Astrology, Business centers and other exclusive facilities may also motivate the customer to step into hotels.

    12. Special events, celebrations may also make

    13. Other unexplainable reasons: Without clearly attributing the reason, the customer may land into the hotel.

"The Hotel is a Unique Animal" The nature of the hotel beast is that of a living, breathing, 24-hour, labor-intensive, marketing-intensive animal. Moreover, hotels are real estate properties constantly under 'short-term leases, and always lag behind economic cycles.

ZONE OF SERVICE EXPECTATION AND TOLERANCE OF CUSTOM:

The customers tend to expect a service level matching their billing. He may wish to be treated as a King but knows that he can demand or dictate it. His esteem needs, play a significant motivator,

    * Expect that he should be recognized and wished with familiarity at the entrance
    * Personal attention of the Front Office manager/ executive
    * Initiation with a welcome gift like that of a drink, toast etc
    * Convenience in handling his accompanying guests
    * Careful handling of his belongings. Some use porters even if they carry light baggages.
    * Availability of upward transport and settling in the respective rooms with the activated Air-conditioning or room heating systems.

So the customers experience precedes his actual stay and the memoirs of the left over magic of the previous stay.

CUSTOMERS' MOTIVAOTORS LEADING TO ENRICHED EXPERIENCES:

Customer motivators/
Type of customers

Economy traveler

Business traveler

Leisure traveler

Location of hotel

35%

30%

40%

Room rate

20%

8%

12%

Previous experience

10%

10%

17%

Category of hotel

10%

18%

5%

Hotel services

5%

10%

11%

Loyalty program

2%

5%

7%

Advertisements, Promos

8%

5%

4%

Recommendations

6%

10%

3%

Other reasons

4%

4%

1%


* Source: Own survey on the hotels of Karnataka.

So it for the experience that the customer pays the hotel rather than for the intrinsic values of the service. If a hotel creates an experiential magic web around the customer, he comes back again and again and again. Welcome and Kudos to Relationship Marketing!!!!
 


Dr. Padma Srinivasan
Faculty-MBA Finance Area
The Oxford College of Engineering
Bangalore
E-mail:
padma@sindhucargo.com
 

Source : E-mail December 1, 2004

 

B A C K

 

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