Before Redesigning the Lobby, Find Out What Business Travelers Really Want
Many brands have been fast at work inventing new approaches to stay ahead in an über-connected business travel world that is increasingly populated by Millennials. Everything from social media concierges and virtual cocktail bars to communal lobbies and apps connecting travelers in the same hotel have come on the scene. While catering to connected business travelers and Millennials is essential, a recent study shows that the basics are still what matter most to business travelers.
The study of review data and the attributes travelers use to select a hotel—undertaken by TrustYou and Donna Quadra-Felitti Ph.D., Director of the School of Hospitality Management at Pennsylvania State University—includes both leisure and business traveler considerations for various types of trips (i.e., romantic getaway, luxury business hotel, family beach vacation, and so forth).
For business travelers, cleanliness and wifi are “extremely important” followed by comfort and rooms; however, priorities vary based the type of business travel. For those staying in a business luxury hotel, great rooms, impressive breakfast offerings, and wifi are essential. For business budget hotels, cleanliness, comfort, and wifi are key. Surprisingly of less importance for business travelers in generals are service and food.
So what does this mean for hotels marketing to business travelers? Use travel reviews to your advantage. Tactics such as hosting Meta-ReviewsTM on your website can go a long way to drawing in business travelers. Meta-Reviews distill sentiments from worldwide travel reviews and present them in a traveler-friendly way with a rating for each sentiment as well as a snippet such as, “great rooms,” “really comfortable,” “delicious breakfast.” Ensuring that the appropriate categories for business travelers are prioritized will make their decision process more efficient and increase your property’s chances of capturing the booking.
For hotels in need of more or better feedback around business traveler categories, consider tailoring guest surveys to comfort, cleanliness, WiFi, room and breakfast feedback. Survey data can then be funneled into both the hotel website as well as travel review sites to improve rankings and attract business travelers.
All of this isn’t to say that the lobby doesn’t matter. It does, and it can certainly set a hotel apart for the new Millennial business traveler. However, when it comes to increasing occupancy and revenue, ensure, first and foremost, that traveler priorities are addressed then start the conversation about new features.