Business or pleasure?

Is your establishment’s target market mainly guests who visit on business or pleasure?

As a hospitality and tourism industry expert, you probably don’t need me to explain to you why it is necessary to know your target market. The problem is, we get so used to our target markets, that we sometimes forget that they are also people, and people change.

As our environment, whether it be our technological or our physical environment, undergoes certain evolvements, we tend to change with it eventually. Therefore, as an accommodation establishment, restaurant or venue, it is important to keep up with trends in the industry.

Here are three trends TMG noticed feature in certain sections of the hospitality and tourism industry that you as a professional in the industry probably need to consider:

Environmental Responsibility:

This is not only a trend, but also a necessity. It has come to TMG’s attention that many travellers prefer accommodation at establishments that prove to be environmentally responsible. Guests are even willing to give up certain levels of comfort for this.

Kids entertainment:

Guests travelling for pleasure normally include families. Families often require some entertainment for children, which includes jungle gyms, swimming pools, and possible movie nights for when parents want to enjoy a romantic dinner. It is also important to remember that parents are well educated on this subject and therefore your establishment is automatically expected to provide them with service that will exceed their customer expectations. Think educational and try to include outside activities for kids. Take them on treasure hunts or short kids’ hiking trails. Use your environment and be creative.

Wi-Fi:

Businessmen are often on the road and with the fortunate evolvement of cell phones, computers and emails, many people unfortunately do the work of three or more by themselves these days. Wi-Fi has always been a luxury and not too long ago only top hotels and restaurants provided the service. Today, however, more and more hospitality and tourism establishments are adding this to their list of services and these establishments are the ones who become popular amongst business travellers especially very quickly. If business guests form part of your establishment’s target market and you do not provide your guests with Wi-Fi, you will need to revise your list of services.

For more tips and ideas on how to exceed your customers’ expectations, perhaps you should contact TMG and attend one of our workshops? Contact Renate on 082 336 1562 or enquire@travellingmystery.co.za for more information.

Products from Travelling Mystery Guest

After identifying a gap in the hospitality and tourism industry with regards to customized customer journey evaluations (another, better way of doing mystery guest visits) and customer service, I (Renate de Villiers) decided to start Travelling Mystery Guest – a company that identifies accommodation establishments and restaurants‘ advantages and assisting them in using that as a method of providing customers with the best possible service.

Here are a few of the products Travelling Mystery Guest offers:

TMG Products and Contact details

TMG Products and Contact details

Why should you hotel’s website be mobile friendly?

We’re living in a time where mobile is not just an option anymore – it’s a necessity. People have less time on hand and therefore being able to Google from their phones wherever they are has become the perfect solution.

Go Mobile

Go Mobile (Image from store.apple.com)

If your hotel, guesthouse or restaurant’s website is not mobile friendly, it is also very easy to move on to one that is. That, for me, is one of the main reasons why your website should be mobile friendly – to keep visitors there on not send them away.

 

Other reasons I believe you should have a mobile friendly website:

  • It should appear clear and user friendly on any mobile device. If it’s not mobile friendly it won’t be easy to read and it won’t look neat.
  • According to Admin E-Solutions users will be doing 50% of their online searches via their mobile devices.
  • People will be able to access all your information from anywhere at any time on any mobile device.
  • Being mobile friendly will increase the time users are willing to spend on your site.
  • Over 20% of online searches are done via mobile devices.
  • According to Hubspot 61% of users have a better opinion about brands if they offer a good mobile experience.
  • Blogging and social media brings mobile visitors – Comscore found that 55% of social media consumption happens on a mobile device.
  • A mobile responsive site will help you in the future as other devices like televisions, watches and glasses become more popular for web browsing. With a site that is mobile friendly you site will still look professional and user friendly on all other devices.

Mobile is definitely a must for the near future.

What do you expect from the hospitality industry?

Feel free to let us know what you expect from the hospitality industry and we’ll be sure to include this in our upcoming workshops for the industry:

Perfect for Good Friday

I couldn’t resist sharing this quote with you today – so perfect for Good Friday.

May you have a blessed long weekend, peeps!

Good Friday Quote

Good Friday Quote

How to identify customer expectations

Even though customers tend to change and not one customer seems to be the same, they also make things easier for us in terms of identifying their expectations. We just have to learn to identify it. How?

You would have noticed by now that many companies have employed social media managers who are responsible for communicating with customers via platforms like Facebook and Twitter. And it doesn’t stop there. Then came LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest…and Instagram and Flickr and I whatever else. The point is…customers communicate via social media. Not just with companies, but also with friends and family. They share stories and ideas via links on Facebook, they mention good (or bad) reviews on Twitter with creative accompanying hashtags and they create dream boards on Pinterest. What does this have to do with identifying customer expectations? Well…let’s look at a few examples:

Facebook:

Facebook gives you the opportunity to learn more about your followers in numerous ways. Your followers will only interact on posts that they find interesting or worth their while. You can also view your page insights, which shows you who your followers are, where they are from, which types of posts they mainly interact on, how many female and male followers you have and more. You can also view your followers’ most basic information like where they are from and some of their interests. This should already give you a good idea of what they are into and therefore you have an opportunity to act on it. No excuses!

Twitter:

To view discussions on Twitter and the people’s tweets and interactions with your brand is sometimes quite interesting. People’s title descriptions usually also say quite a lot about their personalities and what they would enjoy.

Pinterest:

I believe Pinterest to be one of the best ways to identify customer expectations, as this is where people pin everything they would like to have and not necessarily what they have. It includes things they dream about and things they hope for like the perfect wedding dress or the most beautiful presented dishes or creative recipes. If these people are like me, they most probably will never have all these things that they pin to their boards, but it’s never a bad thing to dream. And that’s where you could come in and sweep your customers off their feet! Make their dreams become reality with a popular Pinterest recipe for dinner or plan a contest with a dress similar to the most pinned wedding dress on Pinterest. Identify what your customers dream about and act on it.

Need some assistance in identifying your customers’ expectations? Contact Renate from Travelling Mystery Guest on 082 336 1562 / enquire@travellingmystery.co.za for more information.

Practice here:

Have a look at Renate’s Pinterest page and identify five of her customer expectations from the list below. The first one to identify all five expectations correctly will receive a Customer Journey Evaluation for your destination for FREE!

Renate’s 5 customer expectations:

How to improve SA’s customer service

In the hospitality and tourism industry, customer service is one of the first things people notice. It’s also one of the industries that happen to have quite a lot of customer service complaints. So how can we fix this?

Customer Service

Customer Service

I believe that a large part of the problem is due to the lack of motivation and drive. A lack of love of the game.

For me, as a lover of all things hospitality, it is difficult to believe that someone can actually not like the industry. Yes, the hours are bad and yes, sometimes it feels like no one cares, but isn’t this industry also one of the most rewarding industries to be in? Just think about that one time you smiled at someone and they smiled back; the day you helped a guest with her bags and she remembered your name from the last time she visited.

It’s a human to human industry. A people industry. It keeps us focused on what really matters: humanity.”-Renate de Villiers

How can we improve South Africa’s customer service?

  • Focus less on the money and more on the person.
  • Treat customers like you would like to be treated.
  • Do small extra things that make big differences.
  • Be humble.
  • Smile.
  • Always think “how can I help?”
  • Be visible and/or available at all times.
  • Understand your customers and their behaviours – if they use Twitter, think of ways you can give them better customer service through this social media platform.
  • Listen and learn. Don’t just listen.
  • Be proactive. If someone asks for a list of restaurants in the area and you don’t have one, find a way to provide them with one as soon as possible and have a formal list to hand to them the next time around.
  • Don’t just sit and wait for things to happen – make them happen.
  • Keep staff and fellow employees motivated and loyal to the company.

Any other ideas from your side?

Here are some motivational quotes and infographics on customer service on our Pinterest page: Customer Service.