The Forgotten Guest: How Silent & Secondary Occupants Are Impacting Your Performance
How Silent & Secondary Occupants Are Impacting Your Performance
In the hospitality industry, there is a tendency to see certain topics occupy the lion’s share of discussions, online content, and the mindshare of our leaders these days. Topics like; the projected shift towards the majority of bookings occurring direct versus through OTAs in the wake of the pandemic, the rise of loyalty programs, investing more heavily in digital marketing campaigns, and offering exclusive discounts or “best price guarantees”. We also see an increase in focus around developing and executing strategies to capture more market share from local travelers or staycationers, a pandemic trend that is projected to continue for some time.
While these topics are important, there is another we believe has been percolating beneath the surface of mainstream discussions for some time that needs to be addressed; the role silent and secondary occupants play in impacting your property’s guest satisfaction scores, online reviews, and lifetime customer value.
Who are these silent and secondary occupants?
Anyone who stays in one of your property’s rooms who did not manage the original booking could be a silent or secondary occupant.
In a 2021 article published by CNBC, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) is quoted as saying that “business travel […] normally accounts for 65% of hotel bookings.” and, according to a survey conducted by the Global Business Travel Association, 44% of business travelers said someone else booked their most recent trip for them. Similarly, Statista’s research has found that only 59% of US business travelers book their trips themselves, meaning that roughly 40% rely on a third party administrator for support here.
What does that add up to? More than one quarter of your guests not having control over the booking process, leading to inconsistencies in the data your property captures (ex. Accuracy of emails and SMS numbers).
The Director of Marketing for Bluetent, Ryan Austin, makes a great point. “Airbnb and Booking.com both create unique temporary contact methods for every booking. These temporary methods allow you to email the customer outside of the message center without exposing the guest’s real contact information. But the information expires by design. The OTA system routes messages through to the end customer and this routing service is only active within a specific window around the booking. Once the guest has paid in full, the unique temporary contact information becomes active. Then, 14 days after the departure date, it expires again. But, you don’t want that information to expire!”
That data SHOULD be yours and, without it, your ability to know your guest, engage with them while on property in a meaningful way, and have the ability to promote to them post stay is greatly hindered.
The majority of room bookings from leisure travelers will see more than one guest stay in the room; however, only one guest initiates the booking. That person will provide their contact information and other valuable demographic and psychographic information that can be useful for your hotel’s front desk and marketing teams throughout various elements of their on-property and post-stay experience.
What this means, though, is that you are missing the opportunity to capture the data from, and connect with, more than a quarter of your guests…the significant others, otherwise known as secondary occupants.
The Impact to Your Property’s Performance
At Micrometrics, we help the world’s top hotel brands create memorable experiences, unravel missed in-stay service opportunities and cultivate deep-rooted relationships with loyal guests to drive direct bookings. The data we capture on behalf of more than 800 properties around the world supports the points discussed above; we regularly see low guest satisfaction scores, OTA reviews, and survey results generated by our platform that originate from contact information not associated with the original booking.
In other words, we see the negative impact silent and secondary guests can have on your performance.
How Micrometrics is Helping Top-Rated Hotels Solve Silent Issues
Over the course of one year, Micrometrics was able to help one of Texas’ most highly-rated hotels increase the quantity and quality of its OTA reviews. During this time, the property’s TripAdvisor rankings rose from #32 to #3 (and would eventually reach #1 in 2021)!
More importantly, we were able to capture contact information from more than 23,000 primary and secondary occupants with a process that streamlined internal operations by seamlessly capturing and automatically initiating conversations with guests on property. Doing so reduced staff workload during check-ins and provided more opportunities for ALL guests to report issues or make requests (not only primary occupants / the primary booking contact), while lowering the time it takes to reach a resolution.
A New Model for Engaging ALL Guests on Property
With Micrometrics, your property can solve The Forgotten Guest issue, engaging with silent and secondary occupants in a manner that is scalable for your team and meaningful to your guests. At this property, the contact information captured from 23,000 guests led to more than 60,000 total guest interactions on our platform and 2,300 issue recovery opportunities; many of which originated from this often forgotten audience.
By enhancing face-to-face interactions with their guests, creating connections at scale, and leveraging automations to understand their needs, Micrometrics’ hospitality clients are able to improve the guest experience for thousands of silent and secondary occupants, contributing to notable gains in their coveted internal guest satisfaction scores!View Case Study