I recently found myself lost in the ebb and flow of people and their lives as I sat in a café on a lazy Sunday afternoon. I have always found it fascinating to watch and wonder about their lives, guessing about their hopes and their dreams. After years of study in multiple disciplines, guessing and wondering just doesn’t come naturally to me. Rather, I find comfort and confidence in research and cold hard facts. I guess you could say it is hard wired into my DNA.
Understanding your client and your staff are critical foundations for any hospitality and tourism based organisation, and much like my Sunday afternoon in the café, without research you are left simply guessing and wondering.
In the heat of competition, regulatory compliance and an ever changing market space, simply understanding the basic demographics is no longer enough, you need to understand who they are not just what they are.
Through deeper research and data mining of the information you already have, you can begin to reduce the guess work and start to make powerful decisions based on facts rather than fiction.
Why is this important to your venue? It’s really quite simple. By introducing effective research programs and better understanding of both your clients and your staff, you can achieve quantitative and qualitative returns for your venue — you can grow your membership, increase your revenue, and find new income avenues, while simultaneously streamlining your internal productivity, as well as reducing operating costs, and that’s just the beginning.
The famous phrase “knowledge is power”, coined by the English Philosopher Sir Francis Bacon suggests that companies who are able to disassemble and reassemble knowledge resources, are able to create clear strategic actions and consequently, gain competitive advantage. But simply knowing is not enough, in order to reap the benefits of knowledge you must apply it!
It has been proven, time and again, that the effective use of knowledge will enhance the market position of anyone willing to spend the time and resources. You are already performing research on some level every day, whether you are using financial data to correct your operational course, reviewing purchases to see what is most popular in the bottle shop or restaurant to ensure you have enough stock to maintain demand, even the formal or informal conversations you have with clients about their experiences, all of these “research” tactics are driving your decision making process and helping you to strategically improve your business.
By introducing some simple, yet formal research components into your daily operation, you could easily improve in these 8 key areas:
- Reducing unnecessary services or costs
- Increasing individual spend per visit
- Driving more regular visitation
- Offering exactly what people want (not what you think they want) through your loyalty program
- Increasing the lifetime value of customers
- Generating positive word of mouth (offline and online)
- Increasing satisfaction levels
- Improving your database by converting visitors to members
In tourism and hospitality, your front-line staff are the ones that interact with your consumers every day. They deliver your brand and make lasting connections – essentially they make or break the experience and, as research reveals, have a lasting impact on consumer perceptions. By encouraging knowledge sharing amongst your employees, conducting research about staff satisfaction and exploring what it is that your staff need to satisfy your guests, you can harness a new power, an internal power.
The information is already there, you just need to dig it out.
These actions will not only help you develop an understanding of staff satisfaction and how to make life easier for the people who deliver the experience of your venue, but when employed effectively, research can stimulate trust between your staff and managers and encourage greater levels of internal loyalty. It’s like speaking with someone on the phone and they are genuinely smiling on the other end; you might not see it, but you feel and hear it. The results of your research will flow organically into every aspect of your venue and will be naturally felt by every person that steps into your venue.
We’re always impressed at what proactive venues achieve simply through the application of their internal and external research.
So how you can you start utilising the information you already have and achieve these results in your business? It’s not as complicated as you may think. Why not get in touch with our experienced research team at DWS today on 07 3878 9355, we’ll help you take the guess work out of your venues research to accomplish real outcomes.