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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

What do Business Travelers want the most?

What do Business Travelers want the most?


The most annoying thing a tired business traveler has to deal with is those hotels who think that after spending $179 on a room you need to fork out another $15 bucks for it. Even better if you spend $600 a night in New York and have to pay extra. Those charges made sense back in 2000 when they had to invest in a closet full of DSLAM equipment and internet access was expensive but today the cost is super low. In fact I feel partly to blame. Way back in 2000 I did sell a hotel the dslam gear, cabling and even voice mail and explained how they can charge $17.95 a night and recoup their investment and make a fast 6 month ROI. 7 years later I am staying in that same hotel fuming at having to pay those charges. What is 300 rooms times $17.95 a night times 240 weekday nights? ooops $1.3M in revenue What is the loss of 60 rooms a night due to hefty Wi-Fi charges $2.7M? Maybe free internet starts to make sense.

Now if the Hotel really feels that they have the right to charge then at least offer a real high speed service with real bandwidth so we can use our video apps with no jitter and Skype with latency free service. Some hotels are actually advertising the 30x speeds. The latest tactic is to offer enhanced internet access with access to corporate vpn and faster speeds to support video streaming. Many business travelers actually need those features and have to pay extra.

Business travelers make up a big segment of a hotel's business revenue so it’s important to listen to their needs. Every traveler wants a comfortable bed, good lighting, a large desk and reliable high speed internet access. Health conscious travelers are also asking for healthy dining options and workout rooms. Many hotels when they do a refresh take into account most of those needs.

However, recent stays have identified the need for more electrical outlets. I don’t want to travel with a Monster power bar so I can charge my Playbook, my Laptop, cellphone, my iPad, my Nexus maybe a camera battery, maybe other stuff. It’s always the same single outlet embedded in the desk light and the closest outlet beside the alarm clock. Now we know why maids haul a 50 foot extension cord around with their vacuum cleaner. Maybe a high speed internet bundle with a power bar rental, free long distance and a bottle of water starts to make sense for 99 cents.

Now the negative aspect of all this you will forget your power adaptors and power bar and leave them behind. Every hotel has tons in the lost and found. I use a bright red elastic tie that I got with my Think Tank cable manager and it helps give me a visual but i can also wrap it to my laptop so it doesn’t get forgotten. One clever road warrior showed me how he takes the conference badge lanyard and ties the adapter and laptop together so he does not forget to take it with him.

Business travelers can be loyal and repeater customers if Hotels think a little bit about the customer experience and put themselves in their customer’s shoes.

Hoteliers that take time off from their C suite office and actually stay in one of their properties like the "Hidden Boss" reality show will be surprised in how they can improve the customer experience and improve their revenues.

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