No Phone Book in Your Hotel Room? Say What?
Having just returned from attending a trade show in the DC area, I can totally understand why the Yellow Pages should be tucked away in the night stand at your hotel of choice. You’ve been there I’m sure………busy day at the office and then a long flight to your destination. Wouldn’t you agree that once you check in, food is the first item on the agenda? At least that’s how it usually works for me. I mean, the sandwiches (if you get that) that the airlines give travelers really aren’t my idea of a great meal, if you’re fortunate enough to be fed at all. A quick reference in the Yellow Pages can point you in the right direction.
I thought you’d find the update from the Simmons Spring 2009 data an interesting read, especially if you travel regularly, compliments of Dennis Fromholzer, Ph.D of CRM Associates. These stats clearly support the fact that those that travel frequently highly use the Yellow Pages print product.
Why Removing Directories From Hotel Rooms = Bad Customer Service
Dennis Fromholzer, Ph.D
August 6, 2008; revised October 4, 2009
A number of hotel chains are no longer providing print directories in their hotel rooms. While I do not know of any research that directly measures directory usage from the hotel room, I would like to share usage data from Simmons that suggests that the hotels may not be in tune with their best customers. The data show that frequent hotel guests are significantly more likely to be print directory users than the average consumer.
Below are some stats, taken from the 2009 Spring Simmons data.
- Those who have stayed at a hotel/motel in the past 12 months are 30% more likely to be YP print users than those who have not. Those who have stayed at a hotel/motel in the past 12 months are 54% more likely to have used print YP for business or travel purposes in the past month than those who have not stayed at a hotel.
- Those who are members of hotel frequent guest programs are 20% more likely to be YP print users than those who are not. Members of hotel frequent guest programs are 22% more likely to have used YP print for business or travel purposes in the past month than those who are not members.
- Those who stay at hotels 3 or more times per year are 40% more likely to be YP print users than those who do not stay at hotels. Those who stay at hotels 3 or more times per year are 84% more likely to have used YP print for business or travel purposes in the past month than those who do not stay at hotels.
- 42% of those that stay at hotels 11 or more nights per year have used YP print directories in the past month at home; 20% have used YP print while traveling or for business. Bottom line: those that travel a lot are more likely to use YP print directories in an average month than those that do not travel much.
- Similarly, 18% of frequent guest program members have used YP print in the past month for business/travel purposes.
The message is clear: hotel guests, particularly the more frequently hotel guests are above average users of print directories both personally and for business and travel purposes. Not providing access to directories in the hotels is likely to be a disservice to the hotel’s best customers.
These data would suggest that continuing to provide directories in hotel rooms amounts to good customer service. As Stephanie Hobbs of the Yellow Pages Association noted a year ago: “You have to ask what your customers want, not what’s easier for hotels.”