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How to create a customer insights strategy for hospitality businesses

When you listen to your customers, you can create amazing customer experiences. Learn 4 easy steps to start creating a strategy for collecting customer insights.
Lucy McInally
6 minutes

When you listen to your customers, you can create amazing customer experiences. The process of analysing customer experience is known as collecting customer insights which, according to Trustpilot, refers to businesses “gain[ing] a deeper understanding of how their audience thinks and feels”. If you run a hospitality business, you might speculate about your customer needs. For instance, you think that at certain times of the year, your customers prefer to order from a seasonal menu. Or you might guess that your starters are a crowd pleaser. If you’re making changes to your business from guesswork alone, the results won’t be successful. An effective process requires gathering qualitative data. Not sure where to start? Read on to discover how to create a customer insights strategy for hospitality businesses.

Customer insights strategy. Source: Lumoa

Segment your customers

The first step involves deciding from whom you’ll collect customer insights. If you run a coffee shop chain, you might have recently experienced a high volume of young professionals coming in to work with their laptops during weekdays. In this case, you should collect data from that specific customer demographic to make improvements that suit their specific needs and understand whether they’ll still be your target audience in the long-term. Before you start collecting customer insights, it’s useful to determine who you’ll collect insights from.

Set an intention for your customer insights strategy

Do you know what you want to get out of your customer insights strategy? In order to have direction, it’s handy to know this before you start gathering data. For example, if you plan to spend three months renovating your restaurant, you’ll need to know exactly what customers want you to change, as this will result in growth once your venue reopens. To suit the needs of your target audience, as defined during the first stage of your customer insights strategy, you should look at how your customers are interacting with your business and which collection methods you’ll use. Before taking action, ask yourself how long you’ll be gathering this data for. 

Map your customer journey

There are 5 different stages in a customer journey. These include awareness, consideration, purchase, retention and advocacy. To fully understand your customer experience, explore their journey by mapping each point of contact that your customer has with your business. This journey might look something like: interacting with your marketing materials, finding your business via search, visiting your website, making a booking, experiencing your venue, leaving a review, subscribing to your mailing list and returning to your venue. When you map this out, you might find cracks in your customer journey - like your online booking system isn’t linked to your website, or you don’t have a Google My Business account. Mapping your customer journey is an effective way to collect customer insights.  

Mapping your customer journey. Source: Trustpilot.

Choose the right tools to collect customer feedback

Collecting customer insights requires gathering qualitative data. This process of information gathering includes collecting customer feedback, enquiries, complaints, and so on. Therefore, you need to choose the right tools that will accurately record information. From conducting email surveys to embedding popups in your website, using social media polls and NFC tags, there are many ways you can collect customer feedback - we’ve rounded some up in a recent blog post. Whilst one of the common challenges faced by businesses is receiving a low response rate, you can overcome this problem with YOOLOX. Asking your customer a simple question in exchange for a wireless session via our QR codes is a win-win scenario that requires minimal effort from customers and results in high response rates. The feedback sent directly to your insights dashboard can be used to analyse your data and improve your customer experience. 

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