Dos and don'ts of metrics
Numbers are very rational. Assuming that the source of the data is accurate, numbers reflect objective truths. But once analysis begins, conclusions can vary. Without a common framework for analyzing datasets, subjectivity reigns supreme.
When properly gathered, data is the basis for actual intelligence that gives you a clear picture of the business — and where there’s room for improvement. So, as you choose your business metrics, strive for a thorough understanding of where the data is coming from. You want to be confident in its accuracy; otherwise, any insights derived from the data may be misleading. There are three techniques to uncover the actual intelligence that positively impacts the business:
- Meaningful moments: to achieve this, combine guest touch points into a rich profile. This becomes the base against which you can benchmark certain metrics, such as guest satisfaction of specific guest demographics
- Focus: Specifically target your marketing activity on segments with the highest affinity to win. Segment first, and then optimize for conversion. Start with the segments most likely to convert and go from there.
- Analyze: Look at booking patterns, purchasing history and sentiment for advanced targeting and higher guest satisfaction.
As you deploy these three techniques, you will uncover business metrics that your team can both measure and influence. Rather than navigating blindly, you’ll have a detailed map of your business — and the metrics that matter most.
The dos and don’ts of metrics
It’s easy to get stuck on vanity metrics. Don’t let a myopic view limit your success. Look past the easy-to-see metrics to find the metrics that matter most to your property. Equally important is knowing what not to track. Entrepreneur David Skok says it best:
“Prioritize the components that have the biggest effect, don’t put much effort into tracking things that you can’t affect, don’t bother tracking items that are small, or that don’t vary much. Leave these to accounting.”
Re-visit assumptions quarterly, if not more often. Your approach should change with time, as the importance of specific metrics will ebb and flow. You might also get access to new data that can affect an existing metric or underpin a new one. Ideally, your team has smashed a success goal and are ready to replace it with a new one!
Follow these maxims to keep your focus on metrics that represent true business performance:
DO: Know your customer such as age, business, leisure, booking habits, lead time, and set goals specific to the customer.
DON’T: Get stuck in a rut focusing on vanity metrics that have little reflection on the levers that impact your business.
DO: Identify and track metrics that are relevant to achieving your established goals.
DON’T: Only focus on the obvious; ask “why” and go down the rabbit hole to find unexpected data sources and potential metrics.
DO: Make data a part of your teams’ everyday experience. A focus on data is a habit that must be nurtured.
DON’T: Shy away from making changes to the way data is collected if it can help you get to a metric that truly tracks your business.
Want to know more about managing metrics and striving for success at your hotel? Download our guide ‘Measuring success: A hotelier’s guide‘ now.