Two weeks ago, I came back from a trip to Gaspésie which was a really appreciated (and needed) rest. However, even though I didn’t travel much this summer, in visiting Norway, Quebec City and Gaspésie, I drove a lot and had the opportunity to visit many different cities and to sleep in many different hotels and motels. And yes, I’m still bringing back home some sort of a tan, even though I focused my travels on northern destinations! During these vacations and especially whilst driving, one business question was always on top of my mind; how do these places (hotels, motels, etc…) operate to acquire new customers? But more precisely which kind of reasoning should they intuitively follow to optimize their customer acquisition strategy?
When coming back and after some serious thinking, I draw the following simple model presented below which explains in 5 questions who your customers and potential customers are and how did/could they find you?
1. Where are you?
2. Which period of the year?
3. What are you offering?
4. Who are your customers?
5. How did your customers find you?
How to take advantage of this Model?
A model is always something that scares a huge proportion of practioners, but it is also a way to simplify a reality, a reality that should be understood in order to take advantage of a given situation. So let’s reformulate the 5 questions of this model into 5 Yes/No managerially-driven questions:
6. Are your offers aligned with what the city has to offer at that period of the year?
7. Are your offers aligned with what the customers want in this city at that period of the year?
8. Do you know how your customers find you?
9. Do you optimize your number of customers coming from all 9 ways?
10. Do you know why your customers choose you?
So what are your answers? Common sense and archived data should take care of 6, 7 and 9, while a simple single-sheet questionnaire with two questions distributed to customers should answer 8 and 10 and provide you with a starting point for increasing your number of customers. If you answered “Yes” to all questions, then you perhaps need some vacations, your job is done, if this is not the case, then take another close look at this model.
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