Using Metrics that actually work
As a Revenue Manager I love, love, love metrics. Sad I know, but give me a spreadsheet with lots of wonderful formula and I am happy… However, in this fast-paced industry that we all know and love, we are currently inundated with all kinds of facts and figures. But leaving ‘pure revenue’ to one side for a moment, what are the key metrics we should be looking at and what are the ‘vanity metrics’ that might be slightly interesting but contain no real substance or anything we can actually action?
As we move into 2017, whatever department you work in, I would suggest that you set yourself 5 key metrics that you can actually act on. Let’s look at some examples:
In your Restaurant
It is often difficult to gauge how well your team are looking after guests until you receive a complaint, a comment card or a good-old TripAdvisor Review! You often rely on your team feeding back any issues that guests may have but lets look at one quick way that you can walk through your restaurant and judge how your team are performing – Water Glasses – yes, seriously! This is what is called a ‘proxy metric’ and something that you can judge and action right away, let me explain…. If you walk through your restaurant and all your guests water glasses are at least half full then you can tell immediately that your team are being attentive. If they are being attentive with the water, then it figures that they are being attentive with all other parts of your guests experience. Simple!
In your Bar
Now if the queue to the bar is 10 deep then you may have staffing issues that should have been resolved before now but an easier ‘proxy metric’, is how clean is the place? If your team are being attentive to the empty tables doesn’t it figure that they are being attentive to the occupied ones?
How effective are your team at upgrading? Are you measuring this? We all know how your Front Office Team should greet guests and the level of customer service that should be a delivered, but above and beyond all of that are your team being challenged to add revenue to your bottom line? Do you have an upgrade policy? How is this being measured? Are your team targeted? What are the results?
When was the last time you walked every single room in your hotel? Do you actually understand the maintenance issues you may have? I have a 60 bedroom hotel and the Manager checks 2 rooms in detail every single day which means that every room has a ‘deep check’ every month. Pull together a check list from light bulbs to coat hangers and check everything – measure how your team are doing and put maintenance targets in place.
We all know that in hotels we all need to be sales people but if you employ a team to represent your hotel, how are they actually doing? You will need very defined metics in this area but as an example: how many meetings are they having each week? how many new leads are they generating? how much real business are they bringing in? Every good sales person should enjoy having targets – that’s how they enjoy working and if they don’t then you may have employed the wrong person… But you also need to be very clear on the true value of the business they bring in and at what cost. How much are the shows costing that they attend? the wedding exhibitions? the shopping centre promotions? Add on the cost that is involved in having them out of the office and their expenses – this will give you a true cost. Then the business they generate should be at least 10 times the value of that cost (you may feel this value is too high but it is certainly a metic I was measure on in my sales days). Make sure that you have realistic targets for both increasing existing business and generating new business and make sure you have a proven record of their return.
These are just some ideas for a few of your departments but you should apply proxy and proven metrics to all part of your business. I would advise to spend less time on the ‘vanity metics’ and by that I mean, the number of new Facebook fans you have (as an example). What does that tell you? How can you act on that metric? We all know for example that if your fans aren’t interacting with your page you lose the ability to connect with them anyway but whilst there is a place for social media, and I absolutely am not disputing that, your metrics need to be something that generates an action.
Another vanity metric that is difficult to action is your TripAdvisor score. The average score for any hotel throughout the TripAdvsior network is 4.5 so if your score is over 4, what does that tell you to do? Surely a better metric is to review the actual content of each review and see how you can improve your service or product? Surely that is more actionable.
Life in our industry today is a numbers game and I love that it is – just make sure you are using the right numbers!
(and for all things revenue, just email firstname.lastname@example.org)