The question of how much demographics play a role in the way people evaluate personal experiences is one that customer satisfaction researchers have asked for years. Are men tougher to please than women? Who is easier to satisfy? Younger people or mature people with more life experience? Are those with a higher income more demanding customers? Or are those to whom money is a more precious commodity more rigorous in their evaluations?
Hotels direct their offerings to a wide variety of customers. Some target younger guests; others pursue business travelers; still others go after families on leisure vacations. Hotels are designed to reflect value propositions based on the traveler's budget, as well as preferences for amenities. While hotel categories can be expanded further, there are four broad types of offerings: budget, midscale, upscale, and luxury.
To better understand the various categories of hotel guests, Maritz Research investigated guest satisfaction scores as part of a larger cross-sector benchmarking effort, CEBenchmarks™. Many of the findings were unexpected. The data underscore that sometimes guest demographics have a significant impact, while in other cases, the impact is minimal. While budget hotels receive the lowest ratings by all demographic groups, men appear to be much more tolerant of the shortcomings sometimes associated with budget properties than are women. Basically, most men want a clean, comfortable place to sleep, regardless of the amenities. The majority of women want more from hotel properties.
The opposite is true of luxury properties. Men do not seem to perceive added value from luxury hotels beyond what they experience at upscale properties. Women, however, do appreciate the extras a bit more. Clearly, the luxury segment needs to direct more marketing efforts, especially about extra amenities, toward women.