One of the best tools for understanding where to allocate precious resources for companies is using the importance and satisfaction matrix to identify what kinds of improvements will reap the highest benefits from the stakeholder’s perspective. The importance and satisfaction matrix is a common tool to show how a large group of people would rate certain services on the scales of importance and satisfaction.
For purposes of illustration, we will use a recent quantitative study on a boutique hotel. The customers’ ratings fell into four quadrants.
High-Priority and High-Rating / Top-Right
This quadrant is where the services were rated high in satisfaction and high in importance. This quadrant is considered an area of strength, and why customers keep coming back. Rooming cleanliness and easy reservation fell into this quadrant. The general advice to the hotel client is to keep doing what it is doing in this area because its customers loves it and finds it important.
High-Priority but Low-Rating / Top-Left
This quadrant is where the services were rated low in satisfaction and high in importance. This quadrant is considered an area of concern. Because the customers have identified these services as high in importance, if you ignore their concerns, you risk the possibility of losing these customers to the competition. The Check In/Out service and General Convenience fell into this quadrant.
Low-Priority but High-Rating / Bottom-Right
This quadrant is where the services were rated high in satisfaction and low in importance. This quadrant is considered an area of secondary strength because any changes in improvement in this area will not significantly affect the customer’s satisfaction level. You can consider these services as money in the bank. The business center fell into this quadrant because in this hotel there were four computers and a printer in its own room. Because a lot customers bring a smart device with them, these shared computers are not seen as necessary. The customer can consider reducing spend in the business center.
Low Priority and Low-Rating / Bottom-Left
This quadrant is where the services were rated low in satisfaction and low in importance. This quadrant is considered an area of low priority because improvement in this area will not significantly affect a customer’s decision to stay at this hotel. The pool service fell into this quadrant. Because the hotel is located closer to businesses and away from family attractions, it does not appeal to a lot of families with small children who would actually use the pool. Most of the customers would not appreciate any improvements in the pool.
Based on these findings, we recommended that the hotel re-allocate resources from the business center to improving the check in/out process and general conveniences to the customers. We suggested that it should remodel the business center by opening the space up, reduce the number of computers to one, replace the printer to a wi-fi printer so hotel guests can connect and print with their own devices, and use the extra space for a self-serve coffee and self-checkout station. We also suggested that they provide a few free water bottles in the guest’s room.
A few months after the client rolled out these improvements, we conducted a follow up study of a different and new group of customers. The results show a dramatic improvement in satisfaction.