In the hospitality industry, a hotel guest’s experience is the single most important factor in determining whether or not they will become a repeat customer.
While it’s always been important to stay up to speed on the latest best practices to improve the hotel guest experience, it’s even more critical now.
Travelers’ needs and expectations have changed dramatically over the past few years and adapting to these new circumstances is crucial. It’s the only way to stay relevant, keep guests happy and make your business a success, even in challenging times.
Below, we look at how you can improve your hotel guest experience and which tools will help you do it.
As a hotelier, your main goal is to provide memorable guest experiences. But what actually makes a guest experience amazing? While your amenities and facilities certainly help improve it, it’s the intangible things that separate the okay from the excellent. Where you can, it’s important to personalize your service and your guest interactions. Anticipate travelers’ needs and make them feel heard when they have a request or problem. In short, make them feel special and appreciated at every step of the guest journey.
The better you do this, the more your business benefits. Guests who have an amazing stay are powerful business and revenue drivers. They spend more at your hotel, share good reviews and thus play an important part in getting other travelers to pick your hotel over others.
Having a strong reputation online even allows you to charge more. Expedia found that guests are willing to pay up to 24% more if the review score is 3.9 versus 3.4, and 35% more for a score of 4.4 versus 3.9. As you can see, providing a solid hotel guest experience can make or break your business and should always be your top priority.
The hotel guest experience comprises all interactions a guest has with your hotel. Everything begins with travelers discovering your hotel on Google, an OTA or via word of mouth. It then continues throughout the research, booking and pre-arrival phases. Every time your guest is in touch with you directly (e.g., via phone, email or chat) or indirectly (e.g., via feature articles, your social media posts, etc.), it shapes their experience.
Next comes the in-house phase, the most important period of the guest journey. Now is when you finally get the chance to wow travelers with your impeccable personalized service.
However, the hotel guest experience doesn’t end when a guest leaves the property. Once guests checkout, be sure to keep in touch and nurture your relationship. This is made easier if you leverage tools that enable you to capture guest information (e.g., email addresses) as they are checking in. That rounds out the experience and keeps the door open for repeat bookings.
As you can see, the hotel guest experience is way more than the stay itself. And that’s good news because it gives you extra chances to delight and impress your guests.
Hotel tech has developed by leaps and bounds in recent years. Now, it offers many new ways to refine and improve the hotel guest experience at all stages of the guest journey.
The extra benefit for your hotel is that in many cases these new solutions also save you time and generate extra revenue.
Consider the following tech-driven services to offer a better guest experience at your hotel:
Tech-savvy travelers expect a lot of these options today, so implement the ones that make sense at your property.
Each department plays an important role in shaping the guest’s stay. Still, the majority of work lies with reservations and reception since they’re the key points of contact for all travelers.
While they shouldn’t be the primary motivator, incentives can boost staff engagement and motivate them to consistently go above and beyond the call of duty.
Consider the following options to thank your team for a job well done:
Finally, ongoing training for areas with recurring issues will help you improve the hotel guest experience in the long run.
Now that you have a better idea of how to refine the hotel guest experience and the role technology can play, it’s time to get to work.
Check where you have the biggest need for improvement and look for ways to do better. Is there a new procedure or tool you could implement? Dare to innovate and you’ll soon see positive responses from guests and staff.
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