Anyone who has ever worked in the hospitality industry knows that the most important priority, above literally everything else, is to provide an outstanding level of service that enables guests to have an excellent experience.
However, terms like “guest service” and “guest experience” can feel a bit vague if you’re trying to determine what that actually means you need to do at your hotel.
What does great service actually look like? What does the guest experience actually entail? The answers to these questions have changed over the years, and, thanks to COVID19, are drastically different from what they were just a short time ago.
In this blog post, we’ll examine exactly what is most important to hotel guests today and how hoteliers can meet these expectations head-on.
Since Bank of America launched the first consumer credit card in 1958, nothing has probably changed consumer behavior as significantly as the development of the mobile web and smartphones. Today, consumers have become more reliant on, and comfortable with, mobile technology solutions than ever, and many are now even digital natives who grew up using mobile devices.
This means the very nature of how most hotel guests want to interact with a property has changed.
For example, in a recent study conducted by Skift and Oracle, 73 percent of travelers said they are more likely to stay in a hotel that offers self-service technology.
The data is clear. Hotel guests everywhere want digital-first experiences that enable them to have more control over their stays.
But of course, a great experience when engaging with a property through a mobile device isn’t the only thing that is important to guests today. Some things that have been important forever are just as important today — or even more so. For example, more guests are concerned with cleanliness than ever due to COVID. Likewise, many guests want to know that their stay isn’t creating too large of a carbon footprint and are curious as to how their hotel is going green.
Let’s now explore the top eight things that are most important to modern hotel guests.
Every property is unique and what is most important to a specific type of guest will vary from demographic to demographic, and even individual to individual. However, there are some broad assumptions that can be made about what is most important to hotel guests today based on trends from the past few years.
One of the most important aspects of any hotel is its cleanliness. Guests want to know that the room they’re staying in is free of dirt, dust and germs. They also want to be sure that the common areas, such as the lobby and the bathrooms, are kept clean and tidy. Nobody wants to stay in a dirty location
As pointed out above, 73 percent of travelers prefer a hotel that offers self-service check-in. Hotel guests want contactless, mobile-friendly check-in solutions because they allow them to check-in quickly and easily without the hassle of having to swing by the front desk for anything more than to pick up a key. It is also more secure and efficient, as it eliminates the need to fax or email documents and credit card details.
Furthermore, contactless check-in eliminates the need for guests to wait in line once they arrive at a property and can be completed from the comfort of their own home or while on the go.
Guests want to feel comfortable in a hotel because it is their temporary home away from home. They want to be able to relax and unwind after a long day of travel or sightseeing. Comfort can be provided through amenities such as comfortable beds, quality linens and a generally pleasant in-room atmosphere. Additionally, guests want to feel secure and safe in their hotel, so it is important that a hotel provide adequate security measures, such as key card-activated door locks on both hotel buildings and individual hotel rooms.
Amenities such as spas, restaurants, pools and hot tubs are very important to hotel guests, as they are often the deciding factor in whether a guest chooses to stay at a particular hotel or not. Even if your hotel does not have any of these amenities on site, it may be worth reaching out to other local businesses that can provide these services (and others!) to see if there is the possibility to partner up and offer package deals to out-of-town travelers.
Whether or not you have these types of amenities on-site or not, one of the best ways to offer package deals to incoming guests is to make them available during a mobile check-in process. This takes the need for pushing upsells to guests off of front desk agents and can increase the amount of upsell packages sold by up to 200%.
Previous guest reviews are important for consumers researching what hotel to stay at because they provide an unbiased and honest assessment of the hotel. Reviews give consumers an insight into the quality of the hotel, its services, amenities, staff, and location. They can also provide information on any potential issues with the hotel, such as noise levels, cleanliness, and safety.
Ensuring you manage your review effectively and proactively encourage happy guests to share their feelings on review sites
People today prefer to text. They just do. According to a recent study, almost two-thirds (63 percent) of consumers would prefer to engage with a company that offered text messaging as a communication channel. And forward-looking hoteliers should take note.
Guest Messaging solutions — like the one offered by Canary — allow guests to connect with a hotel’s front desk and receive a response almost instantly via their preferred channel (i.e., SMS, WhatsApp, etc.) while they continue to go about their business. This is much better for both front desk employees and guests than the traditional method of fielding guest questions via the phone.
Additionally, Canary enables hoteliers to send direct, broadcast or AI messages to communicate with guests incredibly efficiently.
Finally, Guest Messaging enables guests to easily send photos, screenshots, and other attachments that may be necessary for the hotel to assist with their requests.
Overall, hotel guests value different aspects of the hotel experience, but there are a few key elements that are most important. Cleanliness is paramount, as it ensures guests feel safe and comfortable throughout their stay. Contactless check-in helps guests feel at ease when they arrive, while room comfort is essential to a good night’s rest. Hotel amenities and previous customer reviews can help guests choose the right hotel for their needs, and guest messaging provides a convenient way to contact the hotel while they are there. All of these elements combine to make a great hotel experience, one that will keep guests coming back.
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