Guest experience has evolved from just loyalty programmes to creating immersive experiences across the entire guest journey.
While hotels are meeting basic lodging needs, today’s consumers want—and expect—much more from each stay. Hoteliers need to turbocharge the guest experience and tune into their needs to drive loyalty and increase repeat business.
In this blog, we look at some ways hoteliers can elevate the guest experience at every point of the guest journey and keep them coming back for more. Personalization plays a key part in every step of this journey, as does technology. The more you know, the better the experience you can deliver – if you have the right technology partners by your side.
1) Booking: know your guests
If you know why guests are staying at your hotel, you can begin their personalized journey at the very start. Are they business travelers or a couple looking for a quick getaway, or are they a family?
To allow for a more personalized journey, hoteliers need to invest in technology and systems that enable the gathering and centralization of guest data that can be leveraged at every point in the journey. The booking process itself must be seamless and simple – it’s likely one of the first “touchpoints” for the guest with your hotel.
2) Check-in: engage your guests
First impressions matter. Check-in is a vital part of the guest journey and it is important for staff to engage guests with a warm welcome. Use technology that frees up staff from admin tasks around check-in, so they can spend more time talking to guests. According to a Deloitte study, when hotel teams provide a high level of attention, guests are 29% more likely to share positive reviews.
Even in a Covid world, where check-in is contactless, guest experience is as important. By adopting this new way of welcoming, you’re signalling to a guest that they are in a safe place and their health is your priority.
3) Stay: delight your guests
Guests today want to be surprised and delighted by moments that exceed their expectations. Delivering this level of guest engagement relies on using data to gain a holistic view of a guest. Whether an in-app prompt or an in-person exchange, guests should feel that you are genuinely invested in their experience and using their data intelligently.
Tracking the right data and utilising it lies at the heart of delightful guest experiences.
4) Things to do: empower your guests
The rise of vacation rentals brought around a trend of authenticity. No longer a trend, the demand for authentic experiences now drives holidaymakers world over. These experiences extend beyond lodging to local attractions that will interest them. Use the information you have about your guests to proactively recommend activities and offerings in the area that will interest them.
5) Feedback: hear your guests
This is another pillar of guest service. You need to listen to them carefully to provide them with what they want. Assure them that their special requests have been registered and you are doing everything within your capability to solve them at the earliest. Clear communication is important, as is training your staff to become good listeners and even better communicators.
Pay careful attention to online reviews. Thank guests who leave positive reviews – they’ll appreciate the attention. Respond to ones who leave negative reviews and take onboard areas where you need to improve.
Read tips on how to avoid negative feedback here
6) Check-out: understand your guests
Use robust analysis (qualitative and quantitative) to understand what guests want in exchange for their loyalty. Guests who are suitably recognised for their loyalty are more likely to not just return to your property but advocate for others to experience it. Keep your loyalty programmes simple and ones that offer true value to your guest.
Delivering an exceptional guest experience is not an easy task. It’s not too hard either if you have the right technology to help you understand your guests and deliver a seamless experience with the support of staff who are as passionate about elevating guest experience as you.
When it comes to guest experience, think big and chart an ambitious guest experience roadmap. To succeed, start small. Focus first on high-impact, high-value and low-effort wins. Most importantly, be ready to iterate often so you can keep growing.
Do you have any recommendations that you use at your hotel to improve your guest experience? Feel free to share it with us at firstname.lastname@example.org