Improving the guest experience in your hotel
We’ve stated before – and make no apologies for doing so again – that our main offering as a business centres on improving the guest experience. And why is that? Well, the guest experience is at the heart of any hotel’s offering.
That goes without saying at the luxury end of the market – everything hotels do within that bracket is geared towards ensuring the guest has an indulgent stay. But even the budget end of the hotel spectrum have to consider the guest experience. Failing to match a guest’s expectations – even if that’s just clean linen and a bed to sleep in – is a sure way to see an establishment fail.
Thanks to the power of social media and review sites such as TripAdvisor, the guest is given a powerful platform from which to shout about their experience. It makes a hotelier’s job even trickier, as just one bad review can have consequences.
But those platforms, while presenting potential problems, also offer opportunity, being used not just to espouse the bad, but also to highlight the good. Providing a guest experience that exceeds expectations is a sure way to generate positive reviews and online praise, helping to demonstrate to prospective guests the quality of your offering.
Given the competiveness of the luxury market in particular, it’s a tough area for hoteliers to excel in. We’ve blogged previously about the innovations in hospitality that hotels can benefit from to make their establishment stand out. But what about the general experience? What are the things that hoteliers can do to go about improving that? Let’s look at a few areas where hoteliers can look to exceed expectations with relative ease.
The guest experience doesn’t just begin when a hotel guest enters the lobby, so think beyond the front desk or the concierge. With more and more of us opting to book online directly via a hotel’s website, perfecting the online presence to ensure a seamless booking process helps to give guests a top experience from the start.
More and more hotels are opting to integrate social media into their experience. Guests can not only offer reviews via it, they can also ask questions about their stay. Having a dedicated social media concierge allows for timely responses. Allocate the right level of resource, and you can even turn it into an order service. Of course, some of the big hotels have developed dedicated apps to deliver this, but even small boutique hotels can utilise social media channels to provide a similar offering.
Go the extra mile with customer service
This is especially beneficial if they’re repeat guests. Little touches, such as a personalised note in the room acknowledging previous stays, small gifts or fruit bowls, makes their custom feel valued, which they in turn will value.
It’s not just in-room where you can add the personal touch. Depending on the size of your hotel, it can be tricky for staff to know each guest by name (again, perhaps something more attainable with smaller boutique establishments), however even screening calls with guest names, so that guests ringing room service are greeted with “Hello Mr/Mrs Smith” rather than merely “hello” reinforces the impression that guests are cared about.
Personalisation also leads into our own offering…
The in-room experience can be highly personalised based on your technological setup. It’s possible to integrate the Content Management System (CMS) with the hotel’s Property Management System (PMS) to offer welcome greetings, language preferences and specific guest messages to facilitate a personalised experience when accessing the entertainment system. Guests can then also watch their favourite television shows and movies using their personal accounts, safe in the knowledge that their details will be wiped on checkout.
The factors contributing to the overall guest experience are many, with the standard hotel amenities the obvious focal point. However, the above are just a few examples of the small ways you can help build a favourable impression of your hotel on top of your core services – and it’s often the little touches that are most appreciated.