When it comes to choosing a hotel, individual tastes vary widely, but there's a single trend that's proving to be a unanimous preference among travellers: personalisation.
Industry insights indicate that personalisation is key to creating a memorable experience for guests.
A report by Klaudia Ferenczuk for E-Hotelier makes the point that,
'Today’s customers not only appreciate content that is directed at them but seek and expect it. That is why both hoteliers and OTAs could benefit from including personalised offers and language to attract a wider audience.'
A luxury spa and friendly staff is all well and good, but a personalized hotel experience goes beyond the kind of amenities your hotel may have. It's that memorable special something that helps you stand out in a sea of fiercely competitive hotels.
Thanks to steadfast advancements in technology, you can sell your hotel guest experience to keep travelers engaged at your property.
Andy Betts of Martech Today writes,
'Organizational metrics of success will increasingly be aligned with customer success metrics. In today’s age of dynamic digital disruption, consumers are becoming not just more connected, but hyperconnected.'
Moreover, according to Frost & Sullivan, by 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.
Still not convinced and need more stats? Revinate highlighted the following statistics:
But what does this mean for your hotel business in practice, and how can you leverage this trend to your advantage?
With the proper knowledge and technology in place to provide more connected customer experiences, you will be able to structure your business around the customer. Given the aforementioned industry trends, this will help you pave the way to higher rates of customer satisfaction.
Personalisation in the Hotel Industry
According to research by Samsung, 9 out of 10 hoteliers believe guests will expect their stays to be personalised by 2020. In light of the recent Data Protection scandals and the new GDPR regulations, you might be worried that guests may dislike the invasiveness of technology -- but there's no reason to worry: Software Advice, an online technology reviews firm, discovered that even technology as powerful as facial recognition software would be welcomed by 41% of guests if it was used to personalise their stays. So, as long as you adhere to the rules, and use your tech and data wisely, you're in the clear.
1. Personalising potential guest's online experience
First thing's first: in order to personalise your perspective guest's experience, you need to source as much data as you can. And while you can't get a vast amount of information from perspective clients (assuming they haven't consented to a newsletter), you can track the location of your landing page visitor's, which offers you a unique opportunity to target your consumers in their native language.
Alternatively, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software can also help with delivering the right message to the right person at the right time by helping you to segment your contacts, as well as allowing you to find out more about previous guests so that you can further personalise their future visits.
2. Personalising your upcoming guest's marketing experience
A basic but often overlooked building block for personalising guest experiences is simply asking guests if there is anything in particular that they want. This is known as a pre-stay survey, and it is an incredibly easy way to get started with personalising a guest’s experience.
A businessperson's requirements for travel may vary vastly from that of a young family, and by simply asking about their purpose of travel and personal preferences -- do they need a stroller? Fitness equipment? Extra toiletries? -- you'll be able to cater to their specific needs, increasing the likelihood of guest satisfaction. Using a platform like Rentuu can help with delivering a concierge-level of catering to your guest's needs.
3. Personalising your guest's hotel stay
There's the straightforward (albeit overused) welcome note and complimentary wine, but it's the little touches that count the most. For example, if you have previous knowledge that a customer is a known coffee lover, a staff member could recommend a particular coffee shop, or provide that guest with specialized coffee making equipment in their room.
Any information that customers provide during their stay should be recorded in the appropriate CRM or property management software. Your business can benefit massively from constantly updating and increasing the amount of data that you have on previous guests.
Not only is this more likely to bring about brand loyalty -- after all, your guests will be more included to stay at your hotel if they feel like their needs have truly been met -- but they will also leave with a better and more customized experience every time.
The true advantage of a personalised hotel experience is a positive feedback loop that increases customer satisfaction and loyalty, and ensures that hotels will continue to enjoy repeat business from guests. With fierce competition from the likes of Airbnb, hotels absolutely must recognise its importance. And while technology can’t do personalisation for you, it can provide you with the necessary tools and information you need to make sure that your hotel's uniqueness and hospitality is felt by each individual in a profound, meaningful, and personal way.