How Hotels Can Target Guest Experience Touchpoints
In the age of customer, guest experience is a priority for the hospitality industry. Today, every hotel has mastered the basics when it comes to guest experience. But there is a lot more that guests demand today. While hotels deliver the high-touch hospitality, they must also look into giving guests the instant satisfaction they experience in other industries.
To truly improve any experience, we should look into the journey. Identifying touchpoints in the customer journey and understanding what your customer expects is crucial to embark on the road to improving guest experience.
In this blog, we will explore what guests expect at every touchpoint and how hotels can continue to surpass those expectations giving guests the experience they want:
Guests want a seamless booking experience. Among the several factors that influence a booking decision today, technological amenities such as free high-speed WiFi are becoming key influencers. Guests returning to your hotel expect you to know them. According to a recent Deloitte survey, only two-third of the guests feel that hotels knew them and made the effort to remember their needs and preferences. Knowing your guest can be enabled by a combination of human and technology efforts. With omnichannel digital engagement, you can understand and remember your guest preferences and hence, truly know them the way they expect you to.
If your hotel staff has too many other things to focus on, they might slip up in being truly hospitable to the guests. And that can’t be compromised as the top reason for a positive hotel stay still continues to be a friendly and helpful staff. Enabling staff with automation and technology can unburden them of redundant manual tasks, and can allow them to give more attention to the guests. The Deloitte report shows that this can lead to a 29% more likelihood of guests sharing positive reviews. Hotels should look into what technological implementations can help their staff engage with guests in an attentive, authentic and personalized way.
Three key things that guests expect during a stay at a hotel are:
a. Personalized experience
Guests want to be delighted during their stay — especially millennials who want this 71% more than other generations. This delight can only happen when hotels surpass guest expectations through surprise moments of personalization. Delighting your guests is hardly about giving them lavish amenities for free. It’s more subtle in the different unanticipated ways that you tailor their hotel stay experience. The powerhouse of this kind of personalization will be actionable guest data that is collected through integrated digital tools.
b. Proactive recommendations
Today, guests expect capabilities that allow them to shape their own experience. They expect relevant information to be readily available so that they can make the choices to curate the experience both inside and outside the property. These kinds of proactive recommendations must be based on the past activities and behaviors. Hotels can leverage data from WiFi and other digital engagement to provide the information the guests seek through an intuitive portal. Further, push notifications can be sent out for suggestions and recommendations employing AI.
Guests want to feel empowered with this personalization based on their preferences and needs. The Deloitte survey has found that luxury guests, in particular, value this customization 30% more than others.
c. Quick issue resolution
Despite all your efforts, mistakes do happen. But what matters is how you handle it when your guest has a less than perfect experience. Getting this service recovery in the right time can make or break the hotel stay. In fact, guests are 40% more likely to share a positive review of your hotel when the problem is fixed quickly. This can be ensured if hotels are willing to listen to what guests are saying. You must understand their needs, situation and problems. Utilizing different feedback channels is a start but it should also be paired with constant human support that is always ready to listen and act.
To earn your guests loyalty, providing them with a perfect experience is imperative.
But besides the hotel experience, guests must also be satisfied with how you value and reward their loyalty. Leveraging guest data, you can understand what guests want in exchange for their loyalty and truly increase the likelihood of guests returning to your hotel. Moreover, loyalty programs can be a great source of historical data to learn about guest preferences and needs.
Your Action Plan
Now that you know how you can target different guest experience touchpoints, here is an action plan for you to get started:
- Recognize how you want to transform the guest experience that your hotel provides in the long run. But that doesn’t mean that you begin resolving all possible challenges today employing the latest technology out there.
- Keep your vision in mind and start with the low-hanging fruits. Advance towards your vision as you achieve small efficiencies everyday with new technological implementations.
- Some of things you adopt might work for you yielding tremendous results while others might not. However, you must continue iterating as you validate or abandon new implementations.
Does that sound like a lot of work?
We, at Savantis, help hotels elevate their guest experience through our omnichannel digital engagement solution – SAMMY. We work closely with hotels and restaurants to understand the nuances specific to their business and identify opportunities for improvement.
Please feel free to get in touch with one of our experts to learn how we can help you embark on this transformation journey.