Offering guest personalisation is a great strategy for improving the customer experience and building a solid reputation as a quality hotel. In fact, personalisation is not just desirable these days, most guests have come to expect hotels to tailor their stay to their needs and expectations.
With this in mind, in today’s article, we are going to explain why personalisation is the future of guest satisfaction and suggest a few strategies to help you personalise different stages in the guest journey.
Why is personalisation so important for the guest experience?
The guest experience has always been important, but customers have come to expect an enhanced level of personalisation over the past few years. Part of this is down to the disappointment that many travellers experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic when trips were cancelled last-minute, and many consumers were left out of pocket. Another contributing factor is the rising cost of living which has increased consumer demand for value for money. Plus, advances in technology have made personalisation and hyper-personalisation much easier to implement and manage, so many consumers now expect a digital, tailored experience when they book a hotel.
Personalisation can enhance the guest experience in a number of ways. The most obvious benefit is that it increases guest satisfaction and customers feel that they are getting value for money. This, in turn, boosts your sales and conversion rates.
Another important benefit is that personalisation strategies can help you build loyalty and customer retention. Plus, offering unique and memorable experiences helps you stand out from your competitors. In fact, 91% of consumers claim that they are more likely to purchase from brands that offer them personalised offers and experiences.
This represents a huge opportunity for hotels and revenue managers. Provided you implement the right strategies and use the right technology, of course.
Personalisation strategies to promote guest satisfaction
Here are a few personalisation strategies you can include in your revenue management model. With the right approach and access to the right tools, these strategies can help you offer a more personalised stay and improve the guest experience in your hotel.
Understand your guest segments
The first step, before you can offer personalisation, is understanding your guest segments. That way, you will have a clearer idea of what their needs, desires, preferences, and expectations are.
Your research for this should be based on your past customers and an analysis of the market in general. Which types of guests tend to book in your hotel? (Tourists, business travellers, etc.) How old is the average guest? Do you get more solo travellers, couples, or families? What are their preferences in terms of ancillary services and entertainment?
You can then use this information to break down your market into micro-segments and create specific profiles for each type of guest that you receive at your hotel. Aside from basic demographics, these profiles should also include a description of each micro-segmented guest’s preferences, interests, expectations, and behaviours. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be ready to design personalisation strategies that respond to the unique needs, wants, and desires of each micro-segment.
Customise your pre-arrival guest experience
The guest experience begins long before a guest arrives at your hotel. In fact, the level of satisfaction that your guests feel towards your hotel starts from the minute they confirm their reservation. This means that it is vital that you implement measures to customise your pre-arrival guest experience.
Start with your website. Is it intuitive and user-friendly? Do you promote add-ons during the booking process so that guests can personalise their stay? The most obvious add-on is breakfast, but you should also offer extra services such as spa facilities, welcome drinks, airport shuttle services, and parking, for instance.
The time between a guest confirming a reservation and arriving at your hotel is a perfect opportunity to collect as much information about them as possible so that you can upsell ancillary services to further tailor their stay. The best way to do this is to send them a pre-arrival email and a preference survey. You will then be ready to act on these preferences and expectations before they check-in.
Personalise guest communication at every touchpoint
Finally, it’s important to personalise communication at each stage of the guest journey.
This starts with pre-arrival. Send guests an email a few days before their arrival letting them know that you’re looking forward to seeing them soon. Make sure all emails are personalised and refer to guests by name.
Secondly, make sure you maintain regular, personalised communication whilst they are at your hotel. Guest communication tools based on AI and machine learning are a great way to ensure that guests have a platform to reach you at all times. For example, you can use an in-house communications app to keep in touch with your guests digitally throughout their stay. That way, they can let you know if there’s anything that you can do to personalise their stay and improve the level of service that you offer them.
Finally, don’t forget to keep in touch with your guests after they have checked out. Send them a personalised email asking about their experience at your hotel. Encourage them to leave you an online review and invite them to join your customer loyalty program. Then, after a bit of time has passed, send them personalised offers and discounts to encourage them to return. Remind them that your hotel values personalisation and that you are there to cater to all their needs, desires, and expectations.