One of the most effective strategies for building a successful hotel is offering a positive guest experience. After all, it doesn’t matter how competitive your pricing is or how many rooms you sell if your guests leave unsatisfied. Consumers need to feel that they are getting the most for their money, and that means having the best possible experience when they come to stay at your hotel. The happier they are when they leave, the more likely they are to return and the more likely they are to give you a positive review and recommend your hotel to their friends.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at 7 effective strategies for improving the guest experience at your hotel. These strategies cover every touch point in the guest cycle, from managing expectations during the discovery and consideration phase to providing a positive experience of your brand after they visit your establishment.
Believe it or not, the first strategy should be implemented way before a guest sets foot in your hotel, and it relates to market segmentation.
Market segmentation is one of the most important elements of your revenue management strategy, and it is one of the foundations of creating a positive guest experience. By analysing your customers and dividing them into different segments you can identify which demographics are most profitable, and create profiles of their habits, budget levels, likes and dislikes. You can then use these profiles to design individual experiences that align with the needs and expectations of each segment.
Update your website
A guest’s first experience of your hotel is likely to be when they visit your website. Even if they book through one of your other online channels, such as a third-party booking agent, they are likely to visit your site to get a better feel for the aesthetics and facilities that you offer.
If your website is unappealing or difficult to navigate, this will have a negative impact on their experience of your brand, and consumers may think twice about confirming a reservation with you. This means that it is vital that you update your website to ensure it is friendly, informative, and user-friendly. You could even personalise the experience by recognising and rewarding repeat visitors or using predictive personalisation technology, for example.
You also want your website to paint a picture of what a guest’s experience is likely to be when they come to stay. It’s all about managing their expectations during the discovery and consideration phase. It’s important to voice what makes you unique, but don’t oversell or overpromise. If you’re a two-star hotel, don’t make it look like you’re the Hilton, otherwise, it will be impossible for your guests not to feel disappointed when they check in. The best way to create the right level of expectation is by being honest about who you are and what you have to offer.
Personalise a guest’s stay
Personalisation shouldn’t stop at the online experience – expand the concept into a guest’s actual stay with you too. This can be a great way to boost the guest experience and help them feel valued and appreciated as customers. Get in touch with your guests in advance and ask them about a few of their likes and dislikes.
Do they prefer room service or dining in the hotel? Would they be interested in using a virtual concierge service to cater to their individual needs? Are there any activities they’d like to do whilst staying at your hotel?
The more you and your team are able to customise a guest’s experience to their preferences and desires, the more welcome and appreciated they will feel.
Delivery great customer service
It goes without saying that one of the best ways to provide an appealing guest experience is by providing exemplary customer service levels throughout their stay. Make sure your entire team is well-trained in customer service and that they understand the value that it represents. Encourage them to be friendly and helpful at all times and always address guests with a genuine smile. Make sure they are able to transmit the message that they are willing to go the extra mile in order to provide the best possible guest experience to everyone that visits your hotel.
Collect reviews and respond to feedback
The guest experience doesn’t end when a customer checks out; it’s also vital that you collect feedback and follow up on all reviews to help you learn from their experience. That way, you can continuously improve your facilities and service levels and provide guests with an even better experience next time they visit you.
This could be as simple as dropping them a quick email after their stay and asking them to leave you a review on TripAdvisor or on your social media pages. A few positive remarks can go a long way in improving your online reputation and attracting more customers to your hotel. Even a negative review can have a positive impact if you publicly respond to it and show your guests that you care about their experience and will do what’s needed to address issues and improve.
Take complaints seriously
To the same effect, make sure you take any complaints seriously and communicate the fact that you welcome criticism with open-mindedness and genuine concern. Treat every complaint and bad experience as an opportunity to learn how to improve your guest experience.
Use the right tools and software
Finally, one of the best ways to ensure you provide a satisfying guest experience overall is by using the right tools and software. For example, you can use revenue management software to streamline your data collection processes so that you have real-time access to all customer feedback and reviews and get a daily reading of what your reputation is like. That way, you can quickly respond to issues and make the necessary adjustments in order to improve the customer experience at your hotel. Plus, because an RMS automates and streamlines your data collection processes, you can dedicate more time to creating the right sustainable strategy to improve your guest experience and boost the total revenue generated by your hotel.