No two guests are the same. The expectations of business travellers, families or groups of friends are vastly different: from noise levels and internet requirements, to activities and desired amenities. What’s more, guests are expecting hotel rooms to feel like home – and their stays to feel personalised. In fact, 86% of consumers say personalisation plays a role in their decision to make a purchase. So how can you personalise the guest experience more at your property?
As the old saying goes: knowledge is power. And in today's hospitality industry, knowledge means data. To be able to improve your guests’ experience and speedily address their needs, you have to first understand who they are and what they want. Here are our top tips for getting started with guest personalisation:
The natural starting point for gathering information that can help you personalise the guest experience is your reservation software or Property Management System (PMS). These solutions should give you the basic details you need to build a guest profile: the guest’s name, their preferred contact method (email, phone, messaging), the number of rooms they’ve reserved, the number of guests included in the reservation, and the number (and age) of any accompanying children.
The next level of information you could look to use might be the guest’s home country and preferred language. If you know what these are, you can better cater to guests at each stage of their customer journey. Having your own direct booking website makes it easy to collect and analyse the demographic data of your guests.
Pre- and post-stay communication
Once you know who your guests are, where they’re from and what their preferred contact method and language are, you can tailor your communication throughout the reservation cycle. For example, you could send guests a pre-stay survey to better understand, manage and deliver on their expectations. Alternatively, you could send guests a post-stay satisfaction survey or guest review request along with a thank-you message – building brand loyalty and encouraging repeat bookings in the process.
Let technology assist you
Smaller properties may not have the luxury of time and manpower to personalise the experience of each and every guest, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. These days you can use chatbots to communicate with guests without needing to be on call yourself. The smart technology behind such robotic helpers is surprisingly human – it can answer the simpler queries from potential guests browsing your website, and divert any more complicated questions straight back to you. This helps to secure bookings, save time and assist you in getting valuable feedback about what you’re doing well or not.
No matter how big or small the property, any successful accommodation is built on consistently providing great guest experiences. When a guest checks out of your place happy, it has a knock-on effect on your business. By tapping into the data you have and using it to personalise guests’ experiences, you can increase guest satisfaction, boost loyalty to your brand and enhance your reputation – all of which helps to bring new bookings your way.