Creating unforgettable guest experiences comes down to being attentive to their needs, from the moment they book their stay to the day they check out. Find out how small touches can have a big impact – and make your property memorable.
Great guest experiences are fundamental to running a successful accommodation. When a guest leaves your property happy, it has a ripple effect on your business. Whether they share their experience with friends and family, leave a positive review online or book another stay with you, every good experience can lead to a big pay off. To help you make sure your guest experience is the best it can be, here are our three Ps for success: Property, Place and People.
How can you create great guest experiences?
The first thing to understand is what exactly a ‘great guest experience’ means. It’s a seamless, comfortable and effortless experience for guests, from the moment they book your property to after they leave. There are many points during this journey when you can take small steps to improve their overall experience in a big way.
Unsurprisingly, booking the right property is the starting point for any unforgettable guest experience. According to a recent Travel Trends Survey, 37% of guests say that finding the right accommodation is the most important factor for a good trip, while an additional 53% feel that it’s just as important as things like sightseeing and activities. This means that 90% of travellers agree that a great trip depends on choosing the right property in the first place. That’s where you come in.
There’s so much you can do to make your guests feel like they’ve chosen the best possible property. From the moment you open the door, attentiveness, friendliness and appreciation for your guests is incredibly important. Never underestimate what a warm welcome means to tired travellers.
But there are things you can do to go the extra mile, to make their experience truly unforgettable. Little touches like fresh flowers, a bottle of wine, or cake for a special occasion can turn a satisfied guest into a delighted one. A homemade meal or an upgrade to a nicer room can also be the cherry on top of a perfect stay.
To take away the stress of travel, you could also consider offering things like a shuttle service between your property and the airport or train station. On top of that, you can help with the logistics of their trip – from booking tours and excursions in the area, to calling a restaurant to make a reservation ahead of time.
Guests really appreciate local tips and recommendations. Offering insights on the surrounding area can make their trip unique – it gives them a chance to feel like a local and experience some hidden gems in the region.
Is your area known for great mountain biking? Be sure to recommend the best trails to your guests. You could even leave a map in their room, or a list of the best routes.
This goes for any activity or sightseeing – the best museums and parks, the most unforgettable events and festivals, the most lively ‘Happy Hour’. Help your guests feel informed by making sure they know what’s possible in their surroundings: from where to hire bicycles and eat great local food, to finding the coolest art gallery. These are the kinds of priceless tips guests won’t find in guidebooks, which help to set your property apart from the rest.
One advantage smaller properties have over bigger hotels is the opportunity to make a personal connection. If you or your staff take the time to give a guest extra attention, it can really make a difference in their stay. Asking them how they are, if they need a glass of water, if they’re here for a special occasion – that’s the kind of attentiveness people don’t easily forget.
Feeling welcomed and cared for is just as important as respecting guests’ private domain. It’s a fine balance – you want them to feel like they have total privacy, but also free enough to come to you with any questions or requests. A prime time to set up this dynamic is during check-in. Greet them with a smile, let them know you’re there, and then leave them to it. A welcome booklet is a nice way to let them know you can help with any needs they may have, while also cutting down on lengthy introductions.
We hope you found these tips useful for creating unforgettable guest experiences. From a warm welcome to extras like wine and flowers, it’s the personal, human touch that guests will remember. Like any relationship, it just comes down to being there when they need you.
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