It’s often noted that the modern hotel guest wants a lot more than just a bed for the night. But what does that mean, exactly?
For hotels to be successful in this incredibly competitive market, they need to offer a guest experience that lives long in the memory – certainly, long enough to ensure plenty of repeat visits and direct bookings.
Here are five elements of a modern hotel experience that a guest expects to be delivered every time.
Engagement (via multiple channels) before they arrive
As soon as a guest has booked a room, they expect some form of interaction from the hotel in question.
That might be an automated email from the property management system, or a well timed series of SMS messages leading up to the stay.
They may even expect plenty of interaction on social media when they reach out to find out more about their stay.
Just because you’ve gained a booking doesn’t mean you can wait until the guest arrives to start building that relationship.
Fast, secure, freely available WiFi
The time when it was acceptable to charge for WiFi access in a hotel has long since passed. Guests now expect, fast and secure WiFi to be made available whenever and wherever they need it – for free.
The good news if you’re a hotelier is that you can now use WiFi marketing to obtain user data when they log in, and use those details to send personalised offers and promotions that just might result in a direct booking or three.
The ability to personalize a guest’s stay extends far beyond greeting them at the front desk by their name.
Now, thanks to the significant amount of data modern PMSs can retain about guests, you can tailor stays to match their exact requirements based on past behaviour.
For instance, if you know the exact type of pillow Mrs Smith prefers, and the preferred room and meal of choice for Mr Evans, why not offer them those things before they even think about it?
Expertise on the local area
Your front desk team aren’t just reception staff in the eyes of the guest – they’re a helpful bunch of people who can assist them with pretty much anything (within reason) during their stay.
In particular, they’ll probably want some guidance on the local area, whether it be the best taxi rank to use, best value restaurant or how to get to <insert name of attraction here>.
This is why it’s vital hotel staff have a great working knowledge of the local area and are ready and primed to answer any questions that might crop up about the locale.
The little things
When it comes to a hotel experience, it really is the little things that make the biggest difference, combined.
Modern guests will expect the following:
– good quality towels;
– plenty of charging points;
– a decent sized TV with access to services like Netflix;
– full sized toiletries; and
– a little something special if it’s a special occasion (for instance, a bottle of bubbly for a honeymoon).
Are you paying attention to the smaller elements in your hotel?
The modern hotel guest experience constantly evolves. Providing independent hotels keep up with it, they can compete handsomely against the chain competition, and even find some key differentiators along the way.
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