A hotel’s value lies in how it’s able to cater to its guests. The hospitality industry has always hinged on providing an exceptional and personalized experience for the guest.
In today’s age of digitalization, it can feel hard to personalize, but the opposite is true. Hospitality management technology makes it easier than ever for hotels to personalize the guest experience if they understand how to efficiently utilize it.
The more a hotel can personalize an experience, the more satisfied the guest will be. Higher levels of personalization lead to higher levels of guest satisfaction. Guest satisfaction is especially important in an age such as ours, where people can publicly share their opinion of their experiences online for thousands to see.
Personalization and Hotel Websites
Personalization of the guest experience starts the moment a guest books. Assuming a guest visits your website to book, they should be greeted with offerings that match their preferences. For example, if a guest is booking a hotel during a major event in the city, they’ll be happy to see the hotel advertising discounts for guests attending such events.
With the technology of web-based booking engines, hoteliers can personalize the guest experience before they even arrive. Website Booking Engine software allows guests to enter any special occasions, preferences, or requests right on the booking page. By reviewing these requests on-site, hoteliers can ensure their staff is prepared ahead of time to personalize the guest experience.
Hotel reservation software gives important insight into a guest’s data. For example, hotels can require people to enter their date of birth when booking a hotel. If their birthday is coming up, your hospitality staff can surprise the guest with a free dessert or discount on a spa package. In hospitality, it’s the little touches that make a big difference!
Living Up to Guest Expectations
When guests book a hotel room, they are traveling out of their way for a reason. Whether the reason is personal or business – it’s important to recognize it. Hotel rooms are not cheap! Plus, to get guests to spend more during their stay, hoteliers need to focus on personalizing the services offered.
For example, someone who notes during their booking that they are traveling for business is probably not interested in the honeymoon package. Business travelers will be interested in features that make their lives easier, such as on-site dry-cleaning services.
When booking a hotel, guests aren’t looking to simply have a roof over their heads. They are looking for an experience where their needs are seen and cared for. Technology, like web-based booking engines, helps hotels provide the desired guest experience by prompting guests to explain what they’d like during their stay.
The best hotel reservation system will run the customer through a list of questions and forms where the hotel can gather data about who they are. From this data, hotel staff can accommodate a person based on their unique travel needs. A family of four will have very different expectations than a bachelorette party of ten!
Although treating guests with equality has value, what’s most valuable is to treat each guest as a unique, special addition to your hotel. A couple who visits on their honeymoon is sure to be touched when they arrive to see fresh strawberries and champagne in their room. It’s a small gesture, but it has a big impact.
The impacts of personalization are tangible. Today, online reviews impact every business in some way. Consumers can easily post reviews of your hotel for everyone to see. By personalizing the guest experience, your hotel secures better online reviews.
Those who are impressed with their experience at your hotel are more likely to return. This is especially true for business travelers, a demographic that will travel frequently. Securing the business of return customers is vital to a hotel’s long-term success.
Finally, word-of-mouth marketing is more powerful than it gets credit for. If a guest is exceedingly impressed with their stay, they will surely tell their friends and family about the hotel. They may even post it on social media – garnering even more impressions, near and far.
Everybody in the hospitality industry knows how detrimental bad experiences are. However, the flip side is considering how good experiences can positively affect your business. Over time, with consistently positive guest reviews, your hotel’s business will soar.
Methods to Personalize Your Website and Website Booking Engine
Since most bookings today are made online, it’s important personalization starts with the hotel website.
First and foremost, your hotel website should be inviting, user-friendly, and aesthetically pleasing. It should highlight the great assets of your hotel – whether it’s the location, amenities, or services, it’s important to put your best foot forward online.
Next, it’s important to cater to your most frequent demographic groups. For example, if your hotel is next to a large conference centre, your hotel likely attracts business travelers. In this case, you would want to highlight the services you have for business travelers. This could mean featuring your high-speed Wi-Fi, dry cleaning, or dedicated workspaces for rent.
Personalization really is built during the booking process, though. Your Website Booking Engine should feature a section where guests select their main reason for travel. Whichever reason they suggest should personalize their booking experience from there forward.
For example, if a guest selects that they are traveling for a family vacation, that gives the hotel a lot of insight alone. This action can trigger the next page in the booking process to be full of family fun activities and promotions.
For example, a hotel may advertise discounts they’re offering on nearby theme parks. Or they may highlight the features of their pool. Some hotels may offer on-site entertainment, like magic shows, which they could offer tickets to right on the booking page.
By personalizing the booking experience to the guest’s needs, a hotel not only makes the guest feel valued but also generates more profit. Guests might not know your hotel offers children’s magic shows on Thursdays – unless the hotel clearly advertises it during the booking process.
Knowledge is power. When people are informed about what experiences and amenities they can enjoy at your property, they are more likely to purchase ahead of time. This leads to a win-win situation, where the guest has a better experience, and the hotel makes more profit on ancillary services.
In the End
Personalization is key in running a successful hotel. Hospitality is all about catering to someone’s needs. Thankfully, with today’s technology such as web-based booking engines, hoteliers can gather important information from guests with the click of a button.