articles

Hotels, want to be starstruck? Increase star rankings by digitalising

July, 2020

Fulfil the 2020-2025 European Hotelstars Union digitalisation criteria 

A hotel’s star ranking is one of the first things guests research before making a booking decision. Did you know hotels utilising digital communication earn more points (potentially 50+ points) towards a star according to the Hotelstars Union (HSU) rating?

Updated HSU criteria will be applied in Germany from July 1, 2020, within the Hotelstars Union they will be mandatory from January 1, 2021 so now is the time to update! By optimising communication with hotel guests you improve customer satisfaction, while potentially earning your hotel another star to its ranking. 

Why the Hotelstar Union rankings centre on digitalisation

The Hotelstars Union provides a common criterion for classifying hotels within participating member EU countries to provide transparency in the industry. The criterion covers a wide range of areas like whether or not the hotel has a pillow menu, sound-absorbing doors, and how many hours is its room service available to guests. 

The Hotelstars Union’s most recent update to their star criteria focused on the area of digitalisation, saying “The revision has not only opened up the system to modern hotel concepts but also facilitates the path of ubiquitous digitalisation into the hotels.

This shouldn’t be surprising for two reasons: 

  1. In our modern world, guests expect more automated services.
  2. COVID-19 has prompted most businesses to digitalise in some capacity for health concerns. 

Optimise guest communication by going digital

When it comes to communicating with your guests, have you taken the time to map out your customer journey? 

Take advantage of a Customer Experience Platform. You’ll be astonished by the number of touchpoints you can automate, providing guests additional information while being more efficient with your staff’s time. 

And yes, these digitalised touchpoints will earn your hotel more points according to the HSU. Below we’ve suggested ways to upgrade your hotel communication along with the potential points you can earn for each area your hotel digitalises.

Guest connection before arrival

Personalisation matters. Send guest messages (SMS or email) which are customised to them the moment they make a booking with you. 

For example, guests will feel cared for when you utilise one of these messages to ask them what their preferences are before they stay at your hotel. Would they like a pickup from the airport, a bottle of champagne upon arrival, turn-down service, luxurious bathrobes, etc? This is a fantastic way to upsell your hotel’s extras.

If you’re using our Front Desk Booster, you can also allow guests to send in their check-in information pre-arrival, saving everyone time! 

Potential points: 1

Digitalised guest experience

After a long business trip, guests don’t want to wait in a line to check-in. Guess what else your hotel can get points for? Self-check-in services. Free up hotel staff to better interact with guests by utilising self-check-in and self-check out platforms. In addition to removing reception lines, it reduces human contact, which is in the health interest of all parties. 

Now that your guests have checked in, make sure they have everything they need. If you’re operating with our Customer Experience Platform, guests can be asked about their preferences the moment they connect to WiFi. They can let your staff know immediately if they need something and your employees will be able to create an internal ticket to ensure their needs are met as soon as possible. 

Grab more points by making regional information and services available to guests also via WiFi. Let guests know the best eateries, ways to the airports, and top attractions near your hotel.

Potential points: 40

Take control of online reviews

Authenticity has come to the forefront of the hospitality industry, and as HSU is dedicated to providing transparent standards for hoteliers and guests alike, they allotted several criteria to the management of guests’ reviews and complaints. 

Manage your online reputation with a tool that allows you to see all reviews in one place. Those utilising our software can take advantage of our immediate notification system, which alerts your hotel when a review of 40% or less is published on an external review site offering comments. This notification allows you to swiftly check-in with the guest and clear up any misunderstandings, leading to the guests potentially removing or changing the review if handled well. 

Additionally, having guests reviews displayed on your website builds trust with your clientele. Integrate these reviews with the Customer Alliance widget. Not only will you likely see an increase in bookings, but you’ll earn more points towards another star for your hotel. 

Potential points: 17

 

If you haven’t already done so, perhaps it’s time to perform a digital audit over your guest communication.

As you can see, digitalising your hotel could earn your hotel up to 50 more points on the HotelStar Union scale. Why? Because it’s the way your customers like their needs to be met today. 

Posted by