Hotels, want to be starstruck? Digitalise to increase your hotel star rating
Fulfil the 2020-2025 European Hotelstars Union digitalisation criteria
The hotel star rating 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. Now is the time to update!
By optimising communication with hotel guests you improve customer satisfaction. And you’ll also be potentially earning your hotel another star to add to its hotel star rating.
Why the Hotelstars 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 its room service is 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 it has also facilitated the path of ubiquitous digitalisation into the hotels.”
This shouldn’t be surprising for two reasons:
- In our modern world, guests expect more automated services.
- 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. This will providing guests with additional information while providing greater efficiency 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 feel cared for when you send them a message before they stay at your hotel asking about their preferences.
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, guests can 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. Utilise self-check-in and self-check out platforms. In addition to removing reception lines, it reduces human contact. Consequently, this 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, ask guests about their preferences the moment they connect to WiFi. They can let your staff know immediately if they need something. Then 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. Inform guests about the best eateries, ways to the airports, and top attractions near your hotel.
Potential points: 40
Take control of online reviews
Lastly, authenticity has come to the forefront of the hospitality industry. HSU is dedicated to providing transparent standards for hoteliers and guests alike. As a result, they allotted several criteria to the management of guests’ reviews and complaints.
Get an online reputation management software that allows you to see all reviews in one place.
Those utilising our online reputation management software can take advantage of our immediate notification system. This system alerts your hotel when a review of 40% or less is published on an external review site offering comments. It allows you to swiftly check-in with the guest and clear up any misunderstandings. This can lead to the guest potentially removing or changing the review if handled well.
Additionally, displaying guest reviews 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.