How Can A Guest Experience Strengthen The Loyalty of Your Hotel Guests?
The Power of Delivering a Unique Guest Experience
For hoteliers worldwide, guest loyalty has become an increasingly important concept. A couple of years ago, hotels – especially larger chains – tried to enforce loyalty through reward programs. But in such a saturated hotel market, it is all about creating an inspiring, memorable and authentic experience across the entire guest journey.
And it’s important to remember that loyalty comes at the end of a long process. First, you need to show a good understanding of your guests’ needs. Then, create a relationship based on trust. To succeed, it’s vital to take the guest experience into your own hands.
Offering a tailor-made guest experience at each stage of the journey
In this modern, digital landscape, the guest journey has become increasingly complex. Travellers constantly search for information, they compare and they constantly engage with hotel brands. Meeting their needs and exceeding expectations is directly correlated to strengthening the loyalty.
Using digital solutions at all touch points is especially important for attracting and retaining modern travelers who expect a seamless, intuitive experience. Engaging at these touch points, e.g. with the help of a customer experience management software, enables hoteliers to gather important data from guests while simplifying processes and ensuring a personalised experience.
Pre-Stay: Anticipate your guests’ needs
Without doubt, the internet has become a crucial element in booking a trip. Or, more specifically, a hotel room. Therefore, it is important to realise that the guest experience starts right here. An updated and easy-to-navigate website and well-maintained social media channels are your figurehead. And probably people are already talking about you on review portals such as TripAdvisor or Google. Do you reply to these reviews? For many travellers, responses from hotels to ratings are just as important as the review itself.
Did a guest book a hotel room? Then it is time to engage proactively. By starting a dialogue with the guest, perhaps through a personalised email, you have the opportunity to give them a considerable amount of information relevant to their stay. It’s also a chance to make additional sales. Think of a bottle of champagne upon arrival, a treatment in your spa or renting a bike.
A good guest experience lies partly in the element of surprise, or the “wow factor”. It’s important to know how to create an emotion in your guest. Understanding and anticipating your guests’ needs before they arrive, allows you to them a personalised experience.
If you would like to learn more about the importance of a pre-stay communication, we recommend you our article “What is pre-stay communication and how does it improve guest satisfaction”?
During-stay: Engage with your guests on site
Keeping the conversation flowing, once the guest is at your hotel, is becoming increasingly important, given the various needs guests may have. When better to strengthen a guest’s loyalty than when they’re staying in your hotel?
Sending the guest a quick message or email asking them about any needs they might have, can create the best possible conditions for what comes next. Make use of flexible questionnaires to gather relevant feedback. Do they need extra pillows or an iron? Or are they struggling with a broken light bulb in the bathroom? Such feedback forms help you to fulfill requests and address any issues, virtually in real time.
You can meet your guests’ basic needs by anticipating and by automating your processes to create a fluid, optimal experience. Let’s continue to follow the guest journey by taking a look at the end of the stay.
Post-stay: Build a long-term relationship
As we often state in our articles, post-stay communication demands all your attention because it determines your long-term relationship with the guest. Again, invite your guests proactively to leave a review after their stay with a personalised questionnaire . This shows how much you appreciate their opinion. And knowing what your guests are saying about you is your ultimate tool to identify weaknesses and strengths, and to improve operations and service accordingly. By distributing these reviews to leading review portals like TripAdvisor and Google, you increase your visibility. And more potential guests will see you.
But don´t stop communicating just yet. Instead, continue the conversation, particularly by email, by occasionally sending them promotions and offers, thus ensuring you secure direct bookings.
Moreover, it is very useful to analyse the feedback. This allows you to better anticipate future demands and adapt the guest experience as appropriate.
To sum up
The guest experience is constructed at each stage of the journey. Therefore, make sure to take over the ownership by engaging with your guests along the entire guest journey. Flexible feedback forms help you to offer a tailor-made experience and to resolve any issues in a timely manner. Meeting your guests expectations will ultimately strengthen guest loyalty.
By taking these factors into consideration and implementing a strategy that focuses meticulously on the guest experience, you’re giving yourself the best chance of strengthening guest loyalty. These days, guests value the experience more than the benefits a simple room has to offer.
Would you like to learn how a customer experience management software can help you delivering a unique experience to strengthen the loyalty of your guest? Then schedule your personal, free consultation with one of our experts.