As anyone in hospitality knows, a satisfying guest experience can lead to positive online reviews, repeat business, and a brand reputation supporting continued growth.
If visitors love their time at your property, they are more likely to return and recommend it to others, drawing in more visitors. The guest experience is crucial for conversions because more than 83 per cent of visitors look for recommendations from friends, family, and an active online community when making a reservation.
The hotel guest experience refers to a guest’s overall impression during their stay at a hotel or resort. This includes the guest’s interactions with the hotel, including booking, check-in, room quality, staff interactions, amenities, and check-out. Even if it doesn’t lead to a booking, the guest experience covers every engagement or conversation you have with your visitors, whether direct or indirect.
Everything influences the guest experience, from before they arrive when they browse third-party websites or online travel agencies (OTAs) or read online reviews to your website, email correspondence, and, of course, the actual stay.
A positive guest experience can increase customer loyalty and positive word-of-mouth marketing. In contrast, a negative experience can lead to lost revenue and damage a hotel’s reputation.
There are several ways that hotels and resorts can use the guest experience to increase revenue:
1 Pre-arrival contact:
Visitors utilize your social media platforms, website chatbots, or other channels to learn more during the inquiry, discovery, or pre-arrival stage. When responding to these inquiries, it’s crucial to be consistent and timely. Contact booked guests via email and keep them updated on their upcoming visit. These interactions become an excellent chance to upsell your services.
And don’t forget to make it simple for visitors to contact you before, during, and even after their stay.
Allow visitors to email their preferences before their stay for a more individualized experience. This is closely related to building a guest profile where you understand their needs, such as specific food requirements or whether they would like help booking local excursions. You can also let visitors select their accommodations in advance.
Hotels can increase customer satisfaction and loyalty by tailoring the guest experience to each guest’s individual needs and preferences.
For example, offering personalized recommendations for dining or activities based on a guest’s interests can enhance their experience and increase the likelihood of repeat visits.
3 A smooth reservation process:
Do you use your website to promote and offer direct reservations? If so, ensure it is configured to provide a smooth and hassle-free booking experience.
- Detailed and simple-to-read information on different room and apartment types
- Images and videos
- Rates and promotions should be simple to find. Encourage people to use your website to make a reservation by offering value-added deals that make it more appealing than using an online travel agency (OTA).
- Mobile responsive
- Protected online payments
- Integration with your channel manager and PMS will guarantee that the website always displays accurate information.
- Ensuring your information, availability, and rates are accurate is crucial for customers who also make reservations through other online channels. In addition, this will help you avoid overbookings, which will undoubtedly leave a poor impression on customers.
Hotels can use the guest experience to upsell additional services or amenities. For example, if a guest expresses interest in spa services, the hotel can offer a package including spa services and a room upgrade. Hotels can increase revenue and enhance the guest experience by making relevant and appealing offers to guests.
5 Simple check-in:
Enable online check-ins and allow visitors to select their rooms or apartments in advance. A smartphone app that facilitates check-in and check-out can help lower lobby wait times, manage the entire stay, and provide more possibilities to upsell services that boost income.
6 Reviews and feedback:
Encouraging guests to leave reviews and provide feedback can help hotels identify areas where they can improve the guest experience. Hotels can increase the likelihood of positive reviews and repeat business by addressing any negative feedback and making improvements.
7 Loyalty programs:
Loyalty programs can incentivize guests to choose a hotel or resort for future stays. Hotels and resorts can increase customer loyalty and repeat business by offering rewards such as free nights, upgrades, or exclusive access to amenities.
8 Make visitors feel valued and heard:
This is a no-brainer for resorts and hotels, where staff are trained to be at their most friendly. However, for a great guest experience, your team must comprehend and practices this.
- Be courteous. Whenever possible, call guests by their names.
- Be understanding to visitors who may have traveled a distance to stay at your hotel.
- Room upgrades are usually beneficial. If you have superior rooms available, offer them at a steep discount without affecting your revenue.
- When visitors stay at your hotel to celebrate a special occasion, such as a significant birthday or anniversary, join in the festivities by providing something from your end.
- Be their tour guide to your destination by offering local tips.
- Pay attention to complaints from visitors. Be prompt in your response to the problems, and ensure you keep everyone informed of the steps taken to prevent recurrences of the problem.
9 Post-checkout correspondence:
Even after your visitors go, keep in touch with them. You can send offers, include them in your loyalty program, or provide the opportunity to serve as brand ambassadors for their friends and family, depending on your audience segmentation and frequency of visits.
Several hotels and resorts have successfully used a guest experience focus to increase their revenue.
Here are a few examples of a guest experience focus in action:
- Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts: Four Seasons is a luxury hotel brand with a reputation for providing exceptional guest experiences. The company invests heavily in training and development to ensure staff members provide personalized and attentive service to guests. This focus on the guest experience has helped the brand build a loyal customer base and command high room and occupancy rates.
- Marriott International: Marriott is another hotel brand that has emphasized the guest experience in recent years. The company has launched several initiatives to enhance the guest experience, including a mobile app that allows guests to check in and check out remotely and a program that allows guests to earn points for engaging in socially responsible activities during their stay. These initiatives have helped Marriott to build a loyal customer base and to increase revenue.
- The Ritz-Carlton: The Ritz-Carlton is a luxury hotel brand known for its exceptional service and attention to detail. The company has a program called “Mystique”, designed to personalize the guest experience by offering customized amenities and services based on each guest’s preferences. This focus on personalization has helped the brand to build a loyal customer base and to command high room rates.
- Disney Parks and Resorts: Disney is synonymous with customer experience. The company has a strong focus on providing exceptional guest experiences at its theme parks and resorts, with attention to every detail, from the cleanliness of the parks to the quality of the food and the friendliness of the staff. This focus on the guest experience has helped Disney to build a loyal customer base and to command premium prices for its products and services.
Overall, the hotel guest experience is crucial in driving revenue and the resort or hotel’s success. By focusing on the guest experience and investing in training, technology, and personalization, resorts and hotels can build a loyal customer base and increase revenue.
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