Customization is a popular subject in the hotel industry, and the industry must continue to discuss it. The best ways to customize visitor experience inspire more excellent customer service and better hotel technology, the sort of technology that increases guest pleasure, operational efficiency, and the bottom line of a property.
Travelers have learned to expect more customized service as technology allows travel firms to target their clients better. To stand out and establish visitor loyalty, hotels must aim to meet and exceed guest expectations. In today’s more competitive market, this means customizing every guest’s stay.
Unfortunately, tiny, independent motels may feel left out of the discourse, believing that customizing the visitor experience is a trend that necessitates complex, expensive systems and reward schemes that the budget will not allow.
On the other hand, customization is no longer a trend; it’s a must. It’s also not difficult or expensive to put into effect. On the other hand, small, independent hotels are well-positioned to customize the visitor experience. The following are 10 ways to customize the guest experience.
1. Build Guest Profiles
Visitor data is the foundation for a genuinely customized guest experience. You should already have all of the details you need if your property employs a PMS, as most independent properties do these days.
Your PMS helps in gathering and storing visitor information in guest profiles, such as stay history and contact information, so that you can recognize and handle returning customers differently. Guest profiles could include additional information such as anniversaries, birthdays, interests, and preferences. During contacts with guests throughout the stay cycle, staff learns a lot about them. This information should be saved and utilized to tailor the visitor experience by anticipating their requirements and surprise and delighting them.
2. Send Pre- and Post-Stay Emails
Hotel pre-arrival emails have an average open rate of over 50%, making email one of the most successful customer interaction strategies. Sending tailored pre-and post-stay emails is simple with modern PMS and CRM solutions for independent hotels. Using email that extracts reservation information, personalized emails may be automatically triggered by stay or booking dates, as well as other features like room and price codes.
Pre-arrival emails are a great way to customize the visitor experience by conducting pre-stay questionnaires to learn more about their wants and preferences. You might also provide guests the choice of upgrading their accommodation or adding additional luxuries to their stay, giving them more control over their experience. At the same time, your property reaps the advantages of increased ancillary revenue. Customers will feel appreciated even if you only ask them to let you know if they have any particular requests or how you can make their stay even better.
💡 Post-stay emails may help build loyalty and offer hotels helpful input to improve and customize future visits after a guest’s stay. Send each guest an email thanking them for their visit and requesting comments on their stay.
3. Tailor Packages and Add-ons
Relevant packages and supplementary services offer value to your customers’ stay and improve their experience. Create packages and add-ons that appeal to the various visitor segments at your facility. Consider working with local companies, such as activity providers, to deliver unforgettable experiences for your guests.
Consider your visitors, the facilities they love, and the reasons they came to see you. Your PMS should have pricing and package management capabilities that enable you to create discounts and add-ons, sell them online, and restrict package access to particular consumers.
4. Welcome Guests with Paperless Check-in
Independent companies may provide a far more personalized welcome than the conventional check-in desk experience by using a mobile-accessible cloud PMS.
Using the paperless check-in feature, guests may sign check-in receipts electronically on a smartphone or tablet. Imagine welcoming your visitor at the door, assisting them with their luggage, encouraging them to have a seat, providing them with a refreshing beverage, and then checking them in and escorting them to their room. Isn’t that a far more welcoming greeting than a greeting over a front desk?
5. Use Guests’ Names
The most accessible and successful approach to customizing the visitor experience is to use the guest’s name (first or last name, if applicable). It demonstrates that your customers are more than simply a number to you.
Use the guest’s name when talking in person, over the phone, or by email/text message whenever feasible. Staff may access guest folios on the move with a mobile-optimized PMS, for example, when they run into a visitor in the corridor who pauses to make a particular request.
6. Engage with your guests before they arrive
Your visitors’ first impression begins online long before they arrive at your property, and the way you connect with them throughout the pre-arrival period is crucial. Don’t wait for queries from your visitors to come to you. Send your visitors a confirmation email with all the information they require, ensuring that they have a great experience. Also, confirm the reservation details, so your guests are not left in the dark concerning arrival guidelines or check-in information. These particulars differ from one home to the next, and your visitors want to be sure of everything before they start their holiday.
It’s not only about informing your visitors about the specifics; by connecting with them before they come, you can obtain complete arrival and contact information ahead of time, provide additional services, and ensure that the actual check-in is a great experience.
7. Be an expert on your locale
A welcome book should be prepared for your visitors when they arrive in their room. It has typically included all of the property’s and services’ whats and how-tos. It should include suggestions for what to see in the vicinity and advice for the ideal time to visit and local secrets.
If guests walk downstairs to enquire about what they’ve read, they should inform the front desk personnel as well. If your employees are unfamiliar with the region, urge them to try out what is suggested to become experts.
8. Leave some treats
Customer loyalty is critical to any hotel’s success, but it’s becoming increasingly difficult to sustain in today’s competitive industry. That is why hoteliers must concentrate on techniques that recognize and treat recurring customers. While loyalty programs are a terrific strategy, you need to think about how you build your program. After a specific amount of points are accumulated, many loyalty programs provide a free night or a reduced stay.
The issue with this strategy is that it might take a long time for someone to get their reward. As a result, vary your products. In addition to the free nights, include amenities that you can enjoy right away, such as a free drink at the bar, gratis valet, late check-out, or an automatic hotel upgrade. When guests come to your resort, it’s also crucial to greet them by name, noting that they are returning visitors and thanking them for their faithfulness.
9. Leave Handwritten Notes
A tiny personal touch like leaving a handwritten letter in the guest’s room upon arrival may significantly impact them. A simple letter greeting a returning visitor or encouraging a new guest to let you know if they want any assistance is always appreciated.
Moreover, guest profiles can assist staff in personalizing remarks even further. For example, you may ask a returning visitor if they’d want you to make reservations at a restaurant they enjoyed last time or inform them that you left extra pool towels in their room.
10. Share Insider Tips
According to a recent study conducted by Amadeus and IHG, 70% of tourists would prefer hotels to provide more recommendations for unique things to do during their stay. Beyond the town’s primary attractions, visitors search for unique local experiences.
Sharing your local expertise with your visitors improves their stay. Employees can communicate more directly with customers as they offer their own experiences and recommendations, as well as get to know them. Genuine human interactions like this add to the overall guest experience.
Customization service is at the heart of hospitality, making visitors feel appreciated and inspiring loyalty, and should include it in every property’s mission statement. Providing individualized guest service isn’t complicated or expensive; with a contemporary PMS for independent hotels and accommodations, lodging operators are already well-equipped to customize the visitor experience in straightforward, practical ways. Remember that while technology plays a vital part in customizing the visitor experience, the human aspect remains crucial.
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