The more hotels connect with guests on a personal level, the more likely they are to return. From a simple "Welcome back Mr Smith" to swapping out feather pillows for hypoallergenic ones, anticipating your guests' needs can work wonders to increase guest satisfaction, create lifelong loyalty, and increase revenue.
The good news is that this level of personalisation is not as complex as it seems. Niels Verspui, the market head of RoomRaccoon South Africa, a hotel management solution for independent hotels, shares five tools hotels can use to personalise the guest journey in 2023.
The booking stage presents the first opportunity to capture valuable data that can form the foundation of the guest relationship.
Adopting an all-in-one hotel management solution with a smart booking engine allows hotels to capture essential information like contact details and reservation information that will automatically populate guest folios in the Property Management System (PMS).
Even something as simple as capturing an email address and first name can be enough information to start personalising the guest journey.
A recent study by Accenture shows that 91% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands that recognise, remember, and provide relevant offers and recommendations.
A next-generation PMS automatically creates a guest folio when a reservation is entered into the system. These folios are key for identifying returning guests and tailoring their stay accordingly. Hotels can record additional remarks that are pertinent to the guest’s stay. These remarks are saved to their folio and help staff anticipate their needs during their stay and when they return.
Did your guest mention a dairy allergy when they first visited your hotel? Then surprise them with dairy-free welcome chocolates on their next visit. This hyper-personalisation is the way to earn lifetime loyalty!
Good communication is key to creating a personalised guest experience that makes guests feel acknowledged and valued.
Hotel management technology with automated guest communication ensures that each and every guest receives the right message at the right time. From booking confirmations to post-stay feedback requests, hotels can create customisable emails that use reservation data to deliver tailored communication triggered at different points of the guest journey.
Pre-stay emails with online check-in can also be useful for gathering additional information before guests arrive at your hotel, whereas post-stay communication adds value by thanking guests for their stay and helps to build loyalty. Hoteliers can also consider including a redeemable discount code in their post-stay email to encourage repeat bookings or a quick survey to show guests that you care about their experience.
Where there is choice, there is personalisation. Simply offering to check in online or at the front desk can create a more tailored experience for guests.
Online check-in technology is managed via automated guest communication that can be personalised with the guest’s name and the specifics of their stay. In this way, online check-in can offer a more tailored and seamless experience than checking in at the front desk, where staff might require personal details to identify the reservation.
Hotels can take online check-in a step further with automated upsell technology. Here, hotels can upsell extra services and amenities to guests and generate additional revenue before they even arrive. This is an exciting way for guests to personalise their stay and for hotels to increase revenue.
Avoid run-of-the-mill hotel stays by offering tailor-made packages that cater to your guests' interests. From long-stay offers to family-friendly deals, hotel packages are a great way for hotels to create an unforgettable stay and generate additional financial value.
According to Trivago, guests who book packages tend to stay longer, book further in advance and are less likely to cancel their bookings.
With an all-in-one hotel management system, hotels can set up packages that will appear on their website booking engine. This is a great strategy to entice visitors to book directly and establishes a line of communication between the guest and the property.
In a modern world where consumers expect brands to be cognisant of their needs and preferences, the hospitality industry can leverage technology and data to provide a personalised experience and achieve lifetime value from their guests.