With international travel largely opening up again after the last few years of the pandemic, your hotel will likely be experiencing an influx of guests keen to make memories, enjoy long-put-off vacations, or finally tie the knot as planned.
The overall guest experience will have a crucial bearing on the success of your establishment. It affects how likely your guests are to make a future reservation, whether they’ll recommend you to friends and family, and the success of your brand-building efforts. All of which will, of course, determine the health of your business’s bottom line.
Here are the steps to take to improve your guest experience, positioning your hotel as the next ‘must-visit’ destination.
Understand Your Guests’ Needs
Understanding and anticipating the needs of your guests is key to up-leveling their experience and ensuring they have the best stay possible. This seemingly overwhelming task could actually be much easier than you think.
Consider deploying a guest app to help manage communications with your guests and be ready for their requests – before they’ve even made them! A guest app will give you the information you need – based on data from their past visits or details completed while making their booking – to offer visitors upgrades, offers, and services, based on their likely preferences.
For guests, this is hugely impressive, adding a personal touch to their stay and meaning they’ll feel valued and ‘heard’ – things that can’t be overestimated when it comes to a stellar guest experience.
Speed Up the Check-In Process
When your guests first arrive, they will likely be tired and ready to relax after their journey. The last thing they want is to wait in line at the front desk to go through the tedious check-in process; a manual check-in takes, on average, eight minutes.
Get their stay off to the best possible start by using online check-ins and mobile keys (which turn guests’ smartphones into their room keys) to cut the line at the front desk by half and ensure happy guests who can start their vacation or short break immediately upon arriving.
Smoothing out and streamlining the check-in process can also save staff time, so they can get on with what matters most: giving every guest the very best experience possible.
Ensure Excellent In-Room Facilities
The most common guest complaints to the front desk relate to room cleanliness – guests who experience this problem can be tough to get on side again and are extremely unlikely to make a return booking.
Luckily, this is also one of the simplest problems to resolve. Regularly audit your housekeeping processes to ensure they’re up-to-date, and be vigilant regarding staffing. If your room cleaners are pushed for time, the cleaning may not be up to the highest standard possible. Software to automate staff rotating that anticipates busy periods and adjusts staffing levels, as a result, could be helpful.
As part of your housekeeping checklist, ensure that in-room electronic devices are in working order between every guest and that toiletries and complimentary snacks are fully replenished.
Stay on Trend
Knowing what’s important to your guests and changing trends in the hospitality industry is vital to delivering what your guests want and expect from their stay. For example, sustainable business practices are now a key consideration for many people, from where they buy their groceries to the establishments they choose to book for their vacation.
Stay on trend and boost your guest experience by deploying eco-friendly practices wherever possible – and be sure that you advertise these policies to existing and prospective guests.
Using local suppliers, buying seasonal, regionally produced ingredients for your restaurant, and using recycled materials as far as you can are all guest pleasers that could save you money and improve the health of your bottom line, too.
Offering your guests upgrades and additional products or services at critical points throughout their stay can both ensure they have a happier visit and increase your revenue.
Effective staff training is important: team members should be clear on when to upsell and how to go about it in order not to come across as pushy or annoy your guests with unsuitable offers. Use data from guests’ past visits to ensure your upgrade offers are tailored and relevant. You could also look at what you know about guests from their booking details to send them the offers they’re most likely to appreciate; for example, guests visiting with their children may appreciate discounted tickets to local family attractions…which, by linking with these attractions, could earn you a commission, too.
Engage Beyond Check-Out
Finally, your provision of a superior guest experience shouldn’t end at check-out! Keep the momentum going by planning a great post-check-out process. This could include sending a personalized message thanking your guests for staying with you and checking whether everything about their visit was up to their expectations.
The days or weeks following check-out is also a great time to send your guest’s bespoke offers for a subsequent stay or an invitation to join your loyalty scheme. While it’s essential not to bombard your previous guests with messages that could be perceived as a ‘hard sell’ tactic, staying in touch with personalized, well-thought-out communications could be key to tempting them to book a return stay!