It can seem tough to keep up with a world where any guest can instantly post about their negative experiences. Hoteliers can feel the pressure to keep guests happy down to the last second, a tall task in any era.
Luckily, the same technology that allows guests to broadcast their feelings about a stay instantaneously also makes it that much easier to create memorable, positive stays. Connected property owners and staff can ensure that every aspect of every stay is as exemplary as possible.
It’s a known fact that glowing reviews lead to more stays. The average person reads around seven reviews before making a decision, so stacking the digital deck with positive experiences is crucial. There are several ways to use guest’s technological savviness as a tool to score those much-needed recommendations.
Keep in Touch
The modern hotel guest won’t wait on most things, and that goes double for hearing back. Travelers expect the hotel experience to begin well before they’ve ever set foot in the lobby.
A streamlined system that includes automated responses to guest bookings and reminders to follow up before the stay can have the customer thinking fondly of the hotel before they ever set lay eyes on the hotel in person. Using the right technology to ease the staff’s ability to contact and consult with customers is paramount, as legacy systems may stand in the way of the speed that guests now expect.
That ongoing connection pays dividends on more than one front. While it keeps the guest happy on their end, the increased interaction with hotel management can be leveraged to easily create an experience that guests will adore.
Personalize the Hotel Experience
We are living through the decline of the pre-packaged. Guests want unique experiences that don’t feel like they are being doled out to them via an assembly line. Travel packages and itineraries are no longer the norm for seasoned travelers. To a hotelier, this can seem like a new hurdle. The entire business model is built on a uniformly pleasant experience replicated as many times as is feasible, but that doesn’t make offering personalized hospitality impossible.
In their report on how to deal with guests’ expectations of being treated uniquely, Oracle Hospitality pointed out the ways new technology like mobile-enabled hotel property management software could be used to enhance the guest experience.
“Technology can address the industry’s dual challenge of operating efficiently at scale and simultaneously providing individualized service,” Oracle SEO Jay Upchurch explained.
The company’s report revealed that nearly 2/3 of guests found it “very or extremely important” that hotels invested in new technology in order to bolster the guest experience.
Guests repay that initial investment by being far more open about what would make for a great stay. 71% of those surveyed said that they would share information about food preferences/allergies and 64% said that they would share their entertainment preferences.
Work Within the Systems They Already Know
Today’s guests don’t want to figure out the framework of the hotel to make a request of hotel staff. These are people who expect the instantaneous response. Allowing guests to use their own phones to request services from the hotel or to message hotel staff is something many travels desire. That same Oracle report noted that 94% of business travelers and 80% of leisure travelers value the ability to use their smartphones to interact with staff. While guests may be wary of one-size-fits-all stays, they want their internet-enabled devices to be one-stop shops that will solve any issues they might have.
Updating your management system to account for this desired connectability will leave guests impressed with the speedy response time and savvy connectivity of your property.
Free Them From the Front Desk
For all their desire to hear back quickly from hotel staff should they have an issue, customers feel almost exactly the opposite way about having to converse with staff for routine operations. Guests don’t want to be bogged down with face-to-face conversations when the time comes to check in or out. Giving guests the option of self-service via kiosks or smartphones will start their stay off on the right foot and has them leave with a positive experience.
“This is the trend of the future,” said Dieter Huckestein, president of hotel
operations for Hilton Hotels, in a recent study of self-service machines. “Seasoned travelers, whether on business or vacation, value time and convenience.”
Today’s guest is busy and nearly overwhelmed with other options. Time poor and choice-rich travelers don’t want to wait in a line to talk to a front desk agent. They’d like to get to their room as soon as possible to begin seeking out their own experiences during their stay. Offering the ability to DIY the check-in process frees up their precious vacation time.
On that same wavelength, guests want the concierge to be in their pocket as well. Oracle pointed out that nearly 62% of guests bypassed the traditional concierge, finding other sources of expert knowledge for their activities.
However, there is hope for hoteliers who wish to keep guests within a system that constantly reflects positively on their brand. Branded concierge apps that interact with third-party vendors and allow guests to plan their stay, offering recommendations on where to eat, what to see, and what to do.
Keeping today’s guests happy is possible. While the demands might seem high, they are much easier to navigate with a system built in and fit for the modern world. Quick, cloud-based hotel property management software can easily improve customer satisfaction rates while making it easier for management to act on areas that need improvement.
Sign up for a free demo to see how a mobile hotel PMS can enhance guest satisfaction, lead to return visits, and increase revenue.