Crafting the perfect guest experience, from website to hotel - part 2 of 2

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We've teamed up with ReviewPro for this two-part blog series on great guest experience. Part 1 talked you through website best practice - now, Part 2 will complete the picture with a guide to enhancing guest experience during the stay.

Crafting the perfect guest experience

Nowadays, it’s no longer enough to simply provide a hotel guest with a room to sleep in. Savvy hoteliers are realising that by creating remarkable experiences on property, guests are more likely to return and become loyal customers as well as write positive online reviews about your brand.

By putting guests’ satisfaction first, hotels can experience a significant increase in bookings and revenue. As the number of positive reviews increases, your property’s online reputation will also improve – a factor that can have a significant impact on your property’s overall revenue.

According to a Cornell University study, a one-point increase in a property’s GRITM (the industry-standard online reputation score) can lead to a possible:

  • 0.89% increase in price (ADR).
  • 0.54% increase in occupancy.
  • 1.42% increase in RevPAR.

Creating a guest-centric culture at your hotel allows you to deliver better experiences and exceed guest expectations by empowering your employees to make a difference. This means setting goals and taking action and ensuring everyone is involved the process of providing a memorable experience for guests from start to finish.

There are several steps you can take at your hotel to ensure that your guests receive the best possible experience:

Recruit happy staff

Improving guest satisfaction is a team effort. Every employee must understand your objectives in this area and the role that they play in achieving them. It all starts with recruiting happy staff; people who are enthusiastic and share the same passion as your brand for providing guests with an outstanding experience. Share guest feedback across the organization. By creating a guest-centric culture, your team will feel motivated if they know their hard work is making a difference. Your staff are representatives of your brand and responsible for offering a remarkable service to guests so offer guidance, training and incentives to encourage them to make a difference.

Manage guest expectations

Use guest feedback analytics to understand what your guests love about you and use this to promote your property, resulting in attracting travelers who will enjoy your hotel. Identify why some guests are disappointed and use this to adjust messaging so you don’t over promise. For example, clearly state that the bathroom is small if this is the case. If your hotel is more specifically aimed at couples and young people, ensure that your messaging isn’t attracting families who may find that the experience is not what they are looking for which could negatively affect guest satisfaction.

Analyze guest feedback & act on it

It’s one thing to gather feedback from online reviews and guest surveys, but the real value comes from having insights you can act on. By analyzing what guests are saying about their stay, you are able to make operational and service improvements on property. Consider using a tool like ReviewPro that allows you to analyze both your online reputation and feedback from guest surveys in the same platform. One of the advantages is that it allows you to automatically assign and track cases based on specific feedback from online reviews and in-stay or post-stay surveys to streamline operations and ensure internal service standards are being met.

Make guests feel special

This doesn’t need to be anything over the top. A simple late check-out where possible, or free bottle of water on arrival is the sort of thing that will set you apart from your competitors and encourage guests to book again. Welcoming guests in a special way will create a memorable experience from the offset.

A perfect example of a brand excelling in this area is The Library Hotel Collection. Each of the group’s six luxury hotels has its own distinctive personality and charm and the brand has become synonymous with providing an exceptional experience for every traveler. As a result of an internal culture focused on outstanding guest satisfaction, the group received 18 TripAdvisor 2017 Travelers’ Choice Awards and Aria Hotel Budapest is ranked the #1 hotel in the world on TripAdvisor! The company believes that every time you make a guest truly feel cared for, respected and appreciated, you create an opportunity for another positive review.

Personalize the experience using CRM insights

In today’s data-driven environment, effectively managing communication with hotel guests is becoming increasingly crucial when implementing a guest experience improvement strategy. By creating rich guest profiles, a CRM system enables hoteliers to tailor the service to the customer’s requirements and provide personalized services to regular guests. It is also possible to leverage guest data gathered from online reviews and direct surveys to communicate more effectively with clients and to deliver more customized marketing messages and targeted offers.

Ensure guests check-out happy by using in-stay surveys

With in-stay surveys, hoteliers can recognize the need for service recovery and implement a strategy while guests are still on property. It is important to note that before activating in-stay surveys, hotels must have a clear process in place for acting on any negative feedback received otherwise you risk making a bad situation worse!

We recommend sending guests an email after 2 nights with a short survey consisting of 3 simple questions:

  • How do you rate your stay so far?
  • How likely would you be to recommend this hotel to a friend?
  • What could we do to make your stay better?

The ability to act promptly on guests’ comments and take corrective action before the check-out can help hotels transform a potentially damaging situation into an opportunity to deliver an outstanding experience and even encourage brand advocacy.

Taking these guidelines into consideration can be the first step to enhancing the guest experience at your hotel. By creating a guest-centric culture and focusing on identifying the need for change, you can achieve more positive online reviews, higher online rankings and increased revenue.

This was a guest blog by ReviewPro. If you're a solution provider who'd be interested in contributing to the Triptease blog, get in touch at info@triptease.com!

About The Author

Triptease empowers hotels to recapture guest relationships and increase direct bookings. Follow our blog for the latest insights and trends in the Direct Booking Movement.