Nowadays, guests are looking for more than just a place to rest their heads—they’re looking for an experience! And when it comes to making the guest experience at your hotel special, small details really do matter.
Not sure where to start?
At Fetch, we know what it takes to enhance the guest experience. And in this article, we’re going to cover some actionable tips and tricks that you can use to elevate the guest experience of your hotel.
Ready to drive more business, improve customer satisfaction and increase loyalty? Let’s get started.
In the hotel industry, guest experience (or GX) refers to a guest’s overall satisfaction with a hotel—including the facilities, amenities, service, and value. While most of the guest experience takes place at the hotel during a stay, it can also be influenced by interactions the guest has with your hotel before and after a stay.
Every interaction a guest has with your hotel leaves an impression on their overall experience. These impressions can impact everything from the kind of review they leave to the likelihood that they’ll stay again in the future. As a result, hotel management needs to actively create positive guest experiences by ensuring that guest interactions are as smooth, efficient, and pleasant as possible.
One real-life example of guest experience management at a policy level is the Ritz-Carlton hotel chain's Gold Standards—a set of rules and expectations for all hotel staff. It includes a set of twelve service values, including:
The Gold Standards includes guidelines for addressing guests by name, using their preferences to customize their stay, and resolving any issues quickly and efficiently. As a result, the Ritz-Carlton has a reputation for exceptional customer service and has won numerous awards for its commitment to guest satisfaction.
Guest experience is at the heart of success (and failure) in hospitality. Customers who are satisfied with your services are more likely to recommend them and keep returning to enjoy them. Customers who aren't are less likely to return and certainly won’t be telling their friends and family to check you out.
Research shows that if you give guests a great experience at your hotel, 44% will leave you a positive review online.
That’s a big deal. Not only are online reviews an important part of your hotel’s brand, but they’re also an important part of your conversion funnel. Around 81% of guests read at least one review before booking a stay, with 55% reading multiple pages.
The vacation rental industry is becoming more competitive, especially with the rise of homestay companies like Airbnb and Vrbo. Guests don’t need to stay in hotels anymore, which means you need to work harder to remind them why a hotel stay is worth it.
As an independent hotel, the key to your success is focusing on elements of the guest experience that set you apart from competitors—whatever those may be.
How to Improve The Guest Experience
Now that we’ve pointed out the benefits of prioritizing your guest experience at every level, let’s get into the details of how exactly you can do that.
Your booking process is one of the first interactions a guest has with your hotel pre-stay. And as they say, “the first impression is the lasting impression”.
Since your website is usually one place customers can secure a booking, you need to make the process as simple as possible. Before they can book, prospective guests need easy access to useful information, high-quality media, and specifications. To simplify the booking process itself, integrate a booking engine directly into your website.
Some great options include:
Sending a personalized email to your guests before their arrival is a great way to kick-start the hotel-guest relationship. It keeps guests informed about what to expect and reassures them that you're fully prepared for their stay.
To avoid overwhelming your guests with too much information, limit yourself to a maximum of two emails:
Providing an early check-in time for guests is a simple way to improve their experience. This option is designed to work well with their schedules. For example, a guest may want to relax and refresh before attending a conference or a busy schedule of meetings.
Offering an early check-in shows that you value your guest's schedules and want to give them the flexibility to make their stay more comfortable. This can ultimately boost satisfaction levels.
Personalization is a powerful way to enhance the guest experience because it empowers customers.
Research from Amadeus and IHG shows that 70% of hotel guests want to receive recommendations about interesting activities they can do during their stay. By tailoring a guest's stay to meet their needs and preferences, your team can make them feel more valued and appreciated—ultimately leading to a better perception of your hotel.
Here are some methods you can consider when it comes to personalization:
A memorable experience doesn't have to be extravagant. Guests tend to appreciate small details and personal touches in their interactions with a hotel. As an independent hotel, start with the basics—staff interactions.
Train your staff to be intuitive to guest preferences, so they can offer the most convenient solution to any guest issues. Additionally, ensure the guest's arrival experience is as comfortable and pleasant as possible. This includes a seamless check-in, secure baggage handling, and comfortable seating with refreshments in case they have to wait for their room to be ready.
Quality checks are important if you want to ensure that your guests are getting the experience they were advertised. Creating a hotel quality assurance checklist can help you identify what areas of hotel operations and services need improvement.
Here are a few key things to include in your checklist:
While some guests may be visiting your location for the first time, constantly asking for directions can be annoying. This is especially true for guests who are there for business meetings and don't have enough leisure time to explore on their own. Therefore, it's important to evaluate the signage around your hotel to ensure it's accurate and clear.
You can also provide guests with a pamphlet upon arrival that shows them directions to any of your services within the hotel, so they don't have to ask. Doing this reassures your guests that you care about their time and needs.
By gathering guest feedback before, during, and after their stay, you can take the necessary steps to continually improve the guest experience. This is important because guest preferences and expectations change over time.
You can assess different guests' journeys, learn what they liked and didn't like, and figure out how to get them back. The method you use will determine the depth of feedback you receive.
For example, you can base feedback on a satisfaction score related to specific hotel services. This type of feedback will immediately show you which sector needs improvement. Alternatively, you can collect open feedback, which allows guests to express details about which services they enjoyed and which ones were unsatisfactory.
Gathering feedback from guests is pointless if you don't act on it. When guests see that you value their opinions and respond quickly to their needs, they are more likely to recommend your hotel to others.
Here are some ways you can transform your data into actionable insights:
Ultimately, creating amazing guest experiences should be your main priority as a hotel. You want your guests to feel welcomed and understood—and the strategies above are a great jumping-off point for accomplishing that.
If you’re looking to make your processes much easier, consider Fetch—an all-in-one hotel management platform. Our platform covers end-to-end guest engagement from messaging, ticketing, and alerts to analytics that will help you elevate your guest experience.
Curious about how the platform works? Request a free meeting, and we’ll show you how Fetch can improve your operations!