Why You Should Be Personalising Your Guest Experience
A happy customer could mean a lot more to your business than you think. Did you know that 72% of consumers will share a positive experience with six or more people? That’s a lot of potential reach.
But what if you aren’t’ giving you’re your guests what they want? For the accommodation industry, an unhappy guest doesn’t just mean an annoyed customer that won’t return, but could very well lead to another provider snagging your guests and benefiting from your customer experience pitfalls. Holidaymakers now know the standard that some companies can deliver and are aware that they don’t need to settle for second best. So how can you make your property the number one choice every time?
It’s all about personalisation…
Tailor your approach to marketing
You may think you can get away with generic marketing campaigns without a target group. However, the reality is that the majority of marketing campaigns either deliver lacklustre performance results or just outright fail when they aren’t tailored and addressed to a specific target market. This is thanks to the increasing amount of campaigns consumers are faced with, whether it be via email, while browsing, or on Social Media.
Ads are everywhere – the way you can make yours stand out from the rest is by showing your potential guests what they are actually interested in. A recent study found that 56% of consumers feel more loyal to brands who “get me” and show a deep understanding of their priorities and preferences. By using the wealth of guest data available in your Property Management Software, you can segment your customers into varying demographics based on their interests and start to personalise your marketing with tailored messaging and targeted content to suit each sub-sector.
Encourage booking add-ons
Your Booking Engine is more than just a tool to help you secure online reservations. In fact, a large part of what a good Booking Engine can offer you is the ability to provide your guests with greater options. When a guest can choose to add tours or activities, special bedding options like cots, or other custom add-ons like a bottle of wine on arrival, it creates the feeling of scoring a personalised stay experience made just for them… before they have even checked in!
Tailor your approach to marketing
Using your guests’ names is perhaps the simplest, yet one of the most effective methods of personalising their experience. In whatever contact you send to them, whether it be an SMS or email, or even on the phone, address your guests by their name. If you’re a smaller property, try your best to acknowledge on-site guests using their names when passing them by. In some cases it can be helpful for staff to keep lists of names to help them remember regulars or those staying close by to reception. Alternatively, if you run a campground or RV park, prompt your guests to enter their vehicle registration when they make their bookings. That way, you’ll be able to match names to vehicles on arrival. Something as small as this, can make a guest feel special and make them want to return!
Provide a check-in process to suit everybody
With self-service technologies becoming more and more readily available, there’s no excuse to not offer a personalised check-in to suit every guest, particularly as hygiene measures and an influx of foggy Perspex screens at counters are making customer service less appealing. Pay careful attention to your guests’ bookings and customer data to discover their preferences. Perhaps you find that certain guests require the flexibility to quickly check-in after office hours without any contact, or that some regularly ask for more information about local attractions – it’s your job to tailor each experience to suit their unique needs.
NewBook offers a range of helpful tools to make check-in easier than ever. Our Cloud-based Key Dispensers allow guests to access their room keys without needing to visit the front desk, while our Self-Service Check-in Kiosks and GuestAssist App can help guests to check in around the clock while still being able to access important details like Wi-fi codes and property maps.
Welcome your guests
One sure-fire way to make your guests feel special is to greet them on arrival with more than just your run-of-the-mill welcome. Use NewBook’s automated contact features to send them personalised emails or text messages on arrival. Not only is this a great way to welcome them to your property, but it also presents a valuable revenue-boosting opportunity to gently make them aware of amenities, activities, or promotions that they can enjoy during their stay with you!
Provide convenient service
There is an undeniable need to provide guests with a way to communicate with your staff during their stay that doesn’t involve heading over to reception. Artificial Intelligence (AI) Chatbots are a quick and convenient way that you can provide consistently excellent customer service without breaking the bank or forcing your guests to go out of their way. This technology uses AI to answer all your guest’s questions, which helps to minimise staff requirements, meaning your team will have more time on their hands to dedicate to customer service in other areas.
Don’t’ forget to follow up!
Guest feedback is a sought-after commodity. While you can you do everything in your power to make staying at your property a dream, you’ll never be able to improve on your service unless you pay some attention to the follow-up.
After a guest stays with you, send out a post-stay survey for them to tell you about their experience. Not only will this provide you with the insight you need to make their next stay with you even better, you’ll also reinforce the idea that you truly care about their opinion and value them as a guest. Take note of any specifics they mention that you can improve on next time and store the notes in their Guest Profile. For a super speedy survey response, try NewBook’s SMS Surveys. Simply ask your guest to rate their stay from 0-10 – all they have to do is respond with a number!
Send special reminders
Have you noticed that a regular guest of yours hasn’t visited in a while? By taking advantage of the data stored in your PMS software, you can send guests reminders and special deals down the track. Make sure they know that you miss having them stay and tell them about any special offers you may have to entice them back.
Boost your Social Media community
Building a personalised guest experience doesn’t always mean looking at each guest as an individual. Making your guests feel like part of a community can also go a long way in improving their perception of your brand.
Be sure to encourage your guests to share photos of their stay on Social Media, tagging your property. Engage with posts by commenting, liking, re-posting, and starting conversations. This will allow you to keep lines of communication open, and make your guests feel like they are an integral part of your business and brand family… which they are. Sharing is caring, after all! You could even try engaging them in a fun Facebook competition. Ask your guests to post their favourite photo of their stay with you and reward the most-liked photo with a free return visit!
Delivering a personalised experience for your guests will not only mean that they feel welcomed, comfortable, and valued, but will inevitably solidify your brand image in a positive light and lead to greater guest retention rates in the long term.
Author | Brad Illich, Founder & CEO
Published 23 July, 2020