What if we told you that you can increase your hotel’s revenue, profitability, and brand reputation by improving just one thing?
That one thing? Guest experience.
In this article, you’ll learn:
- Why guest experience is so important for your hotel’s success and how it can give you a competitive edge
- The key elements of a great guest experience and how to implement them effortlessly
- How to accurately measure and improve customer satisfaction
Let’s share some of our insights.
Guest Experience – The Key To Hospitality Success
In the hotel industry, one concept still stands supreme.
Guest experience is the ultimate differentiator. It can make or break your hotel. According to a study by PwC, 73% of consumers say that a good experience is key to influencing their brand loyalty, and 65% say that a positive experience is more important than a great advertising campaign.
Guest experience more than just providing a comfortable bed and a clean room. It’s about creating a memorable impression that makes guests feel valued, appreciated, and cared for. It’s about exceeding their expectations and surprising them with delightful touches. It’s about making them feel at home, even when they are away from home.
5 Tips For An Excellent Guest Experience
Ensure optimum customer satisfaction and they’ll stay more, be more loyal, and spread positive word of mouth. Which is great—but also what every hotel in the world (should) be striving to do. So, why are so many guests disappointed? What are hoteliers getting wrong?
In our experience, many hotels don’t focus on the right areas, and don’t use hotel technology to reduce staff burden. With that in mind, here is some practical advice on how hotels can improve guest experiences:
1. The Convenience Of Online Check-in
When your guests walk into your lobby, are they about to face a long queue and an even longer wait? Or did you give them the gift of online check in?
Online check-in solutions allow guests to upload all necessary documents (passport information, parking registration) and start their holiday early — with no lines or delays. What better way to make a strong first impression and start improving their guest experience?
2. Service With A Smile
Your staff represent your brand in every interaction they have with guests. So, make sure they’re trained to provide friendly, helpful, and professional service to guests at every touchpoint, from the booking to check-out.
We get it — keeping a smile on your face is tough when you’re shorthanded and one employee has to do the work of 3. That’s why we advise hotels in our network to invest in labor saving technology. Which brings us nicely to our next item — a guest app.
Learn More: How To Improve Your Front Desk Operations: 7 Practical Tips
Elevate your guest experience now!
3. The Perfect Guest App
A good guest app makes for an even better guest experience. By using a white-labeled web app (with no annoying downloads necessary) guests can access information and services like:
- How to get to the hotel
- Online check-in
- Digital keys
- Hotel amenities
- WiFi passwords
- Local sites, restaurants, and more
This guest app means tech-savvy guests can access the information they need without going down to the lobby — reducing wait times and lines and taking the pressure off of your staff. Meaning they can focus on providing service with a smile and handling any issues that require a human touch.
4. Create A Welcoming Atmosphere
The atmosphere of your business is the mood and feeling that you create for your guests. It can make them feel happy, relaxed, and comfortable…or the opposite. That’s why you need to create a welcoming atmosphere that appeals to their senses and emotions. Do this with:
- The right design and decor. What type of guests are you targeting? If you’re a hostel for young backpackers, you’ll want to aim for a different vibe than a business hotel. Our advice? Local art sourced from your neighborhood is a great option for showing guests that you’re a part of the community, not just another business.
- A clean lobby. Make sure that your cleaning staff don’t neglect the front lobby. It’s the first thing your guests see, and you want to make the right impression. So, make sure it’s clean and organized at all times.
- A great playlist. There are many studies about the power of music to affect emotions. The Ibis Hotel chain aimed to reach more millennial customers and improve brand reputation by hosting live gigs in their lobby. You don’t have to go that far, but some jazz or classical music in the lobby can really set the mood.
5. Solve Problems Fast
Handling guest complaints is the perfect opportunity to show off your hospitality and improve guest experience. Things will go wrong — it’s life — but how you handle it says a lot about your brand. Here’s our advice:
- Listen. The first and most crucial step in handling guest complaints is to pay attention. Guests want to feel that you are listening and empathizing with their concerns, and paying attention to their complaints is the best way to show that you care. Give the guest your undivided attention and make sure you understand their issues before replying.
- Keep Cool. It can be tempting to become angry or defensive when confronted with a complaint, but it’s important to keep cool and collected. Guests can tell when you are annoyed, and it can make the situation worse. Take a deep breath and approach the situation with a positive mindset.
- Apologize. No one is flawless. If the complaint is valid and there was a mistake on your part, admit it and apologize. This shows that you are ready to take accountability for the mistake and that you are dedicated to making it right.
- Act. Once the guest has voiced their complaint, it’s vital to follow up and resolve the problem. This can be done by providing a remedy, offering compensation, or making a change to your service. It’s important to keep the guest updated of the actions taken and the result.
Learn More: 9 Practical Tips For Enhancing Guest Experience
Deliver an amazing Guest Experience with Duve
How To Measure Guest Experience
Improving guest experience is not only about doing things right. It’s also about knowing what works and what doesn’t. That’s why measuring and analyzing guest experience is essential for anyone in the hospitality industry.
Guest experience is what sets you apart from your competitors and what keeps guests coming back again and again. Guest experience is an essential part of the hospitality industry.
Use the following metrics to measure and analyze your guest experience:
- Net Promoter Score (NPS). Ask your guests one question: “On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend us to a friend or colleague?” Based on their responses, your guests are categorized into three groups: promoters (9-10), passives (7-8), and detractors (0-6). Your NPS is the percentage of promoters minus the percentage of detractors. A high NPS indicates a high level of guest satisfaction and loyalty, while a low NPS — you guessed it — indicates a high level of guest dissatisfaction.
- Customer satisfaction surveys. These are surveys that ask your guests to rate and comment on various aspects of their experience, such as the quality of service, the ambiance, the value for money, etc. They can be conducted online or offline, before or after the stay. Customer feedback surveys can help you understand your guests’ expectations, perceptions, and preferences, as well as identify their pain points and areas for improvement. Top Tip: Try emailing them to customers post-stay to get authentic feedback and keep the negative reviews off TripAdvisor!
- Online reviews and ratings. These are reviews and ratings that your guests leave on online platforms, such as social media, review sites, or blogs. They can provide you with valuable insights into your guests’ opinions, sentiments, and emotions, as well as their likes and dislikes.
Collecting data is not enough. You also need to analyze it to make sense of it and improve your guest experience. Here’s how:
- Benchmarking. This is the process of comparing your performance with that of your competitors or industry standards. It can help you identify your strengths and weaknesses, as well as the gaps and opportunities in the market.
- Guest Segmentation. Segmentation means dividing guests into distinct groups based on their characteristics or behavior. It can help you understand the needs and preferences of different types of guests, as well as tailor your offerings and communication to suit them. We go into that in-depth right here.
- Trend Analysis. Examine how your performance changes over time—this can help you identify patterns and trends in your guest experience, as well as predict future outcomes and scenarios. You can use various tools and techniques to analyze trends, such as graphs, charts, dashboards, etc.
Learn More: The Most Common Types of Hotel Guests And How to Exceed Their Expectations
How The Ritz-Carlton Ensure Excellent Guest Experience, Every Time
57% of customers will walk away — even from a brand they love — after one bad experience. You’ve got to get it right the first time. Ritz-Carlton is a giant of the hospitality industry with a reputation for consistently providing an excellent customer experience. But what’s the secret behind their success?
The Ritz-Carlton invests heavily in their staff. According to David Cayuela, GM of the Ritz-Carlton in Cancun, “We don’t hire for technical talent but natural talent.” For Ritz-Carlton, it’s talent that makes the difference.
They don’t neglect training, with each new employee completing 250 hours of it per year. This training is available in a variety of formats to suit individual employees’ learning styles (seminars, workshops, one-to-one training, etc).
The Ritz-Carlton also trusts their staff to solve problems — with employees able to spend $2,000 per day to solve guests’ problems in the moment. You don’t have to have pockets as deep as them to improve your guest experience—just focus on empowering and training your staff and you’re certain to see results.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is guest experience in a hotel?
The guest experience is how happy your hotel’s guests are with their whole journey from booking to check-out. Every step of their journey makes them feel a certain way — and it’s your goal to make sure the entire experience matches their expectations.
Q: What are the 3 elements of guest experience?
To improve guest experience, you need to focus on the things that guests want. Many hoteliers call these the three C’s: Communication, Convenience and Choice. Get these right and you can stand out from the competition and improve brand reputation.
Q: What is the importance of guest experience in the hotel industry?
Guest experience shows how well a hospitality business serves its customers. A good experience keeps guests coming back and spreading positive word of mouth. A bad experience shows what you need to fix.
Give Your Guests The Stay Of Their Dreams
You want to give your guests the best experience possible — from the moment they book to the time they leave. Which can be a lot of work. And with ongoing staff shortages, that’s easier said than done. But there is one thing that can help.
Technology is a hotelier’s secret weapon in the quest for a better guest experience.
Hotel tech allows you to effortlessly automate many aspects of your guest journey. Think online check-in, web apps, AI chatbots, custom upsells, and more. These are easy to set up and can boost your guest satisfaction, brand reputation, and revenue.
Ready to take your guest experience to the next level?