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Enhancing The Guest Experience In Your Hotel

Julie Frost
February 9, 2024

Hotels aren't just temporary rooms. Travelers stay in hotels to relax, recharge, and socialize without worrying about home responsibilities like cooking and cleaning. In fact, the hotel stay can be the entire vacation.

Guests expect clean rooms, attentive staff, and professional management. If you meet these expectations but still struggle with profits, a few adjustments can improve the hotel guest experience and attract travelers from anywhere in the country.

Optimize Your Website

Searching hotel websites

Everything starts with your website. People prefer online booking because it's fast and convenient, and if a clunky, outdated website slows them down, they'll turn to another business that appreciates their time. Ask yourself these questions as you review your site:

  1. How fast is the loading time?
  2. Do large assets, such as videos, slow down your loading speeds?
  3. How many clicks does it take to book a room?
  4. Is your contact information easy to find?
  5. Have you removed useless pages?
  6. Do your listings have clear, accurate pricing?
  7. Can travelers easily cancel reservations?
  8. Is your branding consistent?

Try asking a friend to book a room without any assistance, then discuss their experience. Ideally, customers can make, cancel, and change reservations in minutes without help. They'll prefer you over competitors if they can perform basic tasks without digging through your FAQ.

With more people making reservations on the go, launching an app or mobile-friendly site grabs more sales. Imagine someone booking a last-minute stay on your app, saving their trip from disaster. You've earned a profit and built positive brand associations in their mind.

Save Contact Information

Lodgers enter their email addresses when they place reservations. You can send promotions directly to thousands of subscribers' inboxes with this email list. However, gathering emails isn't just another way to advertise--you can also brighten your customers' days with surprise promotions.

Subscribers may receive:

  1. Birthday gifts
  2. Holiday deals
  3. Thank-you notes
  4. Flash sales
  5. Trip reminders
  6. Local offers

They could be hundreds of miles away, but they immediately think about their trip and your excellent service. They start considering another vacation and browse your site for rates.

Send Receipts

Guests need email receipts for their records, but they have another advantage--an opportunity to showcase your hospitality before arrival. Include a message that thanks them for their business and anticipates their arrival. For example: "Thanks for your reservation! We can't wait to see you at 6 A.M. on Saturday, February 10, 2024. Your room is booked and ready!"

These friendly emails conjure images of staff members greeting them with a smile, tending to their needs, and guiding them to clean, laundered bedrooms. If they rethink the trip later, having booked a vacation impulsively, they'll remember your message and keep their reservation.

Be Friendly

Friendly receptionist smiling to hotel guests

This sounds obvious, but after working for hours, staff members can slip into irritability or boredom. Cheerful visitors might overlook this. However, travelers who have just experienced flight delays missed exits, sudden expenses, and family conflicts could go over the edge if an employee rolls their eyes.

A trip could seem ruined until your courteous employees turn it around with quick thinking, personalized service, and maybe a complimentary upgrade. You didn't just provide a room: you saved their entire weekend. As word-of-mouth spreads, you start racking up four- and five-star reviews.

Offer Refreshments

Most hotels offer free breakfasts, but what about a snack in the middle of the day? Some guests arrive hungry and tired and don't feel like visiting a restaurant or eating the crushed granola bars in their bags. Free food makes a strong first impression and lifts their spirits, making them more agreeable at the front counter.

Personalize the Experience

Thrill your clients with a surprise when they enter their room: a local souvenir, a candle, a flower bouquet, or a handwritten note on their bed. If they're celebrating an occasion, consider relevant gift ideas, such as bottled wine for newlyweds. Likewise, never miss a chance to use your visitor's name instead of referring to them as "guest"--they'll feel like you prepared the room specifically for them.

Build a Rewards System

Loyalty card

You hooked a guest once. How do you encourage them to come back? They enjoyed your stay, but they could have similar experiences at other hotels--and maybe find cheaper prices to boot.

Rewards systems encourage repeat bookings and improve the hotel guest experience. As clients accumulate points for every visit, they feel like you're paying them to travel. They'll stay at your location even when a competitor has a better deal because they're so close to their next reward.

Room upgrades, free drinks, VIP service: each gift produces a burst of dopamine and the sense that they're an exclusive member. Plus, free upgrades show them what they've been missing, making them more likely to upscale their room during their next visit.

Provide Free WiFi

Free WiFi isn't just a courtesy--it's a necessity. Business travelers need constant access to stay in touch with managers, coworkers, and clients. Likewise, vacationers share pictures, message friends, and update social media. Without WiFi, they feel cut off from everyone.

Offer free WiFi everywhere, including restrooms and lobbies, to improve the hotel guest experience. Hang signs that list the network name and password, emphasizing the "free" part. This makes travelers feel like they're receiving a special deal.

If you can't host WiFi everywhere, provide an office space with free computer access. Travelers can use their laptops or log on with their terminals. Learn about cyber security in hospitality industry so that you can protect guests on your network.

Consider the Environment

Environmentally conscious lodgers worry about waste. As a result, some businesses sell "green" packages. In exchange for a free gift or reduced rates, your staff makes sustainable decisions, such as not washing unused linens until the guests leave.

Green alternatives show visitors that you value the environment--and they feel good about themselves, too. The self-esteem boost subconsciously encourages them to book again. You'll also save money on water use and trash pick-up.

Anticipate Change

Your hotel might run smoothly, but that doesn't mean everyone's trip will. Guests often change, reschedule, or cancel plans at the last minute. They might also need unexpected accommodations, such as a wheelchair-accessible shower or gluten-free meal. Whatever the case, guests expect you to quickly resolve the issue--in their minds, that's what they're paying you for.

Always have staff on hand for emergencies. You'll have more people on the payroll, but since guests receive service in minutes, they don't have time to stew in frustration. Instead, they're relieved and appreciative and might even leave a fawning review. Friendlier customers also make a positive work environment.

Maintain Your Momentum

Guests expect a smooth experience from the first booking to the final check-out. One mishap could disrupt their plans, especially when they're on a tight schedule. You could have a streamlined website, a convenient mobile app, and friendly staff, but if a guest calls five times and can't reach room service, they might leave a negative review.

Optimize every chain link so guests move quickly without feeling rushed. This includes booking, checking in, contacting staff, using amenities, making adjustments, and leaving. Some people look forward to hotel stays just as much as the trip itself, so consider it part of their vacation.

Install Self-service Kiosks

Have you ever wanted to grab your groceries, pay, and leave without talking to anyone? Sometimes, travelers feel the same way. Self-service kiosks allow them to leave and return in minutes without waiting at the front desk. You'll also free up your service staff because they don't have to assist everyone.

For more convenience, allow guests to check in and out, cancel reservations, and change their dates with a mobile app. Instead, they can upgrade their room or extend dates from a taxi cab instead of calling ahead. Giving customers independence shows that you trust them, making them feel like esteemed guests.

Encourage Feedback

Man leaving a good feedback

You can hire psychologists, marketers, and focus groups, but guests understand what they need more than anyone else. Admittedly, they don't always have feasible suggestions. Still, collecting their feedback is free and shows that you value their thoughts.

After their stay, send a follow-up email that includes a survey link. Most people won't spend more than a few minutes unless they have a complaint, so request a few star ratings with an optional comment box. Remind them that the survey is anonymous to encourage honest feedback.

If you want more responses, offer a completion reward, such as a free drink at your bar. This deal also increases your rebooking rates.

Why Choose Bridgetown Revenue Management Solutions?

BRMS Finance has a combined over 70 years of experience in hotel management and marketing. Our services, such as forecasting, brand conversion, lead generation, promotion management, pace evaluation, and performance reviews, drive more guests to your front desk. Reach out to discuss your hotel's challenges.