Many businesses believe that personalization is the key to customer satisfaction -- and they aren’t wrong. Customers are 80% more likely to purchase products and services from a company that provides personalized experiences.
In hotels, personalization is an essential part of delivering a great guest experience. It is more than just knowing a guest’s name (and how to pronounce it), but also anticipating their needs, knowing their preferences, and staying in constant communication with them.
Personalization can drive revenue, keep your guests coming back, and make your employees’ jobs easier. We can all agree that hotels should focus on personalization. But how do you implement it, at scale, in your hotel today?
The answer is hotel operations software.
Operations software not only streamlines operations, unifies departments, and maximizes staff’s time and energy, but it is the key to providing a personalized hotel guest experience.
Here are 5 ways hoteliers can leverage hotel operations software to personalize the guest experience:
1 - Use Guest Messaging Software
Rapid, direct communication between guests and hotel employees is critical when it comes to personalization. Guest messaging software enables staff to contact guests before, during and after their stay. Gathering information from guests about their arrival times and whether or not they will need extra accommodations is a great way to start the personalization process for hotel guests. Sending a personalized message to your guests prior to arrival will ensure they feel taken care of before they’ve even set foot in your hotel.
Messaging software can be automatic (with messages set to be sent at specific times of day or during a guest's stay) or personalized with one-on-one communication between a guest and staff member. With one-on-one communication, any user logged into the system can pick up a conversation where it is (and review previous messages), without having a gap in communication.
Looking for ideas? We’ve created templates for messaging your hotel’s guests throughout their stay.
2 - Maintain Detailed Guest Profiles
Guest profiles are an essential part of hotel operations software. Guest profiles tell a story about a guest. They provide macro and micro details about their previous stays at a property, and if the hotel is part of a chain, they also provide details about any hotel reservation at the chain. Knowing your guest’s history can help you predict their needs based on their past experiences.
Guest profiles will automatically be updated with dates, room type and contact details, but making any notes that shed light upon a guests preferences can be beneficial for future stays. Guest services software tracks every reservation that is made for a guest by a concierge or guest services provider.
When a guest says “I’d like to eat at the restaurant I went to last timeI was here, but I can’t remember the name,” it shouldn’t take more than a moment for the name to be pulled up, and for a reservation to be made.
3 - Anticipate Needs and Preferences
There is nothing better than having what you need (or want!), when you need it, without ever having to ask. Hotel staff can personalize the guest experience by not only managing a guest request, but anticipating what they might need as well.
Hotel operations software helps staff anticipate needs by having scheduling reminders for employees to check-in with guests at predetermined times. Offering guests restaurant hours and menus prior to meal times is a great example of anticipating what a guest might ask you for -- dining options and reservations.
Operations software also comes in handy when trying to predict a guest’s response to COVID. The desire for clean, sanitized hotel environments is high and hotels using operations software will find it much easier to implement new COVID-19 standard operating procedures.
4 - Provide Options -- For Everything
While anticipating guest needs and trying to solve problems before they arise, it is also a good practice for hotels to provide options -- for everything! As much as hoteliers like to think they know everything about their guests (and often they do), they still can’t read minds.
During a time when COVID-19 is drastically changing guests’ preferences for amenities and services at hotels, hotel owners must understand that guests will have different comfort levels. What may be overkill to some guests may not be enough for others who would like extreme precautions - beyond governmental guidelines - to be enacted. It is important to recognize this and give guests options.
Would guests like the extra towels that were requested delivered directly inside their rooms or left outside? Would guests like room attendants to clean and sanitize their rooms daily, or stay out of the room as much as possible?
ALICE Housekeeping and ALICE Service Delivery can help track guests’ preferences once they’ve been reported to the hotel. Providing options for hotel services and amenities (COVID-19 related or not), is a great way for hotels to provide personalized guest experiences.
5 - It’s a team effort
Providing a personalized hotel guest experience is the goal of almost all hotels. It’s an essential part of hospitality. Personalization cannot be achieved only by the front desk agents or concierges. Creating an exceptional customer experience, complete with personalization, is a team effort, requiring participation not only from hospitality management but also the housekeeping departments, maintenance teams, valets, and concierges.
Hotel operations software that is fully integrated into a hotel’s property management software enables each department to see guest details. A housekeeping department can see service delivery notes, just as a concierge can see notes from a guest’s last stay. The more information that a hotel knows about its guests, the better it can serve them.