Every hotelier understands the importance of standing out in a sea of competitors. Customer experience is a big deal in the hospitality industry. And every player is keen to stay ahead of the curve.
But how can you make your hotel stand out from the rest? Two things are clear:
- Exceptional customer experience starts long before your guests arrive at your premises.
- Better yet, customer experience doesn’t end when they leave.
Once you understand these two concepts, you can comfortably go on to forge a workable strategy. A rule of thumb is to leverage your immediate resources, i.e., your people, tools, and technology, to make this happen.
Remember, your work is to amaze your potential guests, such that visiting your hotel merely becomes irresistible.
To help you outshine your competitions, we’ve rounded up three tips you can incorporate into your strategy playbook.
1. Rethink Your Marketing
Marketing is a critical part of customer experience. It’s a step that allows you to present yourself to your target audience and even communicate your unique selling proposition.
In the internet age, marketing is becoming a pivotal determinant to business success. For instance, social media marketing, mobile marketing, word of mouth marketing, etc. – all have a considerable impact on your business.
In fact, 79% of Americans have social networking profiles. And roughly two billion people globally use their smartphones to access the internet. If you are actually to beat the competition, you need to rethink your hotel marketing strategies. Always leverage the available tools and technologies to target the right audience. And seek to add value instead of outrightly selling yourself.
Another critical consideration is to let your potential customers experience your hotel from far. Here, you can use virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies to create compelling visuals and experiences.
Use VR and AR Technologies.
To illustrate this, you can use VR and 360-degree video experiences to help the guests place themselves in your hotel. Additionally, you can simulate VR walk-throughs of the guest rooms, facilities, or the nearby surroundings.
On the other hand, augmented reality can help create memorable guest experiences through on-screen interactive experiences of the hotel. For instance, guests can point on the screen to learn more about the background of your chefs, hotel managers, etc.
Optimize Your Website
Besides the above technologies, you can optimize your hotel website to boost the guest experience. Here are some ways you can achieve this:
- Incorporate voice search into your website – the huge trend around voice search will give your hotel business a competitive advantage. More people are now using voice search than they were a couple of years ago. In fact, voice search will account for $40 billion in retail sales in the U.S by the end of 2022.
- Use chatbots – AI-powered chatbots can be a game-changer in your hotel business since they can handle complaints, provide recommendations, etc. Moreover, the ability to solve customer issues quickly means less customer frustration and dissatisfaction.
If people can’t find your hotel on Google search results, you simply can’t stand out from the rest. First, you need to work on your business search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. Here, it’s best to work with a professional who will optimize your site and content to rank better.
Second, consider using user-generated content such as videos, memes, images, etc., from your customers to market your hotel. Your customers can then publish this content on social media platforms to help boost audience trust.
The third option is to partner with influencers in the hotel, travel, or hospitality sector to help market your business. Influencers can promote your hotel business on their Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube accounts or even on their blogs.
Last but not least is to make sure you have a Google my Business profile. Also, make sure you update all the necessary information such as an address, working hours, menu options, etc. You can further list your hotel in popular local listing sites, such as Zomato, Yelp, OpenTable, etc.
2. Invest in Digital Signage Solutions to Improve the Guest Experience
All the tips we’ve discussed above create an exceptional customer experience before your guests visit the hotel. Now is the time to actualize these experiences.
One great way to improve guest experience on-site is to use digital signage. You can make your hotel as classy and luxurious as possible without necessarily investing in digital signage. However, you need digital signage solutions for different purposes – from welcoming your guests, showing them around to passing critical information.
Below is a quick summary of how to make your hotel stand out using digital signage.
- To automate check-in: Guests can conveniently check-in and out of the hotel without tedious queuing, paperwork, or manual ticketing.
- To display information: You can have digital signage in multiple places to showcase a wide range of useful information. These include the date, time, weather forecast, hotel menu specials, etc.
- For wayfinding: Digital wayfinding signs help guests navigate your hotel without feeling stuck or lost.
- For advertising: Your guests may want to go out for a late-night movie or shopping and would use some recommendations. Digital signage gives you the option to advertise the nearby businesses at a fee.
The other use cases include emergency notifications, entertainment, displaying travel information, in-room services, and even real-time welcome information. The options are endless; you just need to find the best opportunity to leverage this powerful hotel technology.
3. Empower Your Employees to Provide Exceptional Customer Service
As much as you would want to use technology to stand out, customer satisfaction, at the end of the day, narrows down to how your guests perceive your people – from the waiters to the management.
The dining experience and even the hotel’s ambiance depend largely on how welcomed and comfortable your guests feel. By empowering your team, you’re allowing them to go the extra mile to provide an exceptional guest experience.
Additionally, you want to work around the clock to meet and even exceed customer expectations. A rule of thumb is to understand each of your guests and personalize your services to meet their needs. Your hotel guests should have the freedom to choose their kind of food, hotel rooms and amenities, and even the staff who will serve them.
Making your hotel business stand out starts with how you market yourself to your prospects. Next is how you organize your hotel to ensure an exceptional guest experience. However, it doesn’t stop there. You also need to inspire and motivate your employees to treat your guests well. This way, your guests will feel they aren’t just in some hotel but in a comfortable home away from home. Lastly, you need to encourage your customers to leave positive reviews on your social media pages, website, and review sites.
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