New expectations and greater demands from travelers are becoming more prominent in the hospitality industry. In this day and age, travelers are increasingly becoming less satisfied with staying at a no-frills, basic hotel. In order to provide for today’s demanding travelers, hoteliers ought to ask themselves, “What value can I provide to guests that would entice them to stay at my hotel over others?” The answer to this question lies in the considerable potential of personalization. Modern travelers are no longer just interested in staying in a decent hotel room with only the necessary amenities – travelers desire a comprehensive hotel experience that involves experiencing the local culture, discovering popular attractions, participating in unique outdoor activities, and much more. Therefore, hoteliers must make a greater effort to listen to their guests, learn from them, and implement a personalized hotel experience that guests will continue to return for.
The first step to take in the direction of personalization is to discover the needs and wants of your guests. Hoteliers must utilize the power of big data to better understand guests’ personal preferences and ultimately identify effective ways to provide a better, customer-centric hotel experience. Big data provides useful information such as previous purchase patterns, detailed demographic statistics, website traffic, and more pertinent information that will help to determine the most effective personalization strategies to use. It can also be used to simplify the booking process and provide the right content to the right individual for the right reason. Locked away somewhere behind all of the numbers and personal data lies the secret to using personalization towards achieving better hotel conversion rates.
After analyzing your guests and determining what their specific preferences are, it is then time to put them into actionable use. The key is to use the information obtained from big data to deliver a more personalized level of service to your guests. By continuing to research and track guest activity, hoteliers are able to provide a better end-to-end customer experience to travelers that will have them returning because their stay is tailored specifically to their preferences. Again, travelers are not just looking to stay at hotels that provide the amenities that they need; they desire tailored accommodations and a comprehensive experience that they will remember in the future (and hopefully, they will remember about your hotel, too). With valuable insights, hoteliers have the opportunity to really get creative and personalize hotel specials and packages. The following are a few creative ideas for specials hoteliers can take into consideration when developing personalized guest experiences:
- Leisure Travel: Write a blog about some adventurous and popular things to do in the local area, then create a bucket list package for leisure guests based off of the article. For a more personalized experience, have an option where guests can select which option(s) they would like to experience as part of their bucket list package.
- Business Travel: On-the-go business travelers definitely want time to unwind after a long day at work and why not experience some of the local culture in the city? Create a fun package that can include a 1 ½ – 2 hour tour ride around the city to see various attractions, a visit to the spa to relax and rejuvenate, and end the night with a wine tasting at the best winery in the city. For a more seamless experience, provide transportation for your guests while factoring in the costs into the overall price of the package.
- Family Travel: Develop a 3+ day itinerary special for families that consists of the best, family-friendly things to do during their stay. To make this special even more amazing, the package can include visits to the most popular attractions for the children. In the evening, organize a babysitter so the parents can enjoy a nice meal at a well-known restaurant and a chance to enjoy the local entertainment at the hottest venue in town.
The demands of modern travelers are changing the standards of the hospitality industry; so hoteliers can expect personalization to better define how hotels will operate in the future. Ultimately, by providing a catered and personalized experience for guests is one proven method to achieve greater hotel conversions.