In essence, guest engagement at your hotel will be achieved through making the guest feel a certain way when they interact with your products and services. Feelings, emotions – they run the world and they’re especially important to travellers.
Taking a trip is usually a very exciting event that people will be happy and upbeat about. To maintain that feeling, travellers will have very specific desires for what their vacation will include – and much of it centres around personalised experience, whether it be at the front desk or when looking for help from a hotel staff member.
This is where your business needs to ensure it’s catching the eye of guests, and fulfilling the emotional sensation they want from their hotel stay.
Here are the most proven hotel guest experience strategies that should work wherever your hotel is located in the world…
Hotel guest satisfaction strategy #1
Use consistent messaging in your hotel marketing to boost guest engagement
This is quite similar to online dating. It’s one thing to say you’re fun and witty, but it’s another to be that personality in reality and deliver true customer satisfaction.
If your brand strategy online is to be fun, youthful, colourful, and exciting this is how your hotel customer service must appear when guests arrive. If travellers are greeted by monotone staff, stock-standard rooms, no special events, and mediocre amenities, they’ll be especially disappointed because you haven’t delivered on the promise that you hooked them with.
Setting false expectations is the worst thing you can do. It reduces trust, amplifies negative experiences, and erodes engagement. Be realistic about your current and future offering and make sure what the guest sees before they stay is at least the same as they experience during the stay and in real time.
The same rules apply even between online channels. Your website and social media accounts for instance should not be too far removed from each other, lest you risk alienating audiences who visit one and not the other, or are confused about your messaging after visiting both. While they are different platforms and need to be customised to a degree, your brand identity should be immediately recognisable on both across all devices including mobile technology.
Here are some tips on how to build a killer brand.
Hotel guest satisfaction strategy #2
Communicate and build relationships as early as possible
To make guests feel comfortable and positive about your brand, you need to make them feel at home. Open lines of communication are very important, you need to go beyond a smile and a ‘hello, how can I help you?’.
Communication can often feel like a burden to guests, with multiple steps to go through just to get answers or make requests. You can make it much easier by reaching out to guests as soon as they book. Use your existing hotel technology to send an email or message asking for feedback on the reservation process, if there’s anything they want to know, or any special requests they’d like to make prior to their arrival for their hotel room.
It’s this added convenience and consideration that will make guests feel appreciated and it sets up a much smoother hotel stay for them, and your hotel as a host.
Knowing what a guest needs before they step into your property is extremely valuable within the hospitality industry, so data collection should be a priority.
The same principles apply while the guest is at your hotel. If they feel like they need to jump through hoops or go out of their way to find help or submit feedback, frustration will quickly grow. Keep in mind guests may be from out-of-town, or from another country, and will need more help than a local would.
Making hotel technology your friend will really help. If communication is as easy as sending a text or in-app message to hotel staff, guests will be much more likely to do so.
Take a look at these ideas to create healthy lines of communication with guests.
Hotel guest satisfaction strategy #3
Obsess over your guests…and they’ll obsess over you
You have to give to receive, love to be loved, treat others as you would have them treat you. There are many nice sentiments here and they all ring true for hotel guest engagement.
For travellers staying at your property, it’s nice to feel wanted. In fact, they’ll expect you to make them feel like the most important person in the building and it’s exactly what you should be doing.
This means empowering your staff to act independently to solve guest enquiries and go the extra mile to make guests feel special. If you evoke those warm fuzzy feelings, your guests will only be too happy to reward you in turn.
Look at it this way:
- If they like you, they’ll consider returning to you instead of a competitor
- If they love you, they’ll probably book a return stay and leave a review of your hotel
- If they’re obsessed with you, they’ll become regular guests and share your hotel experience with friends and family
How do you make someone love you?
It’s an age-old question that’s not easy to answer. In the case of your hotel, it will become easier if you surprise your guests with personalised offers and extras. Surprises let your guests know you care, because you have done something you didn’t have to do and offered more than they were seeking in the first place.
Ultimately improved guest engagement will lead to more vital reviews, more social sharing, and more bookings for your hotel to deliver direct revenue and a stronger bottom line.