Personalization is one of the most important and happening buzzwords which is dominating the hospitality industry since early 2017. Hoteliers are now better able to collect, store and retrieve data in order to give guests a far more personalised experience, hotel and travel brands must remain relevant in an increasingly competitive area of client service. Every hotel guest expects personalization now, yet many businesses are still struggling to translate their data into meaningful actions!
What report says?
According to a detailed report by Forrester, 40% of marketers said that personalizing offers and experiences based on behavior is a top challenge for them. From a technical standpoint, personalization requires detailed knowledge about your guest, so the best way to begin is to make sure that you are pulling together your big CRM data along with usable data available through public social profiles, email, and Wi-Fi data. By including all available sources, you will have a fuller view of your guest and more contextually relevant information.
By treating your guests as the unique individuals they are, rather than a passing paycheque, you foster greater loyalty by creating authentic and memorable moments for them, as well as forge the positive brand identity needed to attract new business. In a 2017 survey, more than half of the travellers interviewed said they were happy to provide personal information if it meant getting relevant deals, discounts and personalised service.
A hotel’s service personalization is the key to create an unforgettable experience for guests. A personalized hotel experience goes beyond the kind of amenities you have or discounts in store. But what makes a hotel’s guest experience such an important subject? Independent hotel owners competing with larger brands need to set themselves apart from the competition. This is a surefire way to gain repeat guests and position your property right.
With advancements in technology, you can sell your hotel guest experience to keep travelers engaged at your independent property. Guest personalization in the hotel industry goes beyond addressing your guest by a name! And, any business that is about customers is definitely in the people business! Now, saying all these let us see the simplest ways to guest personalization in the hotel industry.
Methods of Guest Personalization
1. Devise a CRM to track guest activities: An easy-to-use CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software should be implemented and used for VIP guests. Hotels should already have a list of VIP guests – high spenders, important individuals, or customers who return very often. Many CRM’s allow a certain level of automation to customer communication, and can log every interaction that VIP guests have with the hotel and its staff members. By doing so, hotel management can provide an extraordinary customized experience to VIP guests.
This could be as simple as providing a VIP with a free drink of their choice at their bar, or booking a reservation at a VIP’s preferred restaurant in advance, before their arrival. By leveraging a CRM software and customer data, hotels can provide unparalleled service to VIP guests, and further increase their satisfaction in their experience.
2. Involve hotel managers: Guests love personal attention – and attention from managers is especially welcomed. Guests understand intuitively that the time of management is precious, so they appreciate getting a moment to express any concerns or questions they may have about their service.
This doesn’t mean that managers have to be involved in every conflict or issue that a guest may have, but they must at least listen to the concerns or praise, as much as practically possible – that a guest offers, taking appropriate steps to resolve the situation. This has an added benefit – management can add the information gained from conversations with guests into their CRM systems, allowing for a better customer experience during future stays.
3. Know your guests during pre-booking: The hotel technology has improved so much that now there are applications that can help you collect important data about your existing and new customers. You can now get to know who the top 100 customers are that come to your hotel. You can also get to know their personal favorites in terms of food, facilities, activity preferences, etc.
Details about their birthdays, anniversaries, job title, current employer, etc are all easily available. After this, you can have a statement, which is as long as a single tweet like “Donald Trump is a well-known dancer and he has paid 100 visits to your resort in the last 3 months.”
4. Hyper-personalization via AI-enabled chatbots: If we talk about the ever budding hotel industry the chat-based assistants are becoming an innate part and parcel of the industry. Many hoteliers are utilizing chatbots on their websites and Facebook for guest demands and personalization in their hotel rooms. AI-powered chatbots have been all the buzz these days and by rendering amazing and relevant hyper-personalized with diligently curated recommendations to the guests as per their behavior and preference Trilyomakes your hotel more relevant than ever! Doing this helps businesses save a lot of money which is why many business owners are adopting this technology.
And given the fact that these bots can be placed in places like Facebook Messenger, Slack, Telegram, SMS or on your own hotel website, it gives you the potential to reach a bigger audience.
5. Custom tailored recommendations via AI voice-assistants: A voice-bot or voice-based solution is also nifty for the hospitality industry because it saves considerable time and effort by becoming a tool for hands-free conversation and the guest who is already staying in your hotel won’t have to leave their room in order to know more about other amenities and extra benefits. While hotel experimentation with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant has been limited so far, hoteliers are reporting that guest feedback has been largely positive! Also, with voice-based solutions, a query from the guest would directly go to the respective department and can be solved in a jiffy.
Voice-based solutions has the power to upsell and cross-sell hotel’s amenities without touting. For example, a guest has arrived to your hotel after a long and tiring journey; so Amazon Alexa can suggest them to try the hotel’s spa section or pool area for refreshment. Another advantage of incorporating and utilizing a voice-based service in a hotel is that you can provide them digital concierge services without employing an attendant! How? Amazon Alexa can act as a digital butler and with the help of Artificial Intelligence it can anticipate a guest’s demand prior to saying ; for example food preference of a guest or their exercise habits.
One of the best advantages of having a voice-based solution in your hotel is- rendering custom-tailored and hyper-personalized recommendations to the guests. With this, you can make your brand more recognizable, build better customer loyalty and engage your guests in a better way than before.