The hospitality industry is growing at a rapid pace with the effects of pandemic wavering and industry finding its momentum again. But for hoteliers it means ever increasing competition. In this intense competition, customer retention is of paramount importance for the hotels. The foremost step in customer retention is to enhance guest satisfaction, as the hospitality industry is pivoting around guest experience. If the guests are provided with an experience that exceeds their expectations, there is a high probability that the guest will return to stay with the same hotel or by sharing his experience with others, will bring new customers to the hotel as well.
However, the use of technology can help hotels to increase their guest retention by providing unique and bespoke experiences to each guest. A hotel has to maintain high standards of service for their guests, but apart from that it’s the small things catered to the specific needs of the customer that leave a lasting impression.
Here are technology assisted services that hotels can adapt to provide an unparalleled guest experience and significantly improve their guest retention:
Smart Room Control
The preference of temperature or lighting in the room varies with each person, if one person likes their ambient room temperature on the warmer side the other may want their rooms to be chilly. Similarly, one guest may want the lights in the room to be dimmed and other may want it to be brightly lit. Instead of the hassle of fiddling with the thermostat of the room in the middle of the night or messing with lots of switches to get the lighting right, a guest may simply be provided with a smart room control console. All a guest needs to control the room setting is to change it on the console or even better if it is voice controlled. This eliminates the discomfort the guest has to face to get their room settings to their preferences.
Automated Room Service
Room Service is an integral part of the guest experience, technology can help to take this feature even further. Instead of menus, there can be a simple QR code on the nightstand, which the guest can scan to access the menu and then order online. Besides being efficient and simple, automated room service can also help save the guest’s preferences and save that information for further use.
A tablet that ties in all the smart services offered by the hotel and acts as the central console of the room is the ultimate tool to enhance guest experience. The tablet can include all the services mentioned above i.e., built in room service apps and room control hub, and the guest won’t have to use their own devices for any of this. This tablet can be a tool to market special offers for re-bookings and for future stays. Also, this tablet can be used by guests for streaming their favorite content. Furthermore, this can be used to directly connect guests with a support agent in case of any connectivity issues.
Easy to use booking system
Nowadays guests are more reliant on Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) for their bookings. This results in the guest loyal towards the OTA instead of the hotel. The primary reason that customers are more inclined to use OTAs for booking instead of directly with the hotels is the ease of process they get with online services. Hotels need to upgrade their websites and apps to be more user friendly, so that the guests would prefer to book with them directly. This creates a customer base that is loyal to the hotel itself instead of a third party.
Personalize the customer experience with CRM system
The use of a reliable CRM tool can go a long way in customizing the individual guest experience. The hotel can reach a customer after the booking to better understand the preferences of the guest and prepare for those specific needs. Similarly, the information gathered during the stay of the guest can be compiled to prepare a customer guest experience for future stays at the hotel or any other hotel in case of a hotel chain. Furthermore, the CRM can be used to gather the feedback from the customer and take corrective measures where necessary. In this age, data is an absolute necessity for a great user experience, and a good CRM can collect all the relevant data of the guest for an enhanced customer experience.
With fierce competition in the hospitality industry and lots of available options for the customers, guest retention is the focus for hotels. However, this task can be simplified using technology. With technology in the hospitality industry evolving rapidly, the use of right technological services can provide the guest with a memorable experience and boost the customer retention for hotels.
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