Five tips for creating a memorable guest experience
Providing guests with a friendly and memorable reception during their stay away from home is critical for the hospitality industry.
So, if you want to stay ahead of the competition, it’s important that your hotel continually looks for newer ways to make their stay more memorable for guests. This is especially important with the severe impact that COVID-19 had on the industry.
A positive experience encourages guests to return to your hotel during future stays. These return customers form an essential part of hospitality.
The following five tips will help you create memorable guest experiences that build good relationships and incentivize guests to stay with your hotel again in the future.
1) Optimize for social media
Online hotel bookings have been on a steady rise since the turn of the decade. A significant chunk of that happens through Online Traveling Agency (OTA) portals, where prospective guests can compare many hotels against factors like price, reviews, etc.
Guests who have stayed in your hotel will often share their photos on these websites and social media. You can capitalize on this by making your hotel rooms and the overall ambiance appealing to customers and looking good in photos. It will help your brand grow in OTA rankings and help convert online traffic into bookings. Think of it as an indirect form of social media marketing.
2) Put your brand on everything
Many guests tend to take hotel items like shampoos, slippers, soaps, and other pay-to-consume goodies. They do this either to ‘get the most bang for their buck’ or save them as keepsakes. This is a great marketing opportunity to brand those items that guests typically take home.
Or, if your hotel already provides city guides or other brochures for guests, place them in branded tote bags in each room. These are great promotional products as several states have banned plastic bags so your guests can reuse them for grocery shopping. For affordable, high-quality custom tote bag options, click here.
3) Offer gifts or exclusive offers
In addition to amenities customers may grab for practicality, you can also give them free gifts to form a positive association and long-lasting memory of your hotel. These gifts should be:
- Inexpensive yet appealing
- Either reusable or consumable
- Relatable to your hotel or its services
Gestures like welcome gifts or hotel gift shop samples might seem trivial, but they can go a long way towards creating a memorable staying experience for guests. The following are some great gift ideas that you can implement in your own customer service operations:
- Fresh, in-room fruit baskets
- Free bike service
- Discounted parking spaces or other exclusive offers, like discounts on attraction costs
4) Make sure your guests are well-fed
Although it does require a considerable investment, having an in-house restaurant is a great way to generate additional revenue and prestige.
A top-notch, on-site dining experience not only provides incredible customer satisfaction through excellent customer service provided by employees trained in how to properly handle food through a program, but is also highly convenient for guests. Features of such hotel restaurants are:
- Delicious yet affordable dining
- Expedited room service
- Incentives guests to dine
If you do not have an in-house restaurant, you can always partner with a reputed local restaurant. You can also incentivize your guests to experience local experiential dining. It helps local businesses with additional footfall and strengthens your business relationships with the local community.
5) Offer entertainment
Entertainment has become one of the pivotal components of the hospitality industry, and hotels that offer such services always have a leg up.
However, any entertainment features that you offer should be unique to incentivize guests to use them rather than the entertainment that is readily available on their mobile phones. For example, having a retro video game arcade in the hotel is unique and not something that guests would encounter daily.
As with restaurants, you can also form synergistic partnerships with local entertainment businesses like cinemas, parks, concerts, and events to foster positive business relationships. A great way to boost customer satisfaction is by partnering with sight-seeing agencies to give guests a personalized tour of the city.
Positive experiences are the basis of hospitality
The hospitality industry is highly competitive. If your hotel does not provide a memorable guest experience, all the marketing in the whole world will not boost your booking rates or your OTA rankings.
Providing your customers with unique staying experiences would incentivize them to choose your brand over competitors and create a positive word-of-mouth flow that is crucial in this industry.