Customization and tailoring of services and products is no longer a luxury in the current market. The industry today is far more competitive than ever, and businesses today need to create a long-lasting impression on their customers. As for the hospitality industry, today with the rise of online media customers have access to details and reviews about thousands of hotels and destinations at their fingertips. Hence hotels, restaurants and other sectors of the hospitality industry need to establish a bond with their customers in order to stand out. By forming an emotional connection, guest relationships can be maintained over the years. It also helps in advertising as words are spread by loyal customers who provide positive reviews.The Four Seasons Hotel was recently seen investing around $18 million in redesigning their online presence which now offers personalized webpages to viewers. Customization efforts need not necessarily be so cost-intensive or include such massive changes. There a lot of changes which the hospitality industry can introduce in their practices to make the guests feel more at home. Mentioned below are some tips which can enable you to provide a more memorable experience for your customers.
- Establishing social media presence- This is one of the easiest ways of connecting with your customers. Twitter over the recent times has proved to be an excellent tool for addressing personal issues and sending emergency messages. Also sending customized content over social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram can create a long-lasting impression on the guest's mind. By identifying the preferences and tastes of the customers via their social media profiles, hotels can tailor their style of presentation and aesthetics to suit the customers.
- Using the customer’s name- Using the names of your customers is a scientifically proven way to establish a connection to your customer. Greeting a guest with their names while they are checking in or checking out and during general conversation with staff can help you in establishing a relationship quickly. Whether you use their last names or address them with titles is totally up to the nature of the guests and the kind of formal or casual relationship that you would want to have with the customers.
- Use handwritten notes- Writing personal notes and communication in the form of handwritten letter often has a profound impact upon guests. Special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries and other celebrations are an excellent opportunity to let your guests know that you care about them via personal notes and letters.
- Customize service and delivery- Customizing the room according to a theme based on the customer’s taste or decorating a particular dinner or dessert in a unique fashion is a great way to provide a personalized guest experience. You can also experiment with providing in-room amenities depending on special occasions and requests. The room and service that you provide must always reflect the tastes and preferences of the guests.
- Provide special services to loyal and regular customers- Having methods and technologies in place that allow you recognize repeat and loyal customers is vital in providing a memorable service. It is a strong marketing strategy to treat your loyal customers differently. Whenever repeat customers visit the establishment, the staff must be able to identify them and treat them with a special greeting. You can also offer them special discounts and offers along with special services. You can identify the purpose of their visit and provide services such as meeting rooms and Wi-Fi services for business stays, halls for family gatherings and parties among other services.
- Making an impression during farewell- It is the role of the staff to collect the necessary information about the guest and the experience that they had. A note should be made of all the unaddressed concerns in-order to provide a better service in the future. While the guests leave, it is a good idea to present them with some form of mementos so that they remember the time they spent. A warm invitation for a return visit should also be communicated to the guests.
- Have a talented team of managers- Managers spend the maximum interaction time with customers out of all the staff. They are there to meet and greet, address concerns, coordinate activities, listen to special guest needs and requests among other services. They are the primary point of interaction between the hotel and the guest. The managers that you employ must have crisp and polished communication skills with a bent towards innovation. Managers must recognize the individual concerns of every guest and must also predict their expectations to provide the best possible service.
- Provide guests with location-based information- A lot of guests are looking to explore the destination and are often looking for information and tips. The hotel staff can support the guests by providing them with details about attractive locations and tourist spots. Insider tips also play a major role in personalizing guest experiences. Hotels and travel companies can operate online portals for travel customization and travel. You can also provide links to local tourist services and tie-up with local restaurants, mentioning the relevant details on the website.
- Rely on automation software- Today there are a number of automation tools that can collect data about guest preferences online. The customer base is very dynamic and hospitality demands change from season to season. Keeping track of changes in customer mentality and preferences can be a labor-intensive task. Thankfully there are a multitude of data analysis and meta-data handling software for this purpose. By constantly monitoring the consumer mentality, patterns can be identified that help hotel executives predict customer expectations. The goal here is to make the job of identifying and working with consumer data easier.
With continuous development in technology, customizing and personalizing hospitality solutions is becoming an affordable and critical strategic factor. CRM systems are on the rise and will continue to see developments that will allow the hospitality sector to serve the guests better.