Your hotel is a shopping mall, not just a shop!

I may not look old enough, but I remember the days when the Hotel check-in experience was one of mystique and was quite magical. Fast forward a few (or so) years and by and large, it’s quite a painful experience for all involved, front desk included I’m sure.

The elephant in the room has to be the never-ending staffing crisis (we created a cool report on how you can tackle this in 2022), the tasks and lack of resources can seriously hinder the rockstars of any hotel front of the house. The top of the head syndrome is caused by reams of paperwork and inefficient systems the hotel procured ten years ago, causing your teams to tap away without ever looking your guests in the eye. Imagine firing up your 1st generation i-phone today to check your bitcoin? Why put up with laborious prohibitive technology, restricting all things that are good about your hotel when there is a solution right around the corner?

I recently stayed at one of Manchester’s finest new openings, The Alan (fun fact – you now get a complimentary glass between 5pm – 7pm… bliss). Full of Mancunian spirit, I bounced through the doors, and to my room in less than 90 seconds! The amazing front desk agent greeted me with a smile, handed me my key, asked for my autograph and boom, a quick power nap before I was greeted at reception by David, Head of Sales and the GM, Andrew for a quick natter.

It was a breath of fresh air, or in this hotel’s case a breath of the sweet smell of Chinese food due to its proximity to Chinatown.

Nailed it! This vibrant hotel had given me a great check-in experience, taking me back to yesteryear and onto TripAdvisor to leave a five-star review, winning! Simple but so damn effective.

It got me thinking, is it really that easy to enhance the 2022 guest experience?

The answer is out there, and Tech vendors like Revinate have a responsibility here too. The team, being the tech vendors and the employees of these establishments we call hotels, can simply pivot into acting more like retail, by better tailoring offers and services to guests’ likes and purchasing behaviors.

Own your guest

For many a year, we’ve complained about the dominance of the OTA’s. But in reality, the OTA’s don’t really know the customer that well, they just know that customers buy rooms. Hotels on the other hand have an intimate relationship with a customer, so half the work is done. This is providing you have the tools to tailor moments of astonishment for your guests.

Speak to them

Because you have the correct data, you know that Mr. Mullen loves a glass of Malbec, so why would you send me a Fizz Friday offer?

Data is king, just ask Amazon, Facebook and Netflix. Understanding your guest’s preferences and sentiments is crucial to providing a seamless experience. This is where Revinate Hotel CRM comes into play.

When do your guests normally visit your hotel?

What’s their favorite drink?

What do they like to do?

Not only does knowing this information enhance the guest experience, but done correctly will drive incremental revenue into F&B spaces – your hotel is a shopping mall, not just a shop!

Value for Money

Now more than ever, saving is the top priority of people with disposable income (KPMG, 2020). Customers want the best deal and hotels want the cheapest acquisition, so direct bookings are as crucial as they have ever been. However, if you don’t have the customer’s email address, or know your customers likes, how can you market your trough months or your flash sales?

It doesn’t have to be all discounts

Most hotels will have a bad-ass Revenue manager or will be using an award-winning Revenue Management Solution like Duetto, with countless pricing strategies such as driving your OTA rates from your direct rates with a nice little uplift. This then enables you to sell your room directly, cheaper, and with better personalisation.

Chucking in a nice welcome drink in the bar is just as satisfying as a 10% book direct saving unless you are offering me fizz… its Malbec please Garcon!

Brand.com

Your website is your shop window on the busiest high street in the business. Book Direct has long been the industry buzzword to drive ‘direct – commission-free bookings’, but survey your guests, they will have no-idea what you are on about. Why are you pushing book direct campaign messages to a conference organiser who is looking for contact details to inquire about a corporate event they are planning?

Know your customers. Lose that slogan, let your guests know they are on an ‘official site’.

Customers will, on average, interact with your website 10 times taking around 7 days in order to book, so get to know your guest. Using a smart booking engine such as allora.ai by Avvio unlocks the power of data science to ensure a curated brand experience at every stage of your guest journey.

Takeaways

The hotel experience should be reinvented to provide a hassle-free experience and a hygienic environment. Innovative solutions providing guests and customer insights (don’t forget the locals who come with you during lockdown) by way of segmentation is a must.

If you want to explore how we are tackling these topics in-depth, or looking for inspirational garnish ideas, reach out at john.mullen@revinate.com or request demo at Revinate.com

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