The human touch is what a hotelier is proud of when it comes to personalising the guest experience. Creating the best memory throughout the entire guest journey. Hotels are always on a lookout to maintain high service levels for their guests.
This is how we show the true spirit of hospitality. I recently read an article about a national flag carrier (Garuda Indonesia) which was planning to replace face masks worn by its flight attendants with an alternative form of personal protective equipment (PPE) after passengers complained that the masks affected their perception of the cabin crew’s hospitality.
I personally do not encourage this as the world is still in a pandemic, with new confirmed cases appearing in different countries. But this is a real problem that the hospitality industry is facing. How can we maintain high hospitality service levels but yet adhere to strict personal hygiene and social distancing measures? Most hotels have yet to think about this question. But rather are thinking about how to acquire new business or how to follow new hygiene protocols.
Take a pause to review our own products, our own services and ourselves. What made us stand out among the rest and what stopped us to be the best. The criteria for choosing an accommodation has changed. Hotels that will come out on top are the ones who have worked out a solid post-COVID-19 plan. A clear idea of redefining the guest journey and proactive actions to maintain high service levels.
This crisis has not only put us in danger but also gave us an opportunity for innovations. During a Fireside chat with hotel experts, most of them believed that personalisation of the guest experience and touchless check-ins & check-outs are the top two areas that hotels should plan for and act on.
Personalisation of the Guest Experience
The guest experience is intangible, it is the feeling of comfort or being welcomed. Hotels would need to fulfil and anticipate the guest’s needs to personalise their experience. Prior to COVID, hoteliers could achieve this by having physical conversations and listening to the guests’ needs. After the implementation of new protocols, how are we able to deliver a high standard of service if we have to minimise physical contact?
Hotels should leverage on every touchpoint in order to provide a personalised experience since there is a decrease in physical interaction. This even includes before the guest arrives at your hotel. Hotels could utilise a pre-arrival technology to create engagement between the guest and the hotel. To deliver important messages and collect guest’s preferences are key to gaining the guest’s trust. Showing concern encourages your guests to share more information about themselves. Hotels can then have the opportunity to personalise their stay experience.
Technology plays an important role in the ability to know your guests. It also empowers your team in creating personalised engagements throughout the entire guest journey. We might not be able to welcome them in the same way we are familiar with, but we could still show the same warm hospitality.
Touchless Check-in & Check-out
Check-in and check-out are one of many touchpoints which creates a memorable stay experience. With increasing hygiene measures, it has become the first touchpoint where hotels are looking to reduce physical contact. The option of providing online check-in and check-out will help solve this problem.
Hotels may use their PMS which could support online check-in to implement this feature. Alternatively, KAI also provides a simple but yet effective online check-in. Prior to guests arriving, hotels can use this to collect guest registration details including passport images. With our partnership with GTRIIP, we can additionally provide hotels with a digital key solution to create a complete touchless check-in/check-out solution.
The word Crisis in Chinese has two characters with opposite meanings: Risk and Opportunity. Hotels should not only look at the Risk and think about how to survive but think about the opportunities we have to get through the crisis and maintain high service levels.