Personalization has always been a tipping point in the hotel industry in terms of service standards. From upscale to midscale hotels, hoteliers are constantly trying different ways to make guest stay experience customized and memorable. In the year of digitization, data became the key driving factor of personalization to increase guest satisfaction and stay experience.
Pre-arrival communication plays an important role in the guest experience
Hotels are only sending out booking confirmation and a post-stay survey. In comparison, airlines and OTAs are sending a series of automated emails to engage with their customers to customize their trips. Hotels are missing out on the opportunity to keep their guests engaged from the moment they make their reservation to the point where they arrive at the hotel.
To personalize their stay, you must first establish a relationship with your guests. So as to understand their stay preferences and interests. Hotels have the opportunity to build such a relationship once your guest books a room with you via multiple channels, including emails, text messages, social media, and so on.
Deloitte’s Guest Experience Strategy states that “guests are looking for a unique experience from each of their stay. Know me, Engage me, Hear me, Empower me, and Delight me are the five key attributes they are expecting for. Hoteliers have to supercharge the guest experience to increase repeat business.
An online survey indicated, over 60% of respondents (hotels) never convert a upsell or room upgrade upon check-in. They believe hotels should promote upsell during pre-arrival and they think proactive engagement by a data-driven technology will help hotels capture every personalization opportunity.
Pre-arrival survey is an important but missing part for the guest experience
Since we all understand the importance of pre-arrival communication, how should hoteliers initiate the conversation with their guests?
A pre-arrival survey is recommended to collect direct interest and preferences from guests before they arrive at your hotel. With the data collected, hotels can promote their ancillary services in a personalized way. Sending what the guest is interested in, instead of pushing what hotels want to promote. Every guest is unique and each stay is different, with the implementation of a pre-arrival survey, hotels can capture every single need of the guest which enables hotels to personalize the guest stay experience.
I booked a hotel room on Hotels.com for my upcoming leisure trip to Berlin. I have been to Berlin many times for business purposes, but it’s my first time there as a leisure traveller. After receiving a confirmation email from Hotels.com, I also received a direct welcome email from the hotel with a pre-arrival survey.
Upon check-in, I received a jogging map in my welcome pack, as well as a list of popular German restaurants and discount vouchers for a German beer in the hotel lobby bar. I was definitely delighted by the hotel as they Know me and Hear me. Such simple personalization gestures turned my stay into a memorable stay experience.