By going the extra mile as a hotelier, you’ll create experiences that guests share far and wide.
It’s a super-simple yet highly effective marketing strategy; you do what you do best and let guests do the talking. Thanks to the power and reach of social media, their effort alone will ensure your hotel lands in the news feeds of countless potential guests without a penny of marketing spend.
All that’s required is some time and ingenuity. Oh, and the following list of small yet brilliant touches that create a great, personalised guest experience:
1. Destination tips
Destination promotion is increasingly being used by hotels across the world to boost occupancy.
By talking about the area in which your hotel is located and providing insider tips on how to get the most out of a stay, you’ll attract the attention of guests who are seeking an authentic, local experience.
This strengthens your brand reputation, proves you’re about far more than just a bed for the night and raises your authority online.
You needn’t spend any money on destination promotion, either, just blog regularly about things to do in your town, city or village and include destination tips in your welcome packs.
2. Provide customer care on Twitter
This might sound a bit too corporate for your independent hotel, but customers expect businesses to respond to their criticism or praise on Twitter - no matter the industry.
For instance, if a guest has a less than enjoyable stay at your hotel and decides to make their feelings known on Twitter, they’ll probably mention you in their tweet. And this is great (no, really!), because it gives you the opportunity to jump into the conversation, reply and show the world that you care about the service you provide.
Be active on Twitter. Complaints will hopefully be few and far between, but aside from dealing with incoming flak, make sure you thank people who say nice things about your service. Search for hashtags relevant to your area, too, and get involved; demonstrate your knowledge of the area and give your hotel that all-important personality online.
3. Leave handwritten notes
In an age of social media, instant messaging and smartphone addiction, handwritten letters are unique, satisfying traditional and - most importantly - engaging.
Why not delight your guests by leaving handwritten notes in their room? If you’re abiding by GDPR rules and ethically collecting data about them, you could say happy birthday, invite the guest to try an update to the restaurant dish they enjoyed last time or simply thank them for staying at your hotel.
This requires minimal effort, yet is the kind of gesture that might make its way onto the social media feed of the guest you’ve delighted.
4. Surprise guests with in-room treats
During the booking process (be it online or over the phone), ask guests if they’re celebrating anything during their stay. Engagements, anniversaries and birthdays are common reasons for getaways, therefore if you’re aware of the special date, you can grab the opportunity to leave a little surprise in the room.
A complementary bottle of champagne, flowers or box of chocolates won’t break the bank, but will put a huge smile on the faces of guests who are in the mood for celebration.
And they won’t forget it!
5. Use a modern PMS
All four tips above can be undertaken without technology, but you’ll save considerable time if you have a modern PMS from which to gather the required data.
Personalising a guest experience starts with their profile on your PMS. The more you know about a guest, the more you can build a stay for them which will feel entirely their own. Old PMSs that don’t offer comprehensive guest profiling, GDPR compatibility or integration with guest feedback platforms simply don’t cut it anymore, and you don’t need to spend a fortune to upgrade, thanks to cloud computing.
What have we missed? If you’ve experienced success by personalising your guests’ experiences and don’t mind sharing them with the world (hey, we’re all in this together, right?), let us know in the comments section, below!