Friday, March 7, 2014

Building Hotel Brand Loyalty More on Personalization

Expectations of hotel customers are higher than ever before. Hoteliers now need to deliver a unique experience to each of their guests, both on-property and off. With travelers having a myriad of choices, providing a personalized guest experience is crucial for hotels in today’s fragile economy. The guest experience on hotel property is where hotel personalization can have its biggest impact and leave a lasting customer impression.
Everyone appreciates being made to feel special and to be treated accordingly makes for a truly memorable experience. There are so many little things that hotels can do to make their guests feel important. It is very easy to make note of such things as preferred room temperature settings and requested items for the room refrigerator.  Ensuring their presence in the guest’s room in future stays is how guest loyalty is built on a very personal level.
Hotels are becoming very engaging with guests in the effort to gain their repeated business. Giving travel points is the old way of accomplishing this goal. Rewarding repeated stays with the guest’s favorite specialty service personalizes the reward for each individual. For example, a hotel that features a golf course could reward a business traveler who always enjoys a round of golf after the meetings are over, by picking up the tab for one round. Customizing the hotel experience around the preferences of each guest builds trust in the brand, resulting in customer loyalty.
Particularly for the business traveler, making the hotel guest feel at home is essential. In the absence of their real home and missing the people there, personalizing the room space and socially engaging the guest are means to realizing that goal. Hotels can allow guests to customize their rooms in new ways according to their tastes and needs. These options can include offering bedding choices, loaning appliances like coffee makers or hair dryers, or even the choice of flower arrangements. These and other customizations can also be offered in menu form when the customer books the hotel. Social engagement can be provided through activities like yoga classes or a golf school.  Offering these and other activities gives the solo business traveler more opportunities for social interaction away from home.
Travelers today are looking for a more personalized experience from a hotel stay built around their likes and preferences. Hotels that give guests a level of customization not previously available will earn their brand loyalty.

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