If you are a hotelier who is looking to increase hotel guest loyalty, (hotel customer loyalty, if you will!) then read on. We are going to reveal to you the one thing that you need to master, to gain your guests' loyalty for life.
The hospitality industry has been around for several centuries now. In fact, there are evidences of guest hospitality services since early biblical times. So, we really arent dealing with anything modern or contemporary, here. Technology has taken the ecosystem to a whole different dimension, yes, but it still cannot do it all. Why this is relevant is because I am here to tell you that the only factor that will determine how loyal or disloyal your guests are to you is how satisfied they are with you. Everything else comes afterwards.
Guest Experience is everything
There are tons of stats to support this statement, but I wont get into that now. But if you insist on statistical evidence, heres all you need to know. What I am going to focus on is how we need to take a step back and reassess our approach towards How to increase customer loyalty in the hospitality industry. There is no way you can earn the loyalty of your guest if you arent providing them with an experience that will inspire them to come back to you. It is as simple as that!
Guest loyalty is the culmination of a series of positives, which you will have to consciously work for. Ok, let me put it this way.
You need to deliver consistent, impeccable guest experience across all the touchpoints on which you interact with your guests. Be it at your property, on your website, on the telephone, on a review site, or just about anywhere, you need to put your best foot forward, at all times. This is the only way to inspire your guests to come back for the same impeccable experience. So, in effect, loyalty is a result of a great experience. And with loyalty, come the benefits of lower expenses on customer acquisition, higher revenue, etc.
A classic mistake that even the biggest of brands make is to work backwards, which is not only futile but also silly. In order to increase revenue, you cannot go around promoting hotel reward programs and hotel loyalty programs. Agreed, these are great ways to encourage guest loyalty. But that is only if the guest is satisfied with you, dont you think? You cannot sell a loyalty program to an irate guest who left a nasty review of your hotel on TripAdvisor, can you? All your programs, rewards, etc. will only work if the guest feels good about staying at your property and that is what guest experience is all about. That is what you need to master.
So how do you increase customer loyalty in the hospitality industry?
Without investing in hotel guest experience, you simply cannot expect to reap the benefits of guest loyalty! There are just way too many choices out there for travelers to pick and choose from, but at the same time, there are also very few that have mastered the guest-first approach.
Focus on transforming your guest experience and youll be surprised at how closely loyalty is related to it. And heres the best part about it all, though. Guest experience is no rocket science. Often, we tend to complicate things because we feel like simplicity just cant be the solution. And then, the domino effect takes over, and everything spirals out of hand. Heres the deal. Put the human back into the picture, and that should take care of most of your challenges.
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Dont try and reinvent the wheel. Empathy never goes out of style. You already know the basics. Just ask yourself how would I like to be treated if I were that person. Guest data is extremely helpful in this case because you can go deeper in understanding what the guest may or may not like and intuitively offer them a great experience.
Its ironic how the service industry which is so closely connected to the human has become so out of touch with that very concept. I wouldnt blame technology because it has saved us all a lot of time and effort. It is time to put the human back into action because no technology, no robot, no machine can look a guest in the eye and ask them how their day has been so far!
Guest experience shouldnt be a program at your hotel. Make it a part of your culture and it has to be top-down. Unless you believe that guest experience is the need of the hour for your hotels success, your staff can never work towards achieving it. Inspire your staff to ensure that every guest has an experience so exquisite that their loyalty is guaranteed.
How we can help you realise this goal
Start focusing on building an inimitable guest experience for your hotel. Loyalty will come by itself when you leave your guests no choice but to choose you over anyone else. Let your staff spend time building a genuine interest in guests and nurturing an association with them that goes beyond just knowing their names or their room number. Leave all the rest of it to us. Well automate your hotels operations so smoothly & efficiently, that you wish youd found us sooner!
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Divya Bhat is a content strategist and writer with over a decade's experience in journalism and marketing. Apart from working with some of India's leading media houses, she has also worked as a French language translator. An avid Customer Experience enthusiast, she is also passionate about the Travel & Hospitality industry. You can reach out to her at firstname.lastname@example.org