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3 Steps for Creating a More Memorable Guest Experience

Hotel guests appreciate being heard, engaged, and understood.

A memorable guest experience at a hotel depends on a balance of exceptional service, comfort, and personalization. A warm and sincere welcome sets the tone, making guests feel valued and appreciated as soon as they arrive. But there’s more to it than that.

Deloitte, a consulting and auditing firm, , asking them to self-report their satisfaction levels with various hotel experiences. According to them, guests were most satisfied for these reasons…

  • “They engage me in a personalized, authentic, and attentive way.” (66%)
  • “They listen to my needs, empathize with my situation, and follow through.” (62%)
  • “They provide me with the opportunities and access to drive my experience the way that I want.” (67%)
  • “They create moments that surprise me and exceed my expectations.” (56%)
  • They know and remember me, my preferences, and my needs.” (65%)

“Hoteliers need to turbocharge the guest experience and tune into their needs to drive loyalty and increase repeat business,” Deloitte’s expert Ashley Reichheld explained. “In order to win and retain guest preference, hotels should be more thoughtful about how people and technology, powered by insights, weave together to deliver authentic hospitality.”

Deloitte’s data has been broken down to explain how their findings fit into every step of the guest experience.

1. Booking

This is a great time to demonstrate how you know and understand your incoming guest. It’s an opportunity to gain insight into their reasons for traveling, allowing you to tailor their experience – or future guest experiences – to their personal needs.

Make the most of this moment by adding booking forms that go beyond the basics of name and contact information. Include preferences such as room type (smoking/non-smoking, bed size, etc), dietary restrictions, special occasions (birthdays or anniversaries), and any specific requests or needs. This information can help personalize their stay.

If you know about their dietary restrictions, you can alter the offerings you include in the room, if any. If they’re there for anniversaries or birthdays, you can have your staff leave a couple of chocolates in the room. It’s a small bit of effort that can make a big difference. A voluntary and brief survey about what they’re looking forward to can provide essential information on how to improve their stay and which amenities or features you should be focusing on overall.

2. Check-in

Staff saying “hello” at the door or at the check-in desk to simply move on without extra engagement afterward won’t be enough to convince your guests to return. According to Deloitte, guests are 29 percent more likely to share positive reviews when hotel staff give them additional attention when they arrive.

Your front desk staff should pay close attention to guests’ requests and questions. They can demonstrate their listening skills as well by repeating back a guest’s needs to show they understand and assure them that their concerns are important. If you’ve used the booking process to learn more about your guests, staff can point out any needs for personalization and make offers such as room accommodations or recommend different amenities based on a guest’s wants/needs.

3. Stay

Exceeding expectations is important to guests and there are a few ways to go about it. Do you have plenty of extra rooms that night? Offer complimentary room upgrades or amenities that the guest may not have expected otherwise. This can include a room with a better view, a bigger bed, or access to exclusive facilities.

Surprising guests with unexpected upgrades or perks, like a complimentary spa treatment, late check-out, and access to exclusive events or lounges. You could also offer amenities tailored to guests’ preferences for them to use as needed like a selection of pillows, dietary-specific menu options, or a personalized minibar.

As guests close their stay, encourage them to sign up for your loyalty program (which you should implement if you haven’t already). Guests who feel recognized and rewarded are 13 percent more likely to return to a business.

I know this wording is weird but I can’t tell if they conducted the survey or analyzed a third-party survey

I’m struggling to find a methodology. I’ve always thought Deloitte was a bigger name and they have an in-house survey team. I don’t think it’s that big of a deal.