Success in the world of hospitality is based on customer experience. What encourages the customer to come back for more? How does a hotel or restaurant stand out from its close competitors? What role does technology play in the evolution of operations without losing the sense of exceptional acceptance of a concept? Each of these questions plays a part in the strategy behind the inner workings of a hotel, and it’s important to ensure that guests and staff enjoy what the space has to offer.
In today’s hospitality market, competition is high and so are guest expectations. Hospitality professionals must be on their A-game and strive to create memorable experiences for every guest, every day. Thinking back to how hotel stays looked just a decade ago, it’s amazing the impact that technology, in particular, has had on the guest journey from booking to check-out. From how they book to the amenities featured in each room, hotels have consistently raised the bar over the years, aiming to stand out from the crowd and impress those who choose to stay in their property.
While standard in-room amenities often include TVs, Wi-Fi, coffee makers, complimentary toiletries and more, seeing the hotel through the eyes of the guest allows hoteliers to see the bigger picture of what could be. making a customer’s stay even more hospitable and convenient. So, let’s go back to before a guest even sets foot in the hotel. Booking a stay can sometimes be complicated, then once the guest arrives, check-in is not always a quick process. This is where enhanced technology comes in to redesign the customer experience.
While many hotels across the country continue to operate traditionally, some destinations exemplify this emerging trend, which impacts every hotel stay from start to finish. As soon as a person books their room, staff are digitally notified of their expected arrival time, stay preferences, and any accommodation needs. Once the customer arrives, he does not need to search to find the reception, because there is none. Instead, a member of staff greets the guest in the lobby, as if they were being welcomed into a friend’s house. From this point on, the guest experience runs seamlessly and these staff members are better equipped to meet each guest’s needs as they arise throughout their stay. Instead of calling the front desk or heading to the lobby for any given request, the guest is one app away from having hospitality and convenience at their fingertips, from ordering room service to booking visits nearby.
Each member of the team is not only a tourist guide of the property or an escort to the guest rooms. They champion every guest who enters the hotel, providing them with a next-level stay that exemplifies the future of hospitality. So, how is this major operational transition being prepared, and why is it considered a way forward? Clear and effective training in all departments, such as housekeeping, maintenance, food and beverage, and check-in, is essential to smoothly implementing this type of program. Each member of the team must feel confident and perform well in each category so that the customer experience is not jerky and that the employee’s daily life is pleasant. When it comes to the future of hotel stays, it’s important to understand that this particular technological shift is not an effort to replace the human factor, but rather to enhance it.
This breakthrough in the customer experience is not just a boost for the customer. This strategy improves the daily routine of hotel staff, allowing them to expand their role and take on a varying pool of responsibilities. This in turn opens the door of possibilities as to where each staff member can pursue their career in the future. Not only is an expanded resume helpful from a growth and financial perspective, but the role this opportunity brings provides a more meaningful and fulfilling work experience that promotes longevity in the industry. Elevating each staff member to a leadership position in this capacity increases their ability to manage and improve the customer experience with 360 degree reach. This approach also allows staff to focus on the experiential and memorable part of a guest’s stay, leaving transactional tasks in the background.
All in all, changing the guest experience that hotels have presented as the norm for decades can be a tricky task. Over time, however, change is essential, and understanding the ins and outs of how to be truly hospitable, from pre-arrival to post-departure, provides each guest with an unforgettable stay and supports the future of the hospitality industry as a whole.