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Guest-centric hotels focus on tailoring their services to adjust to the needs and desires of their guests. It's not just about being more competitive; it's about knowing your guests and designing the services they want.
By placing the guest at the center of everything you do, you're more likely to attract and keep them long after their first stay. Want to learn how to build a guest-centric hotel? Keep reading to find out more.
What is a guest-centric hotel?
A guest-centric hotel (or a customer-centric operation) prioritizes guest needs and satisfaction over everything else. It's all about creating a personalized experience for guests to exceed their expectations and build customer loyalty.
Personalization extends across all touchpoints: customer service, the technology you use, guest feedback and employee training, as well as community. You aim to offer the utmost flexibility to accommodate diverse needs.
A guest-centric approach helps build lasting impressions, translating into customer satisfaction, loyalty, and positive word-of-mouth.
9 ways to build a guest-centric hotel
Now that you know the meaning of a guest-centric hotel, let’s look at the ways to create a hotel experience around this concept.
When it's time to buy, choosing is easier when you're not fully committing. Think of Amazon, who have some of the most flexible return policies of any company worldwide. Copy their approach to the hospitality landscape: allow flexibility when booking, giving your guests ample time to cancel or change their bookings.
Being flexible in your policies allows space to accommodate all sorts of guest needs. You can offer flexible check-in and check-out times and cancellation policies or accommodate different requests. Flexible pricing is another way to let guests choose the services that best suit them on a specific budget.
Encourage community engagement
People have different motivations behind travel, but modern guests look for contact with the local community. It gives them a sense of place and helps them understand their new surroundings. Encourage guests to engage with the local community through nearby attractions, events, unique experiences, and locally led tours. Learn more about community engagement.
Use smart technology
Integrating technology throughout the guest journey is a terrific way to enhance the overall experience. Here are some ideas: mobile check-in and check-out facilitate greater flexibility, as does smart in-room technology with voice-controlled temperature and lights. Or how about a virtual concierge and guest apps that make enacting service requests easier?
Use technology to offer more personalized experiences across all touchpoints and enhance overall operations with the guest at the forefront of all the decisions. Technology is the key driver of greater flexibility and personalization.
Offer exceptional customer service
Exceptional customer service should be at the heart of a guest-centric hotel. Training staff members to be attentive and responsive makes all the difference. Pro tip: use technology to fill in any potential customer service gaps.
Overall, the focus should be on creating a memorable experience where guests feel unique.
Embrace feedback and improvement
Actively seeking feedback and pursuing improvements is another way to honor guest opinions. If you regularly survey guests, give them the possibility to leave online reviews and directly communicate with the front desk to identify areas for improvement.
Find out the best strategies to implement and collect guest feedback.
Focus on personalization
Your hotel should always find ways to tailor services to guest preferences, including exclusive offers based on guest profiles, such as room preferences. Offering different ways to check in can do wonders for the first impression. Personalization is the key to guest-centricity.
Ensure regular maintenance
Taking care of your property shows guests you're invested in their experience. Regular maintenance and upkeep play a big part here. Faulty amenities or stained furniture leave a negative impression, reflecting carelessness on your hotel's behalf. That's why clean and welcoming environments are crucial for your success.
Modern appliances, smart technology, and aesthetically pleasing and comfortable spaces show that you care how guests feel within your space. Pay special attention to the details in room design and furnishings. Aim to create spaces where they want to hang out and feel comfortable.
Include an element of surprise
If you want to exceed guest expectations, introduce an element of surprise. It could be a small, branded gift, a last-minute upgrade, or special in-room services – surprise is a fantastic way to create a great first impression.
When they make a reservation, ask the reason for their visit. If it’s a special occasion such as a birthday or anniversary, be sure to celebrate them. A little something will go a long way.
Tailor marketing efforts
No effort to satisfy guest needs is complete without communicating it. Tailor communication on each channel to show how guests come first. Show them how you're constantly responding to guest feedback and offering personalized experiences they can't find elsewhere. Let them know you listen to them, and they'll want to listen to you.
Guest-centric hotels create positive impressions that lead to repeat business and positive word-of-mouth. By designing features, services, and experiences with the ideal customer profile in mind, you can attract the right guests and meet their needs across all touchpoints. The more you can give them what they want, the more likely they'll stick around in the long run.
Download our guide Understanding the Modern Guest
Eva has over a decade of international experience in marketing, communication, events and digital marketing. When she's not at work, she's probably surfing, dancing, or exploring the world.
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