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The standards for hotels change according to the type and class of hotel, and will be different depending on what your hotel is trying to achieve, as well as your hotel’s unique value proposition. In the case of chain hotels, standardization is one of the most important elements. This means that no matter which of your hotels a guest decides to stay at, they need to know what to expect.
This sense of familiarity is perfect for creating a “home away from home” that will be reliable and keep guests coming back time and time again. This sentiment is created through branding and standardization, which we’ll talk about in this article.
Six standardizations for hotel chains
Standardization is achieved through branding, and it can be complemented by design, amenities, loyalty programs, service and a series of other actions that will help contribute to a positive perception of your brand. When executed correctly, standardization is key for loyalty and to convey professionalism. So let’s take a look at some standards for chain hotels.
Without a doubt, one of the most obvious and easy ways to standardize a hotel is through design. This means that whether a guest is in Dubai or Kathmandu, your hotel has some key design elements that can easily be associated with your brand. This doesn’t mean that everything has to be a carbon copy from one of your brand’s hotels to the next, but it definitely means there is a single unifying thread across all chains.
If you work with local designers to give a different touch to your hotel rooms, you will want to make sure that some elements are unmistakably associated with your brand. This could be the lobby design, the brand colors, the type of furniture, the flooring, the materials, or the room layout. There are a lot of elements you can play with to create this unique but iconically familiar hotel.
Discover five ways to design your hotel lobby.
If there’s one element that should be standard across all your chains, it’s service. One of the most important components that can set your hotel apart from the competition is its ability to offer impeccable service anywhere on the globe. An important part of service is having a smooth operations process, which can be optimized with the help of an operations tool.
In addition, working with well-trained staff who can attend to guest necessities quickly and efficiently is key to providing an excellent guest experience. During peak hours, getting the help of technology to allow guests to check themselves in to the hotel, or having a digital concierge that can manage easy service requests, is a great way to complement your top-notch service.
Uniforms get a bad wrap, but in reality there is a lot you can do with uniforms to make them playful and at the same time establish a sense of familiarity that can be used across your chain hotel anywhere in the world. Your choice of staff uniforms will depend on the characteristics of your chain and the degree of formality you want to convey.
For hotels that want to appeal to a younger audience, a branded t-shirt with khaki pants is a great informal look that can be implemented across your chain. For those looking to create a more formal touch, a dress shirt with a Mandarin collar and pressed straight-legged pants is a great take on the classic suit that is being used less and less.
Amenities are the crème de la crème of any chain hotel. They provide that reliability that guests love, knowing that they don’t have to bring their shampoo or conditioner with them, and that if some beauty product doesn’t make it in their toiletry bag, they can go to the front desk to get what they need.
The key to amenities at chain hotels is to be consistent. If you offer a pillow menu, make sure you offer that across your brand’s hotels; if you have a blow-dryer or an iron, they should be in all hotel rooms no matter where it is; the same goes for soap, shampoo, conditioner, and any other bathroom product. Have the same packaging and products across your brand, and you will make a lasting impression on guest satisfaction levels.
5. Loyalty programs
Loyalty programs are a great way to make guests loyal to your brand no matter where in the world they are. In order to do so, make sure that the offer is similar no matter where guests cash in on their loyalty points. There is nothing worse for your brand image than a loyalty program member who cashes in a benefit at another hotel from your chain and discovers a completely different experience on offer.
The benefits may differ from hotel to hotel, but you should be sure to standardize as much as possible the quality of service. Whether you offer a spa treatment, room service, a complimentary bottle of wine upon check-in, make sure it’s the best spa treatment, the best food, and best bottle of wine at all hotels in your chain. After all, a guest remains loyal because they know what to expect, so don’t deceive them.
6. The use of technology
More and more guests have come to expect the integration of technology into your hotel offer, so with a hotel chain you don’t want to miss out on the chance to surprise your guests. The use of technology can start with a check-in kiosk, can be followed with guests cutting their own keys or entering with a code received on their mobile device. Whatever technology you integrate, be sure to use it across your brand.
Technology can also be used within the hotel to improve the guest experience. Whether it’s voice technology to turn on the music or turn off the lights, a smart mirror that tells guests the time and the weather outside, or a digitally operated temperature control that can be set before they arrive, all of these features can help differentiate your chain hotel from other chains and improve overall brand perception.
In this article, we’ve looked at standards for hotels in a chain and how to make your offer similar and equally remarkable across your brand. The more reliable your hotel can be with the level of service, amenities, design, loyalty program and uniforms, the more you will keep guests loyal and happy while knowing what to expect. Familiarity and reliability are keys to standardization, and boosting guest retention.
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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