Over the past 5 years, the supply of rooms in the Boutique Hotels sector has increased at double-digit annual rates. Many travellers prefer a boutique hotel over a big luxury chain of hotels because it is more intimate and personalised as well as being luxurious.
So what does personalization mean?
According to Sabre, a hotelier’s focus should extend beyond converting lookers to bookers. Personalization in every aspect – from shopping to post check out – unlocks new opportunities to personalize a guest’s experience.
To sustain their popularity, boutique hotels should up their game by using and optimizing personalisation technology. Here are some tactics that can be used:
1) Know the guests before they arrive:
Hotels should acquire as much details as possible before the guest arrives. Check previous stay histories, in case they have stayed before, and track their preferences or dislikes. For new guests reach out to them before their arrival and see if they have any specific requests. Create a guest pre-stay communication format which can help acquire more details about what the guest likes or expects from the hotel. Guests details should be collected and uploaded in the hotel’s PMS so that it can be accessible to all the required departments.
2) Personalize digital messages:
Hotels can personalize a guest’s stay by having the guest’s name written on the TV greeting display as well as any gadgets kept in the room.
The Pottinger Hotel provides a smartphone for each room which is personalised with the guest’s name on its display page. These small touches go a long way in making a guest feel more special.
3) Continue the interaction post stay:
Hotels should reach out to the guests, post their stay, and get feedback from them. A customised post-stay questionnaire can be created that can be sent to every guest after they have completed their stay. This can be a great way to further improve guest experience levels, create guest loyalty and help you send targeted offers to individual guests as per their preferences.
4) Enable smart rooms:
Many hotels are now offering smart rooms that can be controlled by a device in the room, or a downloadable app. Here personalization can go all out; the apps can have a concierge feature personalised for each room, guests can make prior requests via the app, room lighting and temperature can be personalised by the guest directly and so on.
Digital personalisation is a great way to go the extra mile for your guests, but do keep in mind that the human personalisation is still as important as ever. The digital aspect is an extra tool available – an enabler, to the hotel staff to create a memorable stay for their guests.