You’re always looking to differentiate yourself as a hotel owner or operator. Technology has never made that easier! You can provide your visitors with a technologically-rich, personal experience by just installing a few simple gadgets. Unfortunately, so can your competitors. Let’s dive into five strategies to ensure you’re setting your customer experience apart from others using technology as your tool.
Tips & Tools for a Top-Notch Customer Experience Strategy
1. Digital assistants provide a great customer experience.
More and more consumers are turning to digital, voice-activated assistants to help them with everyday tasks. What’s the date, what’s the weather, remind me to buy milk later – all of these things are much easier when you can simply tell a computer helping you to do them. Why not extend that to their trip too? Installing one of the many digital assistants, like the Amazon Echo or Google Home, into your hotel rooms allows your consumers to bring their home experience with them.
Now, privacy concerns keep them from having a truly personal experience. Some speaker systems, like the iHome, allow the consumer to plug their phone in and use its internal Siri system for this purpose – that’s a great way around this. However, you can train your devices to give responses to things like, “I’d like to place a room service order,” or “Make me a reservation for a massage tomorrow. The guest will be able to give them name and room number and they’re all set! The tech can replace or supplement the binder of information you give guests in each room.
2. Tech-for-Rent can improve your customer experience strategy.
As we become more reliant on technology, it stands to reason that we’ll forget to pack it more and more frequently. If you’re a heavy user of your tablet or even your laptop and completely forget it, it can be a real problem, particularly if you’re on a business trip. Consider renting out tech to your guests. You can establish a small fee for the service or simply take a deposit and card number. Additionally, you could offer a fee based on your reward level (i.e. Platinum guests receive free device rentals). Offering all sorts of devices is easy, from e-readers to laptops to watches for running. Get your computers out of the business center!
3. Another way to improve the customer experience is with landing pages.
It perhaps goes without saying, but ensure that you are providing solid, customer-centric information on your landing pages for Wifi. Once again, as we continue our reliance on devices, one of the very first things people do is connect to the Wifi. What are you telling people on that page? Is it generic? Then you’re not leveraging a critically important area. Be sure to welcome them, inform them about the things you think they’ll find most valuable, and that differentiate your property.
4. Apps and mobile webpages are great customer experience strategies to use.
Getting information to your customers and pushing them to the activities you want them to participate in, whether that be a restaurant or a rock climbing wall, is easier said than done. The web makes that easier. Ensure that all of your webpages are incredibly rich, easy to use, chock full of useful information (and nothing else!) and are, more than anything else, mobile optimized. Even if you’re a small B&B in a rural area of the country, your guests will be visiting your website on their phones. If you have a larger resort with multiple activities and a dedicated client base, you may consider investing in an app. Many consumers a wary of installing another app on their phone, but will do so for a brand they trust that delivers consistently good content. An all-inclusive with a daily changing schedule, is a great opportunity for an app.
5. Finally, use near-field communication and bluetooth to provide superior customer experience.
A bit more labor intensive on the front and perhaps mostly for the larger, resort style hotels, near field communication and bluetooth tracking allow the hotel to track their guests a bit more closely. You can do this either with bracelets or by using the phone with prior authorization from the guest. This information is great to have so that you can effectively move resources around your property if things look busier in one area or another. Additionally, similarly to Disney’s bracelet system, it allows consumers to pay and sign up or register for events without documentation or cards of any kind!
Personalization is the key to a superior customer experience strategy, and it has become much easier for hotel and resort operators as technology has involved. Differentiate yourself and you’ll stand to do well.