Back to basics with guests and customers

Back to basics with guests and customers

Caroline Beck
  • Caroline Beck
  • Service Designer

Hotel accommodation is always a part of a journey. Understanding the broader context in which the guests travel enables you to offer relevant services to them even before they check in at your hotel. To convert guests into returning customers, hotels should recognise and reward regulars, and be relevant to them before, during and after their stay. Don’t forget to maintain the most basic services at the highest quality, as they are essential elements of a customer experience.

Using the Livework hospitality lifecycle enables hotels, travel agencies, tour operators and restaurants to see what the entire travel experience consists of. This understanding enabled a Nordic tourist organisation to organise its members around their visitors’ experience and exploit new opportunities.

Most hotel operators understand the guests’ hotel selection process and criteria. However, guests still run into issues even in basic services such as reserving a room and making payments. By recognising the needs of guests and returning customers before, during and after their stay, basic services should be easily improved.

Hotel accommodation is only part of the guest’s entire trip. But this component is closely connected with other parts of the journey. A guest’s experience is no longer just about the hotel. Hotels can benefit from engaging better with the guests and being more relevant to their entire trip, turning them into returning customers.

Fulfill guests’ core needs

Innovative technology and services have made it easier for people to be aware of hotel deals and make informed decisions. But at the end, fulfilling guests’ core needs – such as offering a quiet room or free wifi – is still the recipe for success. Unfortunately, many opportunities to meet those needs are lost due to hotels’ outdated policies or lack of flexibility.

More than one third of consumers will not book a hotel room without reading reviews first

Be relevant to guests’ entire journey

Accommodation is seldom the journey itself. It is always part of a trip. Therefore, it is important to understand the broader context in which the guest stays in your hotel. That enables you to offer relevant services even before the guest checks in at your hotel.

In fact, most misunderstandings and incidents occur before check-ins. Therefore, offering relevant services at this stage gives you a competitive advantage, and more opportunities to engage with them and make them come back again.

Complex customer experience

In hospitality industry, customer experience is much more complex than guest experience. Not only hotel selection, room reservation and information are essential elements of customer experience, hotels that recognise and even reward regular customers are also highly rated. On the other hand, guest experience is much simpler.

Turn guests into regulars

Excellent room service, fantastic facilities and discount vouchers might delight guests, but do not guarantee customers will come back. Hotel chains and small family-run hotels can attract more booking from new and regular customers, if they provide services that are relevant to guests’ entire journey. Success depends on fulfilling core customer needs, such as providing relevant information and services and recognising returning customers.