How to build an emotional bond with the most demanding clients, hotel guests | By Emilia Jaakkola

Personalization fuels hotel stays in the modern era, and the experience is forever vital. The best hotels go beyond expectations in order to make the best of a guest’s visit. The little, unexpected things boost the overall experience; adding a unique element and helping to build a relationship with guests. In spite of the above, statistics show that hotels have consistently performed poorly in creating an emotional bond with their clients. MBLM conducted research regarding brand intimacy within the hospitality industry and found hotels are failing to build brand intimacy with their customers.

    Why is this happening when the tools are readily available? In the era of abundance, hotels providing efficient customer service, competitive prices and luxurious amenities simply isn’t enough anymore. We want more. And we expect more: the newest technology, personal service and amenities customized to our preferences.

    Let’s face it. We, the clients of the hospitality industry, are exceptionally demanding. We have high expectations and if the hotel doesn’t go beyond them, we often feel disappointed. We don’t expect to encounter bad service, dirty rooms, poor breakfast or bed bugs in hotels. And if we do, it has a wide impact on our emotional bond with the hotel in question. Negative feelings like disappointment, anxiety, stress or fear aren’t exactly the emotions we expect to encounter during our stay, but they are the ones that remain most prevalent, especially when it comes to where we sleep.

    For small hotels, it’s easier to create these unforgettable moments that make the emotional bond stronger. For instance, writing a personalized letter to 30 guests is a smaller task than writing it for 300. Tracking (and fulfilling!) 30 guests’ preferences is possible but 300 would need an entire team to work on it full time.

    Let the technology help you

    According to Deloitte’s travel and hospitality industry outlook, new technologies such as AI, machine learning and IoT have the potential to create personalized moments that matter and bring joy to a travel experience. Completely automated solutions like an intelligent thermostat, autonomous bed bug prevention system, or smart door lock all have an impact on the guest experience. Guests will remember those features that made their stay unique and carry those memories with them.

    IoT solutions autonomously improve guest experience through streamlining resources, the most important of which is time. Human interaction is critical when building emotional bonds: so why wouldn’t you let your staff concentrate in serving customers? Trivial tasks such as manually fixing room temperature or inspecting bugs take a lot of time. There are many amenities that can be automated to make guests’ stay more pleasant and unique whilst positively impacting the hotels daily duties.

    Ultimately, hotels can create moments beyond expectation that travelers will remember and share. When hotels succeed in creating these unforgettable yet simple moments people will spread the word. Sharing the perfect gluten-free breakfast on Instagram is more likely when it’s made specifically for you.

    Personalization drives positivity. And that’s what we want when we pay to make a hotel room our home for a couple of days. The data is here to be used. A developed understanding of customer types allows for a tailored customer experience to be successfully implemented with little if any pitfalls. No hotel can please every guest, but a hotel can please the majority through customization, and so comes the strong emotional bond.

    This is what a great hotel guest experience is nowadays. At best, hotel goes beyond expectations and succeeds in making those peaks of happiness multiple times during guest’s stay. The little, unexpected things make guest experience unique and help to build a relation with guests.

    In spite of these new features mentioned above, when it comes to building an emotional bond with customers, statistics show that especially hotels have consistently performed poorly. For example a Brand Intimacy research done by MBLM claims that hotels usually fail in building brand intimacy with customers.

    In the era of abundance, hotels providing efficient customer service, competitive prices and luxurious amenities isn’t enough anymore. We want more. And we get more: newest technology, personal service and amenities customized to our preferences.

    Let’s face it. We, the clients of hospitality industry, are exceptionally demanding. We have high expectations and if the hotel doesn’t go beyond them, we often feel disappointed. We don’t expect to encounter bad service, dirty rooms, poor breakfast or bed bugs in hotels. And if we do, it has a wide impact on the emotional bond we were about to build with the hotel. Negative feelings like disappointment, anxiety, stress or fear aren’t exactly the emotions we expect to encounter during our stay.

    It all falls down to expectations.

    For small hotels, it’s easier to create these unforgettable moments that make the emotional bond stronger. For instance, writing a personalized letter to 30 guests is different from writing it to 300 guests. Tracking (and fulfilling!) 30 guests’ preferences is possible but 300 would need an entire team to work on it full time.

    Let the technology help you

    According to Deloitte’s travel and hospitality industry outlook, new technologies such as AI, machine learning and IoT have the potential to create personalized moments that matter and bring joy to a travel experience. Completely automated solutions, like an intelligent thermostat, autonomous bed bug prevention system, or smart door lock have all an impact to the guest experience. Guests will remember those features that made their stay unique.

    IoT solutions improve guest experience cost efficiently and autonomously. Human interaction is important in building emotional bonds so why wouldn’t you let your staff concentrate in serving customers instead of wasting time on for example manually fixing room temperature and doing manual bed bug checkups? There are many amenities that can be automated to make the stay more pleasant and unique to the guests and hotel’s daily duties more convenient for the staff. It’s crucial for hotels to understand which products and services are useful to their ideal customers so they can offer services and amenities that will attract customers without increasing price to an unbearable level.

    When hotel succeeds in creating unforgettable moments, we spread the word. Sharing the perfect gluten free breakfast on Instagram is probable, because it’s made only for you. It’s something unique. And that’s what we want when we pay to make a hotel room our home for a couple of days.

    Use data to develop a deep understanding of the type of customers you want to attract, then offer an experience that is tailored to that specific group. No hotel can please all kinds of guests. But when pleasing the correct ones, emotional bond is guaranteed.

    Contact
    Emilia Jaakkola
    Marketing Manager at Valpas
    Send Email

    Article source: https://www.hospitalitynet.org/opinion/4089519.html

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