Personalisation in the hospitality industry is a trend, or an expectation, which keeps evolving, in order to ensure all touch-points of a hotel is as customer-centric as possible, and there is no stagnation in its processes, structures, services and offerings. The quest to personalise the guest experience not only inspires better customer service and guest relations, but better hotel technology too; the kind of technology that improves guest satisfaction, operational efficiency and a property’s bottom line.
Today, customers have come to expect a tailored experience. In fact, bland, generic service doesn’t cut it anymore and may even give them a negative impression of your hotel. With a landscape more competitive than before, creating unique and unforgettable moments in the hospitality arena is what will set you apart from the competition.
The guest experience has always been at the heart of the hospitality, but more so since COVID-19, as many people have not traveled or been away in 2+ years. With regulations changing constantly per country, borders opening and closing and multiple flight cancellations due to staff shortages and the likes, guests are desperate for a positive experience in return.
The benefits of personalisation
91% of people are more likely to choose “brands who recognise, remember, and provide them with relevant offers, personalisation and recommendations.Accenture
Below are some core benefits of using personalisation in your hotel, or any hospitality business:
- Enhances brand preference: getting personalised offers right could increase your market share, with more customers preferring your brand over competitors. Furthermore, having the right technology in place to power these personalised offers is the first step towards increased brand preference.
- Builds loyalty and retention: in an increasingly competitive marketplace, building customer loyalty is one of the biggest challenges brands face. When an organisation gets personalisation right and it compliments what your audience are seeking, there’s a huge opportunity for future customer loyalty and retention.
- Increases conversion rates: when content / products / services are tailored to a specific audience based on behaviour and preference, the messaging can be much more persuasive and direct, which in turn may make customers more likely to convert.
- Increases sales: tailoring service offerings to people’s individual needs increases sales as there is a complimentary need and solution.
The “How’s” of personalisation
Creating a positive customer experience can make or break your hotel. The needs of travelers have changed and guests now expect a more personalised service every time they stay at a hotel. This may sound simple in theory, but in reality, how does an organisation, or a standalone hotel, or chain of hotels go about personalisation in a manageable and effective way?
STEP 1: Know your TARGET guest
Firstly, if your hotel can tick the box of what your ideal customer is after, this will help with winning them over to make a booking. Once a guest has chosen to stay in your hotel, collecting as much relevant data about each and every guest is critical. This can either be done by your customer success teams, front of house staff, surveys, or intuitive technology.
Above gaining the obvious data from your guests, train your staff to act on any preferences the guest expresses, be it if they compliment the background music, comment about a particular space in the hotel, or inquire about certain menus or openings in the restaurant. These small details can help build a bigger picture, where personalisation can be cleverly utilised. Everything that can help you personalise your service is relevant and should be added to their profile.
STEP 2: Customise your hotel’s digital and in-house experiences
Once you have gained customer data, it starts becoming easier to target your prospects, and current customers with personalised solutions. For example, sending a discounted stay for their birthday, adding a bottle of fizz in their room for an anniversary or if your guests are travelling with two children, offer them a kids’ activity package or connecting rooms, for example.The same applies to your website and social media channels. The more you tailor your online presence and create relevant offers for your different guest segments, the higher the chance that they’ll convert.
Another side of the hotel experience is to create tailored multi-sensory experiences in your hotel, which remain loyal to your brand, but also compliment your guests. Music can be a powerful tool to engage customers and extend the concept of a space or brand. By choosing music that reflects your hotel’s brand, you can attract certain types of customers and even influence their behavior.
Customers expect a personalised experience and music is a great way to provide this for them. Some of our clients’ allow their guests to choose their music in their rooms or even in shared venues, like the hotel bar. Repeat guests could even have their favourite playlists lined up and ready to go next time they check in. Guests could also request their favourite genres or playlists upon booking.
STEP 3: Personalise communication at every touch-point
Personalising every guest’s experience is a team effort that should stretch across all departments. Ensuring all types of communication are personalised is important, and the importance should never be under-estimated. Relevant and tailored communications can be shared with guests pre, during and post their stay ensuring meaningful interactions and offerings which are always customised for your guests.
The pre-stay stage is especially important. During this time travelers finalise their plans and are open to suggestions for extras that will add value to their experience. You can offer deals on paid upgrades and service add-ons that match your guest’s profile. Hotel technology comes in handy to streamline your upselling efforts.
We have tailored the music so it feels as though a DJ is playing all day. Our teams and DJs have all had input into the playlists and they reflect the day part and the music our customers love to hear.Mike Parnham, Managing Director of Rum Kitchen
Ambie’s personalised music solution
Music is challenging for hoteliers to manage because music tastes are constantly changing. It demands a level of expertise, which you can find in music-solution companies devoted to curating the perfect soundtrack for your brand using smart technology. This is particularly true as having personalised music can stand you out from the plethora of other businesses in the industry. It can be very noticeable when venues play a DIY / Spotify playlist on repeat versus a specially designed playlist, which changes with trading patterns, seasons, clientele etc.
This is exactly what Ambie does. Ambie truly understands the need for bespoke playlists which compliment the brand, attract the desired audience and help increase revenue. Ambie is not an off-the-shelf or DIY product. We act as an extension of your team, selecting, managing and evolving your music over time in a very personalised way.
The first question our Music Curators always ask is “tell us your story.” We really want to know who the brand is, what makes them tick, what are their unique selling points, what ambiance they are looking to create, and ultimately, why do they need music in their business. From there, we’ll dive deeper into customer demographics, brand values, and how the spaces are set up. Trading patterns for each site and space per site are also incredibly important, helping us to create a grand picture of the ebb and flow of footfall within the venue from morning to evening, Monday to Sunday.
The more intricate the briefing and understanding of the ins and outs of our clients from the get-go, the easier it is for our curators to fully gauge what’s the best route to go. If there’s any music that works particularly well in the space, or any other brands they feel a kinship with, we’ll make sure we’ve got that noted before we get going on curating the brand’s soundtrack. There is so much which goes into personalising tracks on each and every place. It is random nor subjective and this personalisation can enhance your guests experience, perceptions, increase dwell time, create loyalty and ultimately increase revenue.
Yes, tailoring your service to your guests can take extra time and effort. But genuine, personalised hospitality brings numerous advantages for both your guests and your hotel.