Personalization in the hospitality sector can take on two meanings. The first demonstrates the personalization of guests’ experiences, which has become imperative today as the hospitality sector becomes more technologically efficient. Second, personalization can refer to the personality of the hotel or restaurant itself, which can build connections to consumers and drive brand loyalty.
Studies have found travelers are very willing to give up personal information for a more customized experience. This customization can include personalized communications, promotions, services, etc. Says Nick Price, Chief Information Officer at Mandarin Oriental Group, “Our job is to identify personalized characteristics (e.g., temperature of the room, dietary preferences, TV programming of choice, language choice), capture that information and provide it to the guest regardless of which hotel they visit.” Studies show 56% of guests are completely comfortable sharing preferred spoken language, 46% completely comfortable sharing food preferences and 36% completely comfortable sharing entertainment preferences. Why not ask these questions to better their experience and gain some loyalty?
Connecting guests to unique opportunities in the place they are staying is another way hotels can offer customized experiences. Conrad Hotels by Hilton offers 1 hour, 3 hour, and 5 hour experiences (where to go, where to eat, what to see) for all of their properties online. The experiences are local and unique that can only be had in the specific place the hotel is located. Conrad Hotels almost immediately saw an increase in customer satisfaction by taking the time and tailoring these experiences. These features bring a unique local feel to a hotel that is otherwise very large and corporate.
Another facet of personalization includes brand personality. Hard Rock Hotels (Do you like Rock ‘n’ Roll?) and W Hotels (Are you ready to party?) have done a great job at establishing a personality. Consumers today want hotels to be “personally unique” in recognition and understanding. 63% of consumers claim to only buy services that appeal to their beliefs, values or ideals. People who like to party surely will stay loyal to W Hotels knowing they have wonderful experiences catered to their shared personality. Establishing this personal connection can maximize recall, loyalty and wallet share.
Giving guests a personalized experience is becoming a necessary facet of the hospitality industry. Creating a brand personality and catering to it is also crucial. These can be the differences in turning a one-time guest into a long-lasting loyal customer.
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