With a good customer experience, your hotel businesses will thrive. One of the most important factors of ensuring guest satisfaction is superb customer service. As customer demands increase, there is also growing complexity to provide an up-to-standard experience.
Travelers have high expectations, so hoteliers constantly need to deliver a personalized offer, which they can do easily with services like PassKit. PassKit lets you create digital passes, punch cards, membership cards, and loyalty cards with an easy-to-use design tool. We’ll talk more about how PassKit can help you improve your hotel guest experience, so continue reading to find out more.
To help you keep up with these expectations, we wrote this comprehensive guide for improving the hotel guest experience that will help you increase your guests’ loyalty and bring you more revenue. Let’s get right into it.
Hotel guest experience: Pre-arrival
To provide your customers with the best hotel guest experience, you should start taking care of them before they arrive at your hotel. It will increase your hotel bookings and the number of loyal customers because it’s challenging to find comprehensive, guest-oriented services in today’s competitive environment. Here are some tips on what to do pre-arrival.
1. Make sure that the booking system is quick and easy
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As soon as your future guests enter the website, you should greet them with high-quality photos and a convenient search function. Also include different filters to help customers find what they need when exploring your site. Ensure your website has a responsive design, as 70% of all customers do their research on a smartphone. You can enable mobile wallet payments or distribute digital booking passes that users can store on their mobile wallets.
Posting social proof on your homepages, such as online reviews and ratings, will add credibility to your site as well as prompt guests to book immediately. You can also improve the hotel guest experience by advertising ongoing deals or offers that are difficult to resist, such as loyalty programs and different membership tiers.
One of the most important tasks for hotels is to develop an easy booking process. Integrate a booking engine with your hotel website and provide them with different contact options if they have any pressing concerns.
The process should be easy enough to allow them to spend as little time as possible on booking or navigating. Make it simpler by removing tabs that don’t add much value or don’t align with your marketing objectives. Moreover, enable a mobile version of your website so that guests can make bookings across all devices. Create digital room keycards that users will receive when they pay for their booking and use to access their rooms.
2. Communicate with your customers when they make a reservation
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Communicate with your guests before they arrive. A quick phone call or an instructional email might save them some trouble when it comes time to check-in. Well-designed booking confirmation emails can help initiate communication with guests before their arrival or even help you upsell additional services such as airport transfers, parking facilities or SPA access.
Notify them about loyalty programs and other perks your offer for return customers. They can join before arrival and receive digital loyalty cards to use during their stays. It is an excellent way to inspire them to return.
Make sure to initiate communication by sending personalized emails and messages to inform them about other offers. Don’t be afraid to use other forms of communication such as SMS, hotline, or voice messages to let your guests know about the check-in procedure, especially if you have a dedicated system in place because of COVID-19.
Design and share educational pamphlets where you’ll write recommended COVID-19 practices. It will take some load off your staff since they won’t have to repeat the same information over and over again. Include basic information like:
- Wash your hands regularly
- Wear a mask in the hotel lobby
- Sanitize your hands before entering the hotel premises
- Contact our staff if you experience flu-like symptoms
- Contact information of local health facilities
These small things enhance the guest experience and bring many positive reviews and return customers.
3. Enable early check-ins
Always allow early check-ins as this gives your guests a positive impression. A simple thing like early registration will help you form a significant relationship over time with future guests. Many hotels make a lot of fuss about flexible registration, which is why you should use this to your advantage.
This option is especially important if you have a lot of international guests. International flights travel 24/7, which is why you should enable your customers to check in as soon as they land.
Guests are more likely to recommend and return to a hotel if they offer flexible check-ins. While managing their early registration, ensure they don’t have to wait in your hotel corridors or lobby. Depending on your hotel policy, you can take the lead to escort your guests to their room or find seating for them in the relaxation area. If all vacant rooms are occupied, you can provide guests with a free drink. You can load these free drink coupons or credit on their mobile wallets or create digital coupons with PassKit so that customers can access them easily.
Overcrowding is another big issue since it increases the chances of getting infected with COVID-19. Enabling early check-ins is a good way to avoid big crowds. Another way is to include a self-check-in system with digital passes that let customers register in a matter of seconds. Train your staff to be more efficient in terms of guest management and create a plan that will help you deal with crowding if you have a surge of customers that are checking in at the same time.
Hotel guest experience: Upon arrival
The most important part of the hotel guest experience starts when the guest arrives. You must leave a good impression and always try to exceed guest expectations. Here are some tips on how to improve hotel customer service upon arrival:
4. Use mobile apps for passes and keycards
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We have become inseparable from our phones. This revolution also impacts the hospitality industry, as 83% of travelers use their smartphones at every point of their journeys so don’t ignore this trend. Enable guests to pay via mobile wallets in the hotel bar and restaurant. Another great tip, especially during the pandemic, is to give out digital keycards instead of physical ones.
It enforces better hygiene practices and decreases your expenses for renewing lost keycards. Hilton, Marriot, Disney, and MGM Resort already use digital passes, and many guests love them.
PassKit offers a unique solution and lets you create all sorts of digital passes, including virtual keycards, digital coupons, digital membership cards, digital loyalty cards and digital punch cards for your loyalty programs. Our convenient application lets you create digital passes compatible with your branding.
PassKit integrates with mobile wallets such as Apple Wallet and Google Pay so customers can enjoy contactless payments. Here’s how you can create digital passes with PassKit:
- Go to PassKit platform and create your free account.
- Give your project a name and choose which type of design you want to create – a loyalty card, membership card, or coupon card.
- Choose how you want the cards to look for Android and Apple users.
- If you want to scan the loyalty card – at your POS or using the PassKit PassReader – choose a barcode type.
- Add colors, images, and other branding elements like your logo and hero image.
- Add basic information, sections, and backfield information to your template.
- Add useful links such as social media profiles, official websites, etc.
- Save your design. That’s it.
5. Offer a personalized experience for each guest
To create a memorable experience, you can use PassKit to reward your loyal hotel guests. With PassKit, you can send behavior-driven or time-sensitive messages. For example, customers can receive a notification on their birthday with a reminder to redeem their loyalty points or a reminder that their digital coupon will expire in a couple of days.
You can even use hotel management software to help you remember and save your guests’ preferences, so when they return to your hotel, you’ll know exactly what they like and need.
You don’t have to go overboard – simple things are more than enough to improve customer satisfaction. You can remember their room and view preferences, preferred coffee type, etc. Just enter the information you remember into your hotel management software of choice and access it anytime you’d like. It will turn newcomers into repeat guests who will also promote your high-class service to their circle of friends.
6. Send a welcome basket
Everyone loves welcome baskets. Tell your hotel staff to equip each room with a gift basket to impress your guests. A welcome basket doesn’t have to be expensive. It’s the thought that counts. It is so effective that gifts and complimentary services evoke an emotional response that enhances the guest experience.
You can give out some toiletries, snacks, and drinks. Or, you can custom-tailor your gift boxes to particular types of customers. For example, if a family with kids stays at your hotel, you can include toys, wipes, and diapers. If someone is staying at the deluxe suite, you can include chocolate and a bottle of champagne. Small things like these are great for first impressions, and they will make a big difference in how guests perceive your hotel service.
If you had to reduce your staff because of COVID-19, instead of hand-delivering each gift basket, create a digital coupon they can scan in the lobby to pick up the gift bag. Another great idea is to generate upgraded gift baskets for loyalty members to claim during check-in by scanning their digital loyalty pass.
7. Ask if they need help with bags or have special requests
While this is something your hotel staff should be trained to do, it is still important to mention that offering these small benefits will impress every guest. When they come to check-in, ask if they need help with bags and whether they have special requests. Again, make sure to record all specific requirements in your hotel management system so you can access them if guests return to your hotel.
You can create easy digital passes with QR codes that guests can scan with their mobile wallets to tip your employees. Since cash is being used less frequently, this option will benefit both customers and your hotel staff.
8. Ensure quick and easy check-ins
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People hate waiting in long lines to check into their rooms. They’ve probably just landed from a long and tedious flight, and all they want to do is eat and relax. Forcing them to go through a strenuous check-in process will negatively impact your guest’s experience, and they can leave a bad review. Instead, use quick and easy methods that guests can complete within minutes upon arrival.
You can also employ a self-check-in process with the help of digital pass design tools. These tools will allow you to generate digital room key cards that users can load on their Google Pay or Apple Wallet accounts.
Hotel guest experience: During the stay
During the stay, it’s essential to respond to all customer inquiries quickly and efficiently. If you want to improve hotel guests’ experience during their stay, follow the tips below.
9 . Update your list of amenities
The hospitality industry is rapidly evolving, and the growing demand for modern amenities will set you apart from the competition. Guests like innovation. It makes them excited to come back and see what changed since they were last staying at your hotel. Introducing new amenities will keep your guests on your toes and improve the number of repeat guests.
One excellent way you can use mobile passes to your advantage, in this case, is to create digital punch cards for paid amenities via PassKit’s Loopy Loyalty service. Once the guest collects a certain number of punches, you’ll treat them with a free daily pass to the amenity of their choice. It will inspire them to come back.
Also, offer additional amenities that guests can access through the front desk. Invest in a couple of gaming systems, kids’ toys, VR sets, and other exciting tools and items to improve the guest experience. You don’t have to equip each room. Instead, notify your customers about these amenities and tell them to call the front desk to book them.
10. Enable contactless payments and check-ins
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Contactless payments have become the standard in the past two years because of COVID-19. However, this trend is here to stay even after the pandemic ends because contactless payments are quick and convenient. Enabling contactless payments through services like PassKit, and combining them with loyalty and membership programs will create a unique and comfortable experience for your guests.
11. Pamper your guest with freebies
Everyone loves freebies. They evoke a strong emotional response because people like being pampered. It makes them feel safe and cared for. So, don’t be afraid to offer some special deals for your customers to ensure that they’re happy with your service.
Offer a free daily pass to the hotel gym and deliver it to their mobile wallets or send a digital coupon for a complimentary breakfast. You can create and distribute these passes through PassKit so users can simply swipe their phones and access them.
Give out free samples from your partners and offer other incentives to make your hotel guests come back again. For example, you can give a free night to guests who come back for the second time. Or, you can organize free activities or happy hours with cheap drinks. We highly recommend using mobile wallets to share digital passes for these perks because it’s easy, quick, convenient, and germ-free.
Offering a discount for their next stay is another powerful thing you can do to increase the number of repeat guests. Upon departure, you can offer discounts when you send out goodbye emails and ask for reviews. It is a great way to hit two birds with one stone – inspire them to come back and receive positive feedback, which you can feature on your website and social media pages. Every review counts.
12. Offer guides and sight-seeing activities
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Hotel guests are usually tourist and business travelers who want to explore the new area they traveled to. To ensure that your guest’s stay is exciting, offer guides or sight-seeing activities. You can even form partnerships with local businesses that provide services like extreme sports, zoo tours, or sight-seeing tours. You can agree to share a percentage of money for referring customers to them.
One smart way to go about it is to enhance your loyalty program with PassKit and send discounts or special offers for these activities. Your guests will feel at ease knowing that they don’t have to book things independently.
Hotel guest experience: Post-departure
The guest journey doesn’t end when they check out of your hotel. Maintaining relationships with them impacts the guest’s experience in the long run. Post-departure activities are essential to increase customer loyalty and retention rate.
13. Enforce loyalty programs
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Loyalty programs are a great way to improve your guest retention rate. If you offer attractive incentives, staying at your hotel again will be a no-brainer for most customers.
PassKit offers a unique Loopy Loyalty platform that lets you create, manage, and assign digital punch cards that customers can use after each transaction. Once the guest collects enough punches, they can receive perks. Loopy Loyalty supports Google Pay and Apple Wallet, making it easy for customers to earn rewards on their phones.
Loopy Loyalty is excellent for hotels looking to engage more customers. You can design an unlimited number of loyalty cards, process unlimited transactions, and offer unlimited rewards to your customers through a single platform.
Try Loopy Loyalty for free and see how quick and easy it is to create loyalty programs to drive more sales and improve your hotel’s relationship with guests.
14. Ask for feedback and reviews
Asking for feedback and reviews is a great way to diagnose any potential issues that require your attention. However, they’re also a great way to find out what your customers enjoy so you’d know which programs and offers to promote more frequently in the future. Since people tend to avoid leaving feedback because it’s time-consuming, make sure it’s accessible and quick.
Send a goodbye email to thank them for the stay and ask if they could fill out a quick feedback form. Offer additional incentives like discount codes, coupon codes, or membership passes to inspire them to complete the survey.
For example, you can offer a punch card program for repeat guests to inspire them to send feedback after each stay. Once they submit a total of 5 points on their punch card, they can receive a 15% discount for their next visit. You can use PassKit’s app to design and deliver these punch cards and similar incentives, as well as to remain in touch with your beloved guests by sending them new offers.
15. Send personalized offers
Periodically send personalized offers to inspire your customers to return to your hotel. You can use PassKit to create customized passes or coupons and send them on autopilot.
Make sure to include small details like the guest’s name or specific preferences to increase the efficacy of your offer. Create an appealing design and use your preferred mobile wallet provider or your email list to deliver these digital passes.
Additional tips for improving the general customer experience
Add UV sanitizers in each room
Including UV sanitizers in rooms and lobbies will enforce better hygiene and reduce the need to clean spaces multiple times a day. You can find a wide array of compact and convenient UV sanitizers for shoes, clothes, jewelry, phones, and other personal belongings. It is a big selling point for customers diligent about hygiene.
Hygiene is essential. Poor hygiene will devastate your hotel’s reputation and ruin the guest experience. On the other hand, ensuring that your rooms are always clean will bring many positive reviews and increase customer loyalty. Regularly change bedsheets and pillowcases, and always leave a couple of extra clean items in their closets.
Invest in staff training
Customer experience starts before they ever set foot in your hotel. They will probably contact the hotel staff before the arrival to confirm their bookings and ask any questions. That’s why you need to train your staff to improve customer service. Invest in yearly training to keep them informed about best practices and how to approach guest satisfaction.
Also, if your employees are not tech-savvy, you can train them to create and distribute digital passes and use mobile wallets to process payments.
Respond to complaints and inquiries promptly
Listening to your guests and promptly responding to their inquiries will show that you care and take customer experience seriously. One of the most significant issues in the hospitality industry is that many businesses don’t invest effort into customer service. If you want to stand out, you should train your staff to react calmly to the most challenging situations.
Your hotel staff should learn to deal with different situations quickly and efficiently. You will probably run into some problematic guests who have a lot of complaints. Instead of getting annoyed, staff members should be kind and patient to resolve issues much quicker than usual. Angry guests are reactive, so being rude and dismissive will worsen their reaction. Keeping a calm mind and approach will also calm them, and your communication will be more effective.
Reach out if they forget some personal belongings in their room
Hotel guests forget things more frequently than they would like to admit. Then, your staff has to collect these items and put them in a forgotten items bin that continues to fill up and take up space. Instead of waiting for your customers to reach out and ask you to check if they forgot something, be proactive about it.
Since you’ve likely obtained their email address and other contact information during the check-in process, you can use the same information to reach out. If you find something in a room, check your logs and see who stayed there. It will help abolish the dreaded forgotten items bin and show that you care about your guests and their personal belongings.
Optimize hotel guest experience with PassKit
Hotel guest experience you provide directly impacts your revenue, as well as reputation. Taking care of your customers’ needs and desires will make you the first choice when they need to book a hotel stay.
In today’s challenging pandemic environment, taking safety precautions has never been more necessary. The hospitality industry was among the ones impacted by this situation the most. The global revenue for this industry is estimated to decrease by 34.7%, which amounts to around $447.4 billion. So, if you want to ensure that your hotel business remains profitable, make sure to keep your guests happy and healthy.
Continuous guest experience optimization improves customer loyalty and the likelihood of referring your hotel business to their friends, colleagues, and families.
PassKit is a great way to enforce loyalty programs and make the hotel stay experience much more convenient for your guests. PassKit will allow you to adapt to the modern needs of contactless payments and connect with your customers after they depart through mobile wallets, digital membership cards, digital coupons and digital loyalty cards.
Sign up for free to see why many leading hotels across the globe like Resort World Manila and Best Western Hotels & Resorts choose us as their primary digital pass provider.