How can hotels improve their ‘guest experience’?
A potent combination of increased guest expectation and the disruption caused by the rise and rise of Airbnb (particularly as an Airbnb tends to be around 40% cheaper than a hotel room) has given hoteliers all over the world something to think about.
While there’s very little a hotel can do to tackle Airbnb head on, the ability to provide the type of ‘experience’ a 21st Century now craves does give smarter hotels the opportunity to remain competitive and build the customer loyalty they need to underpin a successful future.
Of course Airbnb will continue provide central locations at bargain prices, but they will also continue to struggle to offer some of the additional trimmings a hotel can offer, extras like housekeeping, a concierge, restaurants, bars, gyms and pools. That means they need to feature prominently on your website and in all of your promotional material so anyone considering staying with you knows just how much more you offer than Airbnb or for that matter, the other hotels in your area.
This may sound obvious but the recent launch of Airbnb Plus (a new brand offering travellers “ridiculously lavish homes to stay in”) means every hotel needs to make sure their added value extras, their facilities and any partnerships or offers they’ve put in place with local businesses designed to add even more to their guests’ experience needs to be marketed hard.
And when it comes to your marketing, you need to make sure all of your online channels are fully up to speed with the latest version of Google’s Mobile First Indexing. The Mobile First Index is Google’s specialist mobile search algorithm and making sure that algorithm works for you requires more than having a responsive website.
Apps are growing in popularity and definitely chime with the public’s desire to get as close as possible to a one-click order by side-stepping the need to search, scan the results, click through and then work your way to a booking. The only problem is apps (at least good apps that’ll actually add to your brand) can be expensive. If an app is out of your price range, we’d suggest you use one of the many online tools that will show you how well your site performs on a phone, what you need to do to improve that performance and highlight what changes you need to make to make mobile work better for you.
Finally the experience you offer also has also got to take current tastes and cultural shifts into consideration.
The growth of veganism and the desire for a more sustainable environment are at the forefront of public consciousness at the moment and the drive for more sustainable tourism has already enjoyed a great deal of media coverage. This means more and more travellers are now actively seeking destinations that promote their commitment to providing a more ethical and sustainable approach.
So what can your hotel do to meet this growing demand? The good news is it doesn’t have to require a wholesale (and expensive) shift. You can do more to encourage guests to use sheets and towels for longer during their stay, you can replace light bulbs with more energy efficient models, where possible you can use less plastic or simply put a recycling bin in the room alongside the regular bin.
Similarly if you add a few more vegetarian and vegan options to your menus you have the opportunity to use (and promote) more locally sourced, fair trade and ethically produced ingredients which will immediately make you more attractive to a brand new audience.
Keebles’ specialist Leisure & Tourism team help hotels and hotel chains all over the UK navigate the legal side of their business. If you have any legal questions regarding your hotel, guesthouse or holiday resort please email Craig Law at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Craig on 0114 252 1440.