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How to Personalise Hospitality Experiences

South Africa – June 2018: In the current competitive environment, the tourism and hospitality industry is in constant search for new ways to improve a customer’s overall experience. Knowing and understanding what works can be a valuable part of the success of a hospitality business. Capital Hotel School, one of the leading training institutions for Hospitality and Professional Cookery, looks at how small changes can make a vast impact on a guest’s experience:

Sincerity:

  • If you are not passionate about what you’re doing, don’t do it! Be sincere in your customer service as it reflects your values, as well as those of the company you represent. Research indicates that customers tend to associate with (and stay with) companies whose values match their own. In saying that, even those clients or guests with different values’ to yours, have needs that require your sincerest attention.

Knowledge:

  • When we say knowledge in this specific context, we don’t mean your education – we mean taking the time to know and understand your guests, especially your regulars. Something as simple as acknowledging the type of pillow they may prefer to use will go a long way. Capital Hotel School also suggest paying attention to what guests have used and the unwanted items guests may leave behind, “As odd as this sounds, this gives you intimate information about your guest that only you could have access to, so use it!”, says Cecile De Klerk, Marketing Manager at Capital Hotel School.

Likes and interest:

  • Savvy, creative marketing in the hospitality industry is what will set a brand apart. Take the time to pay attention to information gained during a guest stay or otherwise to identify some of the guest’s key interests. Small gestures like a ‘Happy Anniversary’ dessert or cooled water for the furry guests will go a long way in building brand loyalty. Be sure to consider including information you learn about the guest post departure that you can keep tabs on via a booking system or customer relationship management system. Build the guest administration process around facilitating feedback from various departments within the hotel or venue like housekeeping, the kitchen and concierge.

Encourage social media activity linked to rewards:

  • Offer a reward for positive social media interaction. These rewards could be as simple as an activity or meal to show your appreciation, these small gestures often encourage additional engagement that will optimise the search results for your online channels. Be sure to assign someone to the task of monitoring and responding to this activity too though – this could be an incredibly valuable conversation platform that can better inform you plus generate interest for other impending guests who may be considering a trip away.

“With the hospitality industry continuously evolving, it is imperative that establishments take heed of how small gestures can make a big difference as far as guest experience is concerned. Given how easy it is to find out more about your guest, it should come as no surprise that guest expectations have and will continue to increase.  The brands that are succeeding are the ones that are staying ahead of the curve and almost preempt their guests wants and needs.” says Managing Director and Principal at Capital Hotel School, Ronel Bezuidenhout.

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