Thanks to social media and smartphones, the hospitality industry has changed over the past 20 years. And while seemingly all consumers are idly stuck behind their phone, more and more people are engaged — and searching for a personalized, real-life experience.
For those in the hospitality industry, personalization can mean the difference between a loyal customer — or a bad review. If you aren’t convinced, read on to see why you might be missing out.
Here are three ways personalization is changing the hospitality industry.
1. The demand for customization, not standardization
Millennials were given the moniker the “me generation” for a reason. In fact, 58% more college students scored higher on a narcissism scale in 2009 than in 1982.
To meet the rising demand for customization, 72% of businesses have made “improving the customer experience” their top priority. And for those in the hospitality industry, customized customer service is a must. This new age of catering to the individual is critical if you want to attract (and retain) your guests.
Here are three ways to create a customized experience for your guests:
- If you run a hotel, create a welcome screen on the TV in your guests’ rooms. When they walk in and see “Welcome, [name]”, they’ll already feel like their stay is customized for them.
- For those employers in the travel and tourism business, you can really shine. Before a client’s visit, dig into their background. For example, are they there for business or a vacation? Enter the details in your integrated CRM to send personalized emails with discounts and specials.
- Delight loyal customers by inviting them to an insider’s club with special perks.
2. Companies that build authentic relationships win
Personalization means more than just seeing your name written on a coffee cup. In hospitality, personalization means creating an environment that feels more like a friend-to-friend interaction rather than a business-to-consumer transaction.
When Lyft first burst into the market, they were known for being the friendly rideshare company. And Dutch Bros, a coffee chain in the United States, calls themselves “a relationship business.”
In other words, your hospitality business needs to build an authentic relationship with your customers. Here are a few ways to build a relationship with your customers through personalization.
- Live and breathe authenticity. Don’t try to sell your brand on Snapchat if that’s not who you are at the core. Instead, talk to your customers on the social media platforms that make sense for your brand.
- Write handwritten notes. Some hotels have started leaving handwritten notes in guests’ rooms to thank them for their stay. A small gesture can delight your customer — and build a long-term relationship.
3. The need to schedule the right staff at the right time
Personalization has exploded through key technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI does everything from suggest movies for you on Netflix to order your next coffee at the corner store.
And for those in hospitality, AI can help you make better business decisions. For example, you can use tools like workforce management software to compare your sales with the amount of staff you have onsite at any one time. Through that, you might learn that the first week of June is your busiest time of year and you need additional staff to accommodate your customers.
Or maybe your hotel guest is staying for a romantic getaway. Use AI to to recommend special romantic packages with room service, massages, and other luxurious extras.
Personalize your experience today
To meet the growing demands of your customers, you must provide personalized hospitality experiences that will encourage them to keep coming back.
Looking for a simple and effective way to personalize your staff scheduling? Check out this ebook to learn how you can schedule the right staff — and navigate labor compliance in tandem.