The Benefits of Exceeding Guest Expectations
Several things come to mind when considering what the modern guest expects. The modern travel and hospitality industry is all about advanced technology, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, hyper personalization, and self-service – among others. With guests expecting more and more, it’s worth thinking about the benefits and return on investment of exceeding those expectations.
Hotels that understand the importance of satisfying their guests should already know why providing a personal and seamless experience to guests is paramount across the entire hospitality industry. That’s because if you don’t meet – or exceed – expectations then you aren’t fostering guest loyalty or attracting new guests to you. If you don’t have that community of loyal guests, then you’re losing them to someone else.
Hotels should consider how people and technology come together to deliver an authentic hospitality experience to guests. Generating long-term loyalty with guests is an ongoing investment that can be supported across the entire hospitality experience. Take technology beyond just checking in and processing, and think about how it can be used in individual hotel rooms too. How can a hotel provide non-essential luxury items and services to guests to show their dedication to personalized, more modern experiences?
What guests consider “luxury” today has evolved alongside guest expectations in the industry. We’ve shifted past the need for a high thread count and an impeccable room filled with amenities. Luxury today is about providing a complete experience and instant gratification. While the old elements of “luxury” are still there, the combination of traditional service and new-age technology provides a more accessible version of a modern luxurious experience. The modern guest wants more than just a place to sleep; they want an experience that leaves them feeling catered to.
This is done by providing the staples of luxury and basic amenities. Guests expect a hotel manager to meet their expectations when getting luxury upgrades, but when you exceed expectations on the basic essentials too then they will definitely notice that you considered each and every aspect of their stay.
Non-essential luxuries and in-room services afford hotels plenty of chances to go above and beyond the expectations of guests, which is what will set you out from the competition in the modern landscape. This includes offering amenities and considerations like free Wi-Fi in room, built-in controls for lights and temperatures, a smart TV with Netflix, and the like. Guests might be looking for a low-key self-service approach that lets them enjoy instant luxury and gratification after a long day of travel and sightseeing/work.
Some amenities, such as a glass of wine waiting in the room, even reduce labour costs as well as appeal to the need for instant service. Why wait for room service to bring up a glass of wine and potentially add surcharges or get something expensive from the minibar when there is already a glass waiting? In-room appliances can be used to track guests and bill them appropriately and alert housekeeping to when the time comes to refresh glasses and bottles. This meets the demand for instant convenient service while offering a unique and modern service to guests.
Here’s something to sink your teeth into if you still aren’t convinced that providing luxury non-essential items to guests has a great return on investment;
A study from 2014 published in the Harvard Business Review assessed the Value of Customer Experience for two billion dollar businesses and was able to quantify the value of providing a positive customer experience. The researchers concluded that after controlling for other factors involved with repeat purchases (such as how often a customer requires the goods and services of a business) customers that had a good experience in the past spend an average of 140% more than customers who had negative experiences. Considering that just over two-thirds (68%) of people change brands and providers after getting poor quality customer service, the argument for prioritizing customer service is undeniable.
Ask yourself if you are ready to invest in improving guest experience and seeing the long-term return on investment that comes with having loyal guests. If you are, then it’s time to get started.