Treating Guests as Individuals and Not Homogeneous Groups

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Personalised marketing means more than just addressing the customer by name. For the travel and hospitality industry, effective personalisation can range from interactive content to customised travel itineraries. With 86% of travelers now reported to value personalised offers, it’s becoming more of an expectation than an extra for the majority of consumers. Capturing customer data is not always an easy task. There also must be a fair trade-off the end to ensure consumers are happy to provide you with information.

With greater competition for repeat bookings hotels need to encourage loyalty. Best Western, has personalized its emails in order to better engage both new and former customers. By identifying the device used to open the email, it was able to alter its message accordingly. This removed any friction in the user journey, encouraging users to download the app without having to locate the correct link themselves.

Best Western has also used geo-targeting to send specific and relevant offers based on the user’s location. For example, it served different recommended destinations according to whether someone opened the email in New York City or Los Angeles. Both strategies proved to be effective. The hotel chain saw an uplift in downloads of its app compared to similar campaigns. Similarly, there was an increase in email click-through rates by non-rewards members.

Virgin Hotels Chicago is another hotel that focuses on personalisation, with the brand using mobile technology to enhance the customer’s experience throughout their stay. According to research, 40% of travelers remain connected via their smartphones while on holiday, with 29% using it to stay in touch with loved ones and 24% using it to find out information about the local area.

On this basis, Virgin wanted to create a platform that would allow guests to customise their hotel experience via their existing device. The result was ‘Lucy’ – a mobile app that would allow guests to do things like adjusting the temperature in their room, stream content on hotel TVs, make external dining reservations, and so on.

This type of personalisation is hard to beat – and it means that hotel brands are able to compete with the intimate experience offered by the likes of Airbnb. By treating guests as individuals rather than a homogenous group, it also means customers are far more likely to return in the future.

While these are great examples of what hotels can do to personalize their guest experience, hotels need to look beyond the guest experience just within their hotel. Hotels need to be able to capture the traveler's journey before they arrive, while they are with you and after your guests leave. AirRentalz seeks to address this with its guest experience program.

The program is akin to a concierge service for guests who book accommodation for either a hotel room or a short-term rental house, apartment or room. The program seeks to personalize the guest experience by providing specific information based on the guest’s requirements. By asking specific questions we are able to tailor the feedback with the information they want so we are not delivering Chinese food options when the guest has only shown interest in eating Italian or Mexican food. Our services also extend to hosts of short term rentals. While your property manager can assist with a variety of aspects, things such as recommending restaurants, activities and other travel itineraries do not fall within their scope of services.

While staying at your hotel your guest will undertake a variety of tours, experiences and use different services. Our guest experience program allows us to provide feedback to the hotel operator on different aspects of the guest experience while they were staying with you.

The new age traveler wants more and is continuously searching for the next exceptional experience. These needs are altering the industry as travelers are demanding more options, superior experiences, and faster insights.