Looking for ways to WOW your guests so they return to your hotel again and again? We’re here to help! As experts of WOW, Amerail Systems is well equipped to help you impress your guests.
Travel is back but things aren’t the same as they were before the pandemic. There are challenges ahead but as we’ve seen over the last year, the hospitality industry can overcome anything.
There are certain things that travelers will be looking for in their post-pandemic stays. Once you know what these amenities/services/qualities are, you will be able to strategize how to implement some or all of them. In this article, we will give you 5 of the things guests are expecting & looking for during their stays now and ways you can implement them to WOW travelers.
1. EXTRA friendly customer service & authenticity
Guests are expecting and wanting hotel travel to be back to normal but at the same time, hotels across the country are struggling with staffing shortages. Because of staff shortages, guests' experiences could potentially be negatively impacted if their expectations for travel are high. It’s important for both travelers and hoteliers to be aware of the challenges everyone is facing and to be patient with one another.
Encouraging your employees to be extra patient with guests and extra kind will go a long way. Simple things like complimenting a guest's outfit could create an instantly happy customer. In addition to customer service, upgrades and surprises will also be important. Having your elite members upgraded and including upgrades for base-level members or new guests when available will also encourage happy travelers.
A couple of examples of hotels that are known to go above and beyond for their guests are the Springhill Suites by Marriott and Doubletree by Hilton. Springhill Suites are known for their Chupa Chups, a Spanish lollipop, that are arranged into a beautiful bouquet at the front desk readily available for guests to choose from. While lollipops reside in the Springhill Suites the Doubletrees provide their guests with warm chocolate chip cookies!
Things like this can turn a guest's day around and in return, ultimately help the hotel staff provide the best service possible.
Finally, authenticity. This method of service is more important to the new generation of travelers (Gen Z). Being “real” and relating to them will go a long way.
2. Show that you are clean
There’s no doubt that after the pandemic we’re all much more aware of cleanliness standards in the places we go. The hospitality industry is no exception to this. Guests are more concerned now maybe more than ever before about the sanitary efforts in hotels.
Most hotels have adapted to this by now and have included things like readily available hand sanitizing stations throughout the lobbies. Another great strategy to WOW your guests with how clean your hotel is is to make your cleaning efforts visible and almost put on a show for them.
What we mean by that is simply just make sure your guests see you cleaning. In the past cleaning common areas like the lobby or breakfast area was mainly done when there were few to no guests around. This was so the staff didn’t disturb guests too much with cleaning that could be done when they left. Now it’s almost better to clean with an audience. Guests seeing staff clean can be comforted knowing that where they are sitting, standing, eating is regularly cleaned and sanitized.
One more example of how to comfort your guests is to have visible signage displaying the ways that you are staying sanitary and clean.
3. Culture/local businesses
We’ve reached the time where the hospitality industry now has a new generation to please. Gen Z has entered the world of travel after a year of creating mass content. Similar to Millennials, what this new generation is looking for in hotels are their uniqueness and their inclusion of local food, culture, art, events, etc.
Here are some ways to do this:
Dedicate a wall in your lobby to local artists
Partner with local businesses for food, coffee, decor, etc. and promote that business from within
Allow local restaurants and events centers to promote their events within your hotel or train your staff to promote the events to your guests at check in.
Ask your local restaurants if they would be willing to provide you with coupons to hand out to your guests.
Not only are cultural aspects important to these generations but also having a solid presence on social media will give you that WOW factor we’re aiming for. If you have the resources to be active on social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok, you will be able to relate to your guests and encourage them to share your hotel with their friends and family who may be tempted to stay with you in the future. Showcase your usernames at the front desk or on common tables and encourage your guests to follow you and tag you in photos from their stay. Following a few back will also make them feel seen and special which will make them more likely to return to your hotel in the future.
4. Increased technology
Want to really WOW your guests? Including new hotel technology such as keyless room entry, smart TV’s, mobile check-in, and even robot room service will elevate your guest's experience to new levels.
While keyless room entry and mobile check-in have been a perk of a few brands in the past years this technology is now becoming more and more expected throughout the industry. Another perk that is transitioning more towards a stable is the smart tv. Guests are more inclined to stay in their rooms unless they are out of the hotel now. In the age of streaming services, having a TV in their room where they can log in to their favorite method of binge-watching shows is expected.
One trend in hotel technology that we see gaining popularity is the room service robot. Gone are the days of front desk staff completing room service requests while simultaneously checking in guests. With this new technology, your staff will have more time to focus on the needs and happiness of your guests as well as the cleanliness of your hotel. With the shortages of staff in the industry, this technology is a must-have.
5. Show that you’re green/sustainable
A trend that is not going anywhere anytime soon is sustainability in hotels. Most brands have adopted practices to show their guests that they are eco-friendly so how can you differentiate your eco-friendliness from the rest?
Some extra ways to go green could be:
Including recycling bins in common areas and rooms
Using less plastic at breakfast and coffee stations
Investing in energy-efficient upgrades to your hotel such as window replacements (check out our blog on how we provide energy efficient & sound reducing windows)
Biophilic design elements such as green walls, sustainable and natural-looking materials
Vegetarian & vegan food and beverage options