Creating Customer Engagement in a Customer-Focused Company

By Megan Wenzl Associate Editor, ReviewTrackers | April 23, 2017

A personalized guest experience is important in today’s hospitality industry. Guests can voice their opinion about a hotel in seconds because of the Internet, and their feedback is contained in sources like social media sites and online reviews. Potential guests read this information when they are looking for where to stay on their next summer vacation.

Guests will post online reviews about their experiences. According to research by ReviewTrackers, 45 percent of hotel guests are likely to leave to a review after a negative experience, while 37.6 percent of hotel guests are likely to leave a review after a positive experience.

Guest feedback is not only there for guests to research to find the hotel, it is also there for the hotel executive to make sense of: the feedback contains information for executives to analyze and extract insights to that can help improve the guest experience. Relationships with guests are important for guest loyalty, and the type of relationship hotels develop with guests stems from an engaging and personalized experience.

Guest Loyalty Example: Boyne Mountain

When I was growing up my family went to the Boyne Mountain Resort every winter for ski weekends. We came from the congested Detroit area, so it was a relaxing, refreshing break from the city. We ate at the resort’s restaurants. We went ice skating and tubing. We talked with the chairlift operators and skied on groomed trails. We had great instructors when my brother and I were learning to ski. We felt a connection to the resort. We became lifelong guests – so much so that when I was a senior in college, my parents even bought a condo at its sister resort, Boyne Highlands, where the same service was provided: a consistent experience across all of Boyne’s resorts.

One of the reasons we went back to the Boyne Mountain every winter for many years was because of the guest service. The resort provided a positive, engaging guest experience. The lift operators were friendly – they knew me by name, they cared about their job, were passionate about snow sports, and they helped guests get on the chairlift safely. The engagement and relationships with the chairlift operators was evidence enough that this resort knew the importance of a personalized experience for their guests.

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Coming up in January 2018...

Mobile Technology: Relentless Innovation

Technology has become a crucial component in attracting and retaining hotel guests, and the need to enhance a guest’s technology experience is driving a relentless pace of innovation. To meet and exceed guest expectations, 54% of hotels will spend more on technology in 2018, and mobile solutions in particular will top the list of capital investments. Many hotels are integrating mobile booking, mobile keys, mobile payments and mobile check-in into their operations. Other hotels are emphasizing the in-room experience, boosting bandwidth and upgrading flat screen TVs to more easily interface with guest mobile devices. And though not yet mainstream, there are many exciting technology developments on the near horizon. The Internet of Things (loT) is taking form in some places, and can be found in guest room control systems, voice activation systems, and in wearable sensors that can be used for access and payment options. Virtual reality headsets are available at some hotels so guests can enjoy virtual trips to exotic locations or if off-property, preview conference facilities and guest rooms. How long will it be before a hotel employs a fleet of robots for room service, or utilizes a hologram as a concierge, or installs gesture-controlled walls that feature interactive digital displays? Some hotels are already using augmented reality for translation services, or interactive wall maps, or even virtual décor. This pace of innovation is challenging property owners and brands to stay on top of the latest technology trends while still addressing current projects. The January Hotel Business Review will explore what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in the mobile technology space.