What Defines Customer Loyalty?
Customer loyalty refers to a continuing relationship between a brand and its customer, shown by a customer’s desire to continuously engage in obtaining a product or service. Loyalty is an outcome of a customer’s outstanding experience with service provider, and it contributes to the formation of confidence. Customer loyalty reaches its pinnacle when an individual provides a business or service with a recurring engagement. In other words, loyal customers are individuals who prefer one business, venue, or service above others. Although rates are getting much higher when it comes to services or even with the restrictions getting tighter, committed customers will often stick with their preferred service provider, despite the cost or comfort. Loyal customers typically have confidence in the service they will experience and are ready to invest extra bucks to ensure their standards and expectations are well exceeded. This is because customers are becoming more outspoken concerning their service expectations and are constantly seeking services that meet those expectations.Loyal Customers
- Consistently make purchases
- Make use of the items you’ve purchased.
- Use a number of various mediums to communicate with you
- Are best supporters are those who recommend you and provide favourable comments both proactively and responsively.
Let’s explore how hotels could leverage these suggestions to fulfil customer expectations in hospitality that build customer loyalty.
1. Create An Excellent First Impression
Initial impressions remain for a prolonged period. Making a good first impression guarantees that you take off to a good start with your respective guests. Their journey starts with the reservation process – either digitally or even in person. Keep it simple and effective. Hoteliers should make it convenient for guests to locate their hotel by making it accessible through a range of distribution social media platforms (e.g., Instagram, Facebook, and websites). Besides that, the reservation system must be as simple as feasible. It is not advisable to overload guests with excessive papers to fill out or request needless details from them. The booking system on each of these portals must be as convenient as possible since each millisecond counts whenever it comes to a visitor’s online attention.
It is indeed critical to prepare the hotel staff to communicate with guests. These are typically the initial points of contact that impact on how guests perceive the business. It may be through responses given by the personnel online (for example, through Facebook), whenever they pick up the phone for inquiries, or even when they greet the customers for the first time at the hotel. Perhaps, in order to sustain the guests and satisfy them in the long run, hotels must have a well-trained and pleasant hotel staff. Thus, in order to enhance customer loyalty, your hotel staffs should drive above and beyond to fulfil customer expectations and provide outstanding experience.
2.Understand The Guest By Giving Them A Personal Touch
To achieve consumer loyalty, hoteliers should first understand their guests. They could accomplish this by gathering guest input at all important touchpoints throughout the hospitality experience and storing everything in place, employing guest experience software solutions. The valuable data can originate from website reviews, guest feedback, or messages left by guests. Hotels can receive important information into areas where customer delivery changes are required by knowing what guests’ preferences are. Besides that, hotel operators can either initiate steps to resolve issues related to guests, and if the guest is already on the hotel premise, they can use service restoration right away.
Giving a “Personal Touch” is a strategy employed to convey to guests that you appreciate them as a hospitality provider, and it must always be applied to build a unique experience for a guest, not just to increase income or even as a marketing strategy, as guests recognise that as well. Personal touches involve every detail that counts, such as reserving a frequent guest’s favourite table spot, knowing their frequent orders, and making sure their order and requests are delivered as per their preference within the expected time frame. It is important to note that guests are not looking for freebies; similarly, if they are returning guests, they simply want to be recognised and have their offerings delivered with trust and accuracy. Meanwhile, guests who visit less frequently are searching for an entertaining experience, which might also necessitate some extra personal touches in order to make them feel more convenient.
3.Make The Guest Experience A Top Priority
An excellent guest experience has always described as the heart of hospitality. It appears to be fundamental to a hotelier since obtaining it properly guarantees that guests will comment favourably on the service provided by the hotel which turns out to sustain loyal customers if they achieve it perfectly. Understanding and satisfying the needs of the guest, on the other hand, might be difficult because guest expectations changes over time. Determining the right expectation is important, and it starts way before guests arrive at the hotel. During the visit, hoteliers can use resources and strategies to ensure a great guest experience, and following the post staying, they can always gather visitor information to assist them in making consistent service adjustments that will enhance the experience for subsequent guests.
Hotels should establish a workplace environment that puts the guest experience well above everything. For instance, when a booking is confirmed, they can communicate with their guests instantly through online to initiate the first engagement. They could even send out informative emails highlighting community events, famous hangout spots, and other information that would be of appeal to the guests. Throughout their visit, hoteliers should frequently ask questions such as, “Are you experiencing a pleasant stay? “Do you need any additional help?” in which those questionnaires will help to build trust and reputation. With all the above, guests will be able to notice if the hotel is concerned about whether or not in making a direct connection to satisfy their needs.
To facilitate guest experience, mobile access-enabled hotels offer guests the best in contactless check-in ease by enabling them to use their mobile devices as a secure room key. Keyless room entry also eliminates the need for physical keys, eliminating physical contact while optimising front-desk operations and saving hotel costs. Apart from that, Guest App includes functionality that allows guests to make digital orders, allowing them to perform in-room dining. From the comfort of their rooms, guests will be able to access the meal menu and place their order. Guests may not be required to call the restaurant; instead, they can simply choose the food from the digital menu. Since people are avoiding eateries due to the pandemic, with the aid of these features, guests will feel more at ease when ordering food. Moreover, food orders will also increase because the digital menu will enable guests to order whenever they wish.
The Guest App allows guests to request all hotel services using their mobile devices. Guests may seek any service, eliminating the need to engage with physical hotel staff. The contactless feature makes guests feel acknowledged, cared for and secure. Improving customer satisfaction is crucial for any hotel business looking to improve their brand reputation in the industry. Guests who are impressed with a hotel will automatically suggest it to their friends and family members. Using their phones, guests can quickly access the directory through the guest app. This aspect of digital accessibility to the directory would make it easier for guests to engage with the relevant department easily.As the saying goes, word-of-mouth is the ideal method of marketing when it comes to hospitality. In the hospitality industry, providing a guest service that exceeds customer expectations appears to be the only way to gain their loyalty.
4. Offer Rewards
When it comes to fulfilling guest expectations, rewards play a huge role. In other words, an amazing rewards initiative converts customers into loyal customers. Hotels should consider something more than just complimentary welcome drinks and dinners. Instead they must invest more time in analysing the demographics and asking themselves, “What is essential for the guest? “What it takes to fulfil those?” .Growing customer loyalty is extremely easy if you could recognise the customer’s requirement. A rewards programme can enhance the engagement cycle time by driving first-or second-year customers to act like a business’s most valued customers who have been continuously engaged with the service—provided it is planned and executed as part of a much broader loyalty-management approach.
Hoteliers must develop strategies to give an exclusive fell of a complete customer journey. Providing guest promotion through guest application encourage guests to make reservations ahead of time. These incentives guarantee guests to have an overview of a promotion at their fingertips as they are able to receive instant promotional updates on a regular basis. It signifies that there is a likelihood that the guest will book their reservation right away. Thus, the key objective of providing rewards is to construct a culture in which customers are constantly enlightened on the benefits of loyalty and encourage them to obtain it. Sustaining long-term loyalty necessitates a planned, long-term effort.
5. Being Flexible
After all of the uncertainly surrounding travel due to the COVID outbreak, adaptability and flexibility have become important. It is crucial to adjust the cancellation policy to the current scenario. As most guests are still hesitant to make reservations since they are worried about incurring cancellation costs. In such circumstances, why don’t a hotel offer a no-fee cancellation policy a few days prior to arrival? Bookings cancellation can never be a good sight when it comes to hotels. However, establishing a detailed and flexible cancellation clause will increase the attractiveness of the hotel to a broader audience. Additionally, this will also increases the hotelier’s credibility because guests will appreciate the ability to check in and out at their leisure.
6. Accommodate Solutions To Assure The Safety of Guests
There are various rapid, easy-to-implement, cost-effective, and customizable alternatives for hotel operators to provide their guests with an instantaneous feel of safety. Firstly, an in-depth specifications review should be performed to determine which aspects of hotel operations require improvements. For example, the cleaning processes must be consolidated and conveyed to hotel guests on a continuous and timely basis, with a focus on high density areas. A simple signage may provide tangible messages to guests that hygiene is a top concern.
Besides that, common areas, for instance, should be rearranged into more segregated spaces, giving guests the choice of adhering to standard 1 metre social distance guidelines. Moving furniture and rearranging the architecture of the guest check-in area are some of the examples of how this can be accomplished. In order to accommodate the changing manner in which guests will occupy the accommodation, a new emphasis on guestroom functionality and innovation is required. For example, guests might prefer to work in the room instead of in the lobby. In such working areas, additional equipment, and devices should be installed in rooms to allow guests to perform their tasks efficiently.
With the advancement of technology, our guest application assists hoteliers in leveraging QR codes as a mode of contact tracing and monitoring vaccinated individuals in a vicinity. It enables hoteliers to conveniently observe guest movement that have come into contact, especially those who have tested positive for COVID-19 or had never been completely vaccinated against the virus. Similarly, if a guest is found to be infected with covid-19, they can quickly verify the guest’s contact details and then take the necessary measures to ensure the safety of other guests. For end-users, the feature allows them to securely register themselves whenever they visit an area by scanning the code for contact tracing reasons. As a result, this modern technology has become a key method of ensuring the safety and well-being of guests. Lastly, improved guest and employee service guidelines that focus on emphasising safety should indeed be put into action. Hotel operators can use their experience when it comes to incorporating these safety measures into the guest experience. Providing the “hand gloves” practice to guests on arrival, hand sanitising facilities upon entry and exit, are among the initiatives required to convince guests that they are in safe hands.
As the tourism industry seems to be getting back on track, hotels could expect higher occupancy rates in the upcoming months. This indicates people will be more likely to visit their preferred hotels that have high booking rates, and that simply means that guests will accommodate the rewards gained in the past. Therefore, this is the ideal time for hoteliers to show their customers that they are much appreciated for the continued support that they have given along the entire hotel journey. In short, customer loyalty plays an important role in defining the success of a hotel business.
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