The digital guest experience continues to be the golden pathway toward an excellent customer experience. The world and how we live have already changed and now is the time to change how our organizations operate as well. Your customers expect personalized experiences that resonate across all your channels. And this is something a great digital guest experience will achieve. This is where your future success lies.
What is a digital guest experience?
Digital guest experience is the aspect of your CX journey that refers to all of the online interactions a customer has with your property. It is your online presence, social media, your hotel’s website, a mobile app or any other virtual touchpoint. Essentially, any engagement between you and your customer through the Internet is considered a digital guest experience.
The goal of digital customer experience is to process and deliver a smooth experience across individual customer touchpoints by using unified digital communications as a service.
Know what your guests need
The modern-day guest is always connected, therefore prefers to self-serve and have instant personalized communication with the property. And that at every point of the customer journey.
- Personalized self-service
- To feel safe, secure and clean
- Convenience and comfort
- Instant communication
Research shows that only 8% of the guests would feel comfortable checking in and out at the front desk and up to 40% of guests are more likely to still leave a positive review if an occurred problem is solved quickly. To provide this high level of fast communication, convenience and choice, technology and digital guest experience come to the rescue.
“Hotels now have the choice to act upon the guests’ demand for a digital option such as digital check-in, mobile keys and more. Digital alternatives are no longer cool “add-ons,” offered only by early adopters, but a hygiene factor that guests expect as part of their hotel experience,” according to Zaplox’s President & CEO, Tess Mattisson.
Trends influencing the digital guest experience in hotels
Ahh.. digitalization – the rise of digital technologies to change business models and provide new revenue and value-producing opportunities. Everything and everybody is online! It is a trend affecting every industry and perhaps in a good way.
In the hotel business, it allows you to
- fully know your guests: their profile, purchasing behavior and unique preferences.
- create a hyper-personalized experience and serve customers to get what they want almost exactly at the moment they need it.
This data also helps you in analyzing strategies already at work and make smart decisions about managing your hotel even better.
Staying unique in a competitive market
Most travelers prefer hotels that have a good ratio between the value of their money and a unique localized experience. If they feel your services and the quality of stay are offered at a good value, they tend to be less critical and more likely to give you a break with minor inconveniences.
Guests also appreciate a property that knows its niche. While it might seem that digitalization shapes all businesses to be no different from each other when it comes to the pre-stay experience, it can actually help you enhance the unique image online that your property has. Make sure to find the perfect visual aids and a style of engaging with the customer to create an unforgettable experience.
What makes a good digital guest experience?
- Simple and convenient digital experience for users browsing websites and channels to become potential guests.
- Prompt and effective communication across all channels – answering questions, and solving issues.
- Providing a personalized service experience – understand your guest and their needs, and give every guest the service they need.
- Simple systems and actions for all users.
- Consistency is the key – provide a consistent quality of all the steps on the customer experience journey across all channels.
Tips to improve the digital catering of your modern traveler at each stage
This is an underestimated part of the guest experience. Pre-stay is the time when your guest can let you know their expectations before arriving at your property. Having control over your own booking engine lets you prepare for each guest’s needs to create a customized experience.
- Personalize – let your guest choose how they would like to enhance their experience at your property.
- Simplify – make the check-in process smoother and more convenient.
Here begins the reality if your property has reached and exceeded the guests’ expectations. A high level of attention by your hotel’s team can make your guests’ stay more memorable. Good service and efficiency go a long way.
- Help – provide information and the comfort of communicating any issues or questions instantly if they should occur. This allows you to solve them and not risk breaking your guests’ good experience.
A positive guest experience ends with a post-stay follow-up about their stay with you. This helps you collect feedback and increases guest loyalty.
- Understand – thank your guest, gather immediate feedback and create surveys to get an idea of your guests’ experiences.
- Invite – encourage guests to continue engaging with your property by creating bring-back campaigns.