1. Differentiate yourself in front of the tourism consumer
You are well aware that the tourism market is constantly growing, that actually entering this sector is becoming more and more accessible for different sizes of companies. In the same way the hotel market is very versatile, dynamic. Thanks to e-commerce you can easily reach your audience, as long as you follow an online marketing strategy tailored to your company’s needs.
However, the growth of the hotel market also means that it is difficult to stand out from the competition offering similar services, as well as competing on price, without finally innovating or adding value to the customer.
Rather than competing on price, which can result in losses rather than gains, more customer-savvy hoteliers are focusing on improving the quality of the guest experience. To innovate in the hotel guest experience, boutique hotels are more likely to opt for novelty, as they are not dependent on the global identity of a hotel chain.
Customising the hotel room is one such innovation. The customer’s concern for their room goes beyond its cleanliness; it has to be special, it has to fit their needs and preferences. And the closer the room is to their personal interests, the greater the client’s sensation of noticing the commitment of your hotel to satisfy them, to provide them with an experience that they will not be able to find in another establishment.
A correct room customisation is an opportunity to reinforce the values of your brand, and of course, a loyalty strategy to convert the guest into a repeat customer.
2. How to get to know your customer better for better personalisation
Knowing who comes to visit the hotel, what are their concerns, hobbies, lifestyle and personality are obviously the key points for the personalisation of rooms. Nowadays, we must take into account that the customer is more demanding, but also more suspicious about the use of their personal information. Therefore, any interaction with the customer must be non-invasive. A misstep can lead to customer dissatisfaction and could mean a lost opportunity for customer loyalty.
To get to know your customers in depth, we can talk about how to get to know them in three stages.
2.1. Before the stay
This is the first and most important contact. Your client books their stay at your hotel, gives their first details, preferences, etc. It is a delicate stage as, although the purchase has been secured, there may be the possibility of cancellation of the reservation if the client is not treated properly.
How can you get a valuable first source of information? Through this initial data. For example, if your guest is a parent, if your guest plays sports, if your guest uses the internet very frequently on a daily basis, etc.
If your guest is a parent, if your guest plays sports, if your guest uses the internet very frequently on a daily basis, etc.
In effect, using customer typology, and taking advantage of the new information that enters your hotel with each new booking, will allow you to get to know your guests in greater depth. Of course, it will also allow you to define rooms that are more in line with their preferences.
Centralise in a single database the interactions between your company and your customers in a CRM to distribute and maximise customer knowledge and understand and anticipate their needs.
2.2. During the stay
The boutique hotel guest likes to know that their opinion is valued; of course, among their various thoughts, is whether their opinion is being of benefit to the improvement of the establishment.
The guest’s opinion is not only valued, but also valued.
Rather than forcing their opinion, simply give them the opportunity to express it. If your customer is satisfied, or wishes to share their ideas or suggestions, they will do so naturally.
2.3. After the stay
The hardest work is already done. However, the contact with the customer after their experience is just as important as the efforts made during their visit.
It’s time to introduce the customer to the new customer.
It’s time to introduce email marketing, that classic and effective tool that builds customer loyalty, as well as reaching guests directly. The key, of course, is to re-engage with the customer in a non-invasive way.
Give them the opportunity to offer their opinion, to share their feelings about your hotel. Remember that in email marketing it is very important to communicate with the customer in a personalised way.
3. Inspiration for room customisation
After having analysed the preferences of your guests, you will certainly have a clearer idea of who is coming to visit your hotel. Whether the guest is passionate about art or not, human beings are always grateful and appreciate waking up surrounded by a certain amount of beauty.
Customising the room is not a matter of investing as much as possible in decoration, but a matter of adjusting only to what your client needs. The main thing is that the room has a personalised charm, without losing elegance and originality.
3.1. Give your room a touch of charm
First of all, think about making the room cosy, practical, but above all comfortable. Remember that guests want to rest in a bright and spacious place. In this way, you have to make the most of all the openings in the room, giving importance to natural light.
You need to take into account the location of your hotel in relation to the guest you will be hosting. A discreet touch of the city, be it through upholstery, ceramics or glazing, is a good way to attract and make the stay an unforgettable experience.
It is, however, a good idea to keep in mind the location of your hotel in relation to the guest you are welcoming.
However, it is advisable not to fall back on traditional décor (especially if the guest has some knowledge of art). If the person visiting your hotel is really passionate about decoration, you will certainly find yourself faced with a challenge and the task will perhaps be longer lasting, as it is always more difficult to impress an expert.
Don’t forget to bring in some colour to give it joy, energy and movement. The handling of these is very important, as the human eye transforms and sends the information of what it sees to our brain through electrical impulses. Not all colours convey the same thing, so take your time when choosing them, because they will make all the difference to the experience of your hotel.
Maybe greens and greens are the best colours to choose.
Perhaps greens and blues, in quiet locations and aimed at an older audience, would be a good choice of décor, as they convey calm and peace respectively. If the guest wants to feel more cosy, don’t hesitate to add some citrus-related décor, such as orange and yellow. However, red is rather cheerful and positive, which, without excess, is a good choice for a family room.
Red is a good choice for a family room.
3.2. Apply technology in your rooms
Innovation is the best way to stand out. But how and in what way can it be achieved?
It is a matter of being different.
The point is to be different, attractive, youthful – technology is the best way to include all three characteristics. Using the smartphone to access the room is a fairly new and effective technique that some hotels have already started to implement. Including the TV in the bathroom mirror is very useful for streamlining the task of showering for families with children. No doubt, for those travelling alone or for couples, taking a relaxing bath while watching a movie can be an unforgettable experience.
Even if it seems futuristic, the truth is that robots and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are already part of the way hotels work.
They can also be used in the hotel business.
4. Real-world applications of personalisation in companies
How have other hotels or other companies managed to personalise the customer experience? Here are a few examples of success stories.
Whitbread, the leading British company, launched the hub concept through its Premier Inn hotels, which allows the temperature of the room to be adjusted before the guest arrives, as well as programming preferred TV channels.
Nomad Hotels has included a touchscreen to regulate air conditioning, heating and blinds.
For those who love to stay in the comfort of their rooms Nomad Hotels has included a touchscreen to regulate air conditioning, heating and blinds.
For those who love sport and healthy living, MiHotel in Lyon (France) offers yoga courses in the rooms.
MiHotel in Lyon (France) offers yoga courses in the rooms.
Virgin Hotels has decided to share customers’ preferences through the Lucy application.
Virgin Hotels has decided to share customers’ preferences through the Lucy application.
Interior designers also have a great source of inspiration for personalised room decoration. Interior designer Maud Bury has chosen to create a modern room concept: “My Room Concept“. He has collaborated with companies such as Phillips, Muzeo, Somfy and Hatworth for this new room concept.
Inspiring, isn’t it? Then it’s time to start getting to know your customer in more depth, and leverage your boutique hotel rooms as a potential differentiator in your marketing strategy.