Designer Afroditi Krassa says hoteliers are in a unique position to build a strong bond with their customers, but many are missing a trick.
“Some companies never get to meet their customers at all, because all their interactions are via mail or online. Others only get 30 seconds to make an impression through expensive adverts; whereas a hotelier has hours, if not days, to create that special connection with their customer,” she says.
“Therefore a hotelier has countless opportunities to build a powerful message that will mould your guest’s boutique experience — there are no excuses.”
There are 10 ways in which boutique and lifestyle hotels often let the guest experience down:
1. Wayfinding — here is a chance to not only show your guests the way, but that you have some personality behind the brand.
2. Music — are you relying on the radio or do you have a playlist that reflects the time of day and function of the room?
3. Your choice of local partners — who you choose reflects on you so be selective. Be it their brochures, their service, their packaging: they should all be on brand.
4. Your check in/out times — is your early check-out time a message that you care for your guest or for housekeeping?
5. Breakfast — do you really have to serve breakfast in the same room every day? Why not ask guests where and when they’d like to take it. Think outside of room service.
6. The way each and everyone one of your staff greets a guest, from the managing director to the kitchen hand, and everyone in between.
7. Do not disturb signal — does it really need to swing from the door handle? Why not install a bedside switch that notifies housekeeping.
8. Door keys — ubiquitous cards could be replaced with a ‘Zipcar’ style smartphone app.
9. Activity suggestions — it is easy to list each and every activity in the area and hold all their brochures; however, you are in a unique position to create a bespoke / boutique experience that reinforces your brand message.
10. Lost and found – show you care by proactively forwarding on any goods that may have been left behind by guests.