Guest expectations are a moving target.
To be able to meet them, let alone exceed them, hoteliers and all accommodation providers must always be innovating their offerings and updating their services. And yes, some hotel updates require months to complete and come at steep prices.
But there are also always fast fixes that can take a hotel a long way on a tight budget. So even if you’re not currently able to redo all the bathrooms, for example, it’s still a good idea to do whatever you can now, today, to increase the perceived value of a stay at your property.
Because if you’re not constantly improving your guest experience, even by small measures, then you’re damaging it. Which means you’re also damaging your reputation and profitability in the long run.
With that in mind, here are 10 super simple ways to improve the guest experience that require minimal time and financial investment.
#1 Start engaging with your guests before they arrive
Once a traveler has booked with you, they’re officially your guest, even if it’s months till they arrive. So you’re going to want to start creating a positive experience right away.
One of the most effective ways to engage with confirmed (and all) guests is through email campaigns — which you can read all about in “The Complete Guide to Email Marketing for Hotels.”
#2 Better yet, start engaging with your guests before they’ve booked
You’ve heard it before: the guest experience starts the moment the traveler starts looking for their ideal hotel. Here’s what it means: improving your guest experience actually starts with improving your hotel’s online presence.
This is something we at trivago can help you with. As a leading global hotel metasearch, trivago can be your connection to millions of travelers from all over the world searching for hotels. There are solutions that empower you to take control of your profile on the site, build it up with unique photos and descriptions, and even upgrade it to make it stand out from the competition. And if you’re looking for a way to drive direct bookings to your hotel website, we have a solution for that as well.
Upgrade to Rate Connect for direct bookings
#3 Greet each guest by name (and with a smile)
Take a moment every morning to check who’s checking in that day and review the details of their reservations, to be ready to greet guests warmly, personally, and by name. The check-in experience sets the tone for the rest of the stay; scrambling to find a reservation is not a great way to start.
Showing guests that you’ve carefully prepared for their arrival will make them feel appreciated right off the bat.
#4 Have tea and coffee available 24/7
While guests delight in having their own personal coffee and tea makers in their rooms, it’s a luxury not all hotels can provide. That’s OK. Having a communal, complimentary hot beverage station on every floor or even just in the lobby is a fine — and far more affordable — alternative.
#5 Be an expert on your locale
Share-economy accommodation hosts will often provide guests with detailed recommendations about where to try local delicacies, what time to visit attractions to avoid the crowds, and all the other hidden gems and insider’s secrets that only a local would know about.
It’s one of the reasons why alternative accommodations are so wildly popular among today’s travelers. And there’s no reason why all hotels can employ the same local-expert approach in their hospitality.
#6 Leave a mint (or chocolate, or any sweet treat) on the pillow
Placing a chocolate or mint on the pillow is a longstanding hotel tradition in several countries, including the United States. This sweet little touch is token of hospitality that makes staying at a hotel something special.
Because a hotel bed is just a bed to sleep on. A hotel bed with a sweet on the pillow, on the other hand, is a novel experience. It’s all in the details.
#7 Serve up the most popular breakfast items
Hotel breakfasts general tend to either be exceptional or underwhelming; there’s not much middle ground. So be sure your hotel breakfast is the kind that delights your guests.
We’ve written an article on the most popular breakfast items to help you out with that: “The Top 5 Breakfast Items That Hotel Guests Want.”
And if you’re able to have breakfast served to your guests’ rooms? All the better.
#8 Upgrade the most important amenities
Updating your hotel rooms to keep up with modern standards doesn’t necessarily require massive construction work. By simply updating the most important room amenities, even one at a time, you can start to improve the guest experience.
Check out “The Room Amenities That Matter Most to Your Hotel Guests” for tips on which amenities to upgrade first, and how to do it on a budget.
#9 Use a property management system
By streamlining all your day-to-day operations, you’ll be able to spend more time and energy focusing on your guests and ensuring they have the best stay possible.
We wrote about property management systems, as well as other important hotel tech, in “The Beginner’s Guide to Basic (but Essential) Hotel Technology.” If you’re looking to make the switch to digital, we recommend you read it.
#10 Add modern touches of luxury
Modern hotel luxury is now less about opulence and more about experience. It’s good news for accommodation types of all categories, because it means they now have the chance to appeal to luxury travels.
Find tips on how in “The Inexpensive Hotel Amenities That Luxury Guests Now Want Most.”
Readers can find more ways to improve the perceived value of a hotel stay in “What’s Motivating Guest Loyalty for Hotels Today?” and more insights into guest experience trends in “5 Hotel Trends That Are Transforming the Guest Experience.”
Featured image credit: freestocks.org