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Your Guest Experience Must Stand Out

articles | Out of Eden - 06.02.2024

How The OTAs Get So Many Bookings

In the last of our blog series brought to you by freetobook, we look at how to stand out from the crowd.

We all love receiving a great review and we know that when it’s shared in the right places you’ll get more guests booking your hotel or B&B. Great reviews come from great experiences which is what the hospitality business is all about so why is it so hard to get great reviews?

Your guests' experience comprises many little "touch points" as well a few big ones. To stand out or to “exceed expectations” you need to nail every single one of the those, that's a big ask when you've already got one hundred and one things to do.

The best people in hospitality enjoy sharing their time with guests, ensuring they are always happy. I can pretty much guarantee that 99% of 5/5 or 10/10 reviews will have a comment on the people working at the hotel or B&B. It’s a touchpoint but it takes the most time and most businesses just don’t have that time, so you need to make time. It is the old adage "you can make more money but you can't make more time", or is it?

Automation

Automation makes time for you, so by using the right tools you spend less time doing boring repetitive tasks that a machine can do and instead do things only a human can!

Real life examples of this in hospitality are things like payments, communications and pricing tools. All can be set up to handle the daily admin grind, after all who sets up a business because they want more admin! But it’s not just the admin here, these tools are advancing so rapidly that they now do a better job than you could, at a faster rate, with fewer mistakes. All of that improves the guest experience but also guests are increasingly expecting that type/level of service.

Payments

Payment tools can securely capture and store card details, take deposits or balances automatically, authenticate cards, pre-authorise cards and now even enable you to take payments on your iPhone (Tap to Pay on iPhone).

Guest Communication

To help with guest communication you can schedule messages that go out and collect arrival times, payments due, guest registrations, surveys and guest reviews without you lifting a finger. These messages also work on your guest’s timeline (not yours) and they’re easy for guests to action, that’s why your guests love them.

Pricing

Pricing is a real headache for most businesses so they do it late or badly, or both. With the dynamic pricing tools available now you can do less work and earn around 20% more. Most small businesses under price themselves because we under value our offering, but when a machine does it - emotion doesn’t come into play. Instead, it monitors key information (i.e. the rate at which you’re selling, your occupancy and market factors) and automatically adjusts your prices many times a day for 365 days in advance. You keep control by setting your minimum and maximum selling price and it works within that bandwidth. This saves you time and boosts revenue (as we said, often by over 20%!), both of which you can spend on improving your guest experience.

Many of these tools were beyond the reach of small independent accommodations just 5 years ago but that’s no longer true. Many businesses response to automation is that they can do that themselves and that’s no longer true either. Good systems are now connected in ways we can’t replicate, so your channel manager is connected to your dynamic pricing and your guest messaging, that’s connected to your reviews system and your payments, and they’re all connected to your booking system and PMS. That’s how you find time to exceed expectations.

That’s the last in our series of 4 blogs, thanks for reading them!

To find out more about freetobook just visit our site or call us 0141 270 2173.


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