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The real superpower of a hospitality establishment is personalization: find out why and how to do it!

Personalizing guest stays is key to being more competitive, increasing revenue, and fostering loyalty. Read through these examples to get started now.

The power of personalization in hotels: find out what it is with practical examples | Smartpricing

Imagine that you return to a café that you have frequented only a few times. As soon as you arrive, the person behind the counter greets you by calling your name and, without even needing to ask you, not only starts making your coffee, but does it exactly the way you like it.

This is just a small gesture, but the feelings it is capable of evoking are of paramount importance!

The sense of belonging, recognition, satisfaction, and comfort you will feel are the only reasons why you will probably not only keep coming back to that café, but will recommend it to everyone.
All of this can be summed up in one word: personalization. In this article you will find out what it is, why it is important to guarantee it in your hospitality establishment, and how you can do it.

What is personalization in hotels

Comfortable rooms and friendly service are among the first requirements that a lodging establishment should care about offering its guests. However, this may not be enough to provide what your guests increasingly expect: an unforgettable, tailor-made stay during which they will experience unique moments. To take home not the usual souvenir, but memories to cherish forever.

To achieve this, all you need to do is ask yourself a few, targeted questions: "Who are my customers? Why do they choose my accommodation? What are their real needs, desires and expectations?"

The answer to this question will provide you with the key to offering truly effective personalization.
Precisely because all guests are not the same, your offering will also need to be versatile. From choosing memory foam pillows, to customized sightseeing itineraries, to offering menus calibrated to food preferences or dietary needs, each service will need to add specific value to each of the customer segments you have identified in your accommodation.

Why personalization at the hotel is key

If you are able to offer real personalization, it will reward you with full power: it will help you stand out from the competition, improve your guests' satisfaction, and ultimately increase their loyalty. Because, as the famous adage goes, "a satisfied customer is a returning customer."

Moreover, according to McKinsey research, not only do customers prefer to receive personalized service, they specifically request it:

  • 71 percent of consumers expect personalized interaction from companies
  • while 76 percent are frustrated when this does not happen

The same research found that the fastest-growing companies derive up to 40 percent of their revenue precisely from personalization strategies. If you know how to create the right personalization strategy, your revenues will benefit too!

How to implement a personalization strategy from scratch

Personalizing your guests' stay in your accommodation might seem like a daunting task, after all, how do you guess each guest's preferences?

In fact, the last thing you need to do to offer more personalization is to make it up. All the information you need is already available to you, you just need to follow a few steps to make the most of it.

1 - Data collection

To know who your customers are, what they want, and what they value, all you have to do is collect the data you have. Sources can be, for example, the historical data in your management software, satisfaction surveys, comments on your social media channels, or online reviews. You can expand this data by also analyzing the offerings and online ratings of your direct competitors, those with similar clientele to yours.

2 - Market segmentation

Once you have collected the data and extracted all  information regarding guest types and their preferences, you can move on to segmentation, which involves dividing your customers into well-defined groups.

If you want to know how to expertly segment your guests, you can learn more about this topic in our article on hotel market segmentation.

3 - Creating personalized services and offers

Each identified customer segment should be matched with a specific proposal. For example, you could create offers based on length of stay, means of transportation used to get to your accommodation, country of origin or type of guest (couples, families, solo travelers, business, etc.).

4 - Remember to personalize communication as well

The focus on personalization should not be confined to the physical space of the hotel. Remember to bring it out on your website, on every booking channel, and in every communication you send to your customers before, during, and after their stay. Don't skimp on describing the unique experiences you offer and how attentive your property is to ensuring personalized stays. The extra touch? If your clientele is international, don't limit yourself to English, but make your website available in the languages and currencies most relevant to your guests.

5 - Implementation and monitoring

Like any strategy, personalization needs to be constantly monitored and evaluated. This will allow you to understand which offerings work best and which might need modification.
If your fear is that you don't have enough resources to develop diverse services or offerings, don't worry: personalization doesn't necessarily require large budgets or dedicated space within the accommodation. Often, small touches are enough to make a difference! As you read on, you will find some examples you can take a cue from.

Examples of personalization in hotels: room service

From being an outdated formula, often sustainable only by large hotel establishments, room service has made a comeback due to the pandemic, establishing itself as one of the most effective ways to offer personalization to guests.

Here are some examples to take inspiration from:

  • Not just food

Have you ever thought of creating a "pillow menu" from which each guest can choose the most comfortable pillow for themselves? Or putting the usual courtesy set side by side with the ability to select shampoo, conditioner and moisturizer based on one's hair and skin type?

  • Revolutionize the minibar

Balanced snacks and healthy drinks? Fresh fruit and plenty of water? Local specialties? The minibar can also prove to be a powerful lever for personalization. To do so, simply include it as one of the items to select when booking.

  • Packages and experiences

Who said room service is synonymous only with breakfast? In-room services could include a romantic dinner complete with floral arrangements for couples, or a balanced meal paired with a massage for those who need to relax after a day of work.

Examples of hotel personalization: food and beverage

For accommodations with a restaurant, customization of F&B offerings is a must. But not only for them! Even lodging establishments without a restaurant service can do it: whether with a local supplier or with major food delivery platforms, the key word is "partnership".

Here are some examples to get you started right away:

  • Celebrate important occasions

Is it the birthday of one of your guests? Is a couple celebrating an anniversary? Don't wait for them to ask for a special service: offer to have a personalized dessert or themed menu.

  • All-day-dining

Some people cope with jet-lag and others like to snack after hours: a hotel that can offer 24-hour food service is sure to have an edge. So no more set hours and no more rigid menu, but a dynamic offering to be enjoyed in equally fluid environments throughout the day.

  • Personalized breakfast

Whether it's an organic or seed-based breakfast, superfood, with vegan, fruitarian or celiac dishes, breakfast is the right time to impress your guests with an offering that goes beyond the usual "continental" or "Anglo-Saxon" options.

  • Culinary packages

Thanks to partnerships with external suppliers selected by you, the F&B experience can also take place outside your accommodation. This way you can offer unique culinary experiences, such as tastings of local products or cooking classes for couples or groups.

Examples of personalization in hotels: customer interaction

Offering your customers personalized interactions is essential not only to make them feel welcome and comfortable, but also to continue to gather important information about their preferences and needs. If you cannot count on a front desk being available at all times, you can leverage technology to ensure constant yet unobtrusive contact.

Here are some practical examples:

  • Personalized welcome

Upon arrival in their room, your guests might like a personalized welcome card with their name on it. To this you can add a small gift, such as a drawing set in the case of families with young children, or a discount voucher for a service at your facility.

  • Virtual concierge

A tablet with your hotel's app or a simple online platform that can be reached via QR code can turn into a 24-hour concierge for your guests, through which they can find useful information about their stay, request assistance, listen to in-room music, or explore and book extra services at their leisure.

  • After check-out

It may happen that, after checking out, the guest is "filed away" and all the attention given to them up to that point fades away. To avoid this falling, never forget to send your guests a personalized communication thanking them and inviting them to return, perhaps offering a dedicated discount on their next stay or a complimentary experience.

Personalizing your guests' experience can be a challenge, especially if yours is a small or understaffed accommodation.

In any case, remember that you don't have to do everything yourself! Digital solutions can take the pressure off you in other areas so that you can focus on important strategic tasks such as customer segmentation and personalization.

One such solution is Smartpricing.

Smartpricing is the revenue management software that finds the right price at the right time and helps you focus on your guests.

Want to learn more and see how it works?