The hospitality industry is unique in that we are able to provide an extended brand experience to our guests; they relax, eat, work, play, and sleep surrounded by a single brand’s expression for days at a time. Hotel guests are able to intimately experience a brand and even more, they are likely to share their experience via word of mouth, online reviews, and social media.

A subset of the brand experience is the customer experience, or the way in which people interact with a brand. A Walker study found by the year 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. The Temkin Group found that investing in customer experience initiatives has the potential to double revenue within 36 months. It is increasingly important to carefully consider how we want our customers to feel and then create a brand experience that evokes those feelings, thus providing a memorable customer experience.

The key to providing a positive customer experience: Focus on customization to design a memorable customer journey.

For hotel guests, personalization is fundamentally about being recognized by hotel staff with relevant connections to amenities and experiences combined with convenience. A study by IHG revealed nearly three in five (59%) travelers say their hotel stay is significantly more comfortable if services are personalized, and more than half (54%) admit it makes them feel more valued. Properties can leverage customization to exceed guest expectations and create loyal customers. Often it’s the details that delight guests. For example, hotels can offer add-on services and amenities that allow guests to customize their stay- i.e. premium shave kits, pet kits, kids activity packs, and spa packages.

Technology provides the ultimate tool for guest customization. Customers are connected like never before and their expectations have grown tremendously. They want to be not only connected to their hotel experience, but also want to control what this experience looks like. Hotels are investing in technology and mobile applications that allow the guest to customize everything from the exact room they want to preferences on local activities and restaurants. Some properties offer mobile messaging that enables guests to communicate with property associates for requests like extra towels and toiletries.

In addition to customizing a guests stay, you can enhance the customer experience by designing memorable and unique moments throughout the customer journey.

Hospitality Hacks – Tips to Optimize Your Guest Experience

Here are 3 ideas to create memorable and shareable moments at your property:

take your brand experience to a new level with non-traditional branded merchandise and amenities, such as this pink flamingo floatation device.
  1. Create a photo opportunity/selfie spot where guests can snap photos. The secret here is good lighting and use of decor that is unique and colorful to your brand’s style. Not only does this create powerful user-generated content, but you are also providing an experience.
  2. Take advantage of “fun” branding opportunities with branded pool floatation devices. That giant blow up pink flamingo is not just a fun photo prop, but a branded touchpoint your guest will talk about long after they leave.
  3. Provide a branded solution for guests to explore the local area. Some properties are offering bicycles to guests for sightseeing and transportation. This creates the perfect opportunity for a branded touchpoint that travels off-property.

For more inspiration on unique touchpoints that provide experiences customers will want to share, check out our “Insta-worthy idea book.

Guests perceive a brand based on the quality of their experiences across all touchpoints. Brands that are able to implement customization and provide memorable experiences will drive guest interest and secure loyalty for years to come.