Elevating the guest experience
By Lulu Raghavan, Landor Associates
Chances are you’ve recently heard someone in your organization say, “We must focus on delivering superior guest experiences.” But is anyone really taking steps to address this? If not, don’t worry. You have more power than you can probably realize to drive positive change for your hotel brand.
All you need is awareness, creativity, and a commitment to action bundled with energy and belief in yourself. With these assets, you’ll be well on your way to designing and delivering exceptional experiences that inspire brand loyalty to your guests. Whether you’re a housekeeping manager or a sous-chef, a head of sales or a concierge, seize the opportunity to make a difference to your brand. Awareness
Begin with mapping the current state of affairs. Look at your brand from the perspective of your guests, rather than that of your organization. The quality and memorability of the experiences you offer matter more these days than having a best-in-class physical product. I can’t recall the brand of the super-high-end TV in the Maldives water villa where I spent my most recent holiday, but I’ll never forget how exhilarating the night fishing was.
You can start by reviewing any customer research you may have access to, but the best and most proven method is to keep your ear to the ground. Walk the halls and talk with guests to stay in touch with their evolving needs. One general manager at an upscale Bangalore hotel makes it mandatory for executive staff to be in the lobby between 8:30 am and 9:30 am every day. This allows them to get closer to guests, understand their concerns, and resolve problems immediately and effectively.
A guest journey map is also useful here. Take a close look at a guest’s functional and emotional needs across all aspects of the hotel experience, from becoming aware of your brand, making a booking, arriving, staying at the hotel, checking out, and returning.