The hospitality industry in the US has witnessed an impressive recovery after the pandemic. However, the comeback is challenging for small establishments, with big brands offering price cuts and deals to attract customers.
Additionally, the competition in the sector is stiff, as 3,913 boutique hotel businesses operated in the US as of 2022. The number indicates an increase of 4% from 2021.
As a small hotel owner, you may not fall short of resources to compete with big players on the marketing front. But you can carve a niche in a competitive space by providing exceptional guest experiences.
Think beyond the basics, like a clean room, a comfortable bed, and delicious food. Guests expect memorable experiences, with surveys showing that 36% of them are willing to pay more for personalized ones.
Limited budgets can keep you guessing about strategies to ensure top-notch services and experiences for your guests. You can try these success strategies many small hotel owners swear by.
Offer Personalized Service
Deloitte notes that hotel guests are 29% more likely to share favorable reviews when providers give them a high level of attention. Personalized services can give you a winning advantage in this context. Small hotels are in a good place when it comes to fostering a more intimate environment for their guests because they cater to fewer numbers at a time.
Be attentive toward guest preferences and expectations, such as preferred room types, special occasions, and dietary restrictions. You can go the extra mile by utilizing technology to track and analyze data and serve personalized recommendations and services to customers. The approach enhances satisfaction and gets you word-of-mouth recommendations from happy clients.
Prioritize Authenticity and Local Experiences
According to statistics, 88% of consumers say authenticity is paramount when deciding what brands they like. The numbers apply to the hospitality industry and show the value of authenticity to small business owners. Since guests often seek authentic experiences, you should look for unique ways to create them.
For small hotels, local experiences can drive authenticity. You can incorporate local elements into your hotel’s décor and design. Serve local food and collaborate with small businesses to provide guided tours and exclusive access to local events. You can even give guests a slice of local culture by organizing in-house events on special occasions.
Leverage Technology Solutions
Besides maintaining personal and authentic connections with your guests, you should consider technology solutions to provide them with the best experiences. Surveys show that 84% of hoteliers had someone driving digital transformation initiatives in 2020. While touchless check-ins and self-service kiosks were essential during the pandemic, innovation continues to be a game-changer in the industry.
You can use online check-in and check-out to reduce wait times. Mobile apps for communication and service requests make another valuable addition. Personalized climate control and lighting ensure a comfortable in-room ambiance. Remember to provide the best cast solution for hospitality because people want versatile entertainment at their fingertips.
Allbridge notes that modern guests expect personalized, multi-source content in their hotel rooms. By staying on top of their entertainment expectations, you can win the guest experience game.
Invest in Staff Training
Staff training is critical to the success of a hospitality business, regardless of size and scale. After all, nothing matters more than human interactions in the industry. When hiring a team to run your small hotel, look for people with pleasing personalities and service-focused mindsets.
Besides bringing the right people on board, you should run comprehensive training programs emphasizing exceptional customer service and effective communication. Empower your team members to handle guest concerns professionally and promptly. A well-trained and motivated team can exceed guest expectations.
Listen to Guest Feedback
Customer feedback is essential in all industries, and hospitality is no exception. Feedback guides you about ways to enhance your services as it gives valuable insights into potential improvements. You can focus on strengthening your weak areas to deliver better experiences in the long run by paying genuine attention to your customers.
Acting on feedback can also foster stronger relationships, loyalty, and retention. According to surveys, 77% of consumers favor brands that seek out and apply their feedback. You can gather it by running surveys for guests on location and sending forms after they leave. Online reviews are also a key source of valuable feedback.
Guest experience can make or break the reputation of a small hotel and keep it ahead in the competitive industry. You can implement these simple measures to ensure that each guest has an excellent experience during their stay at your hotel. A little extra effort will get you word-of-mouth recommendations and drive long-term retention for your business.