Travelling is often rife with stress and the potential for disaster, which means the hotels that offer next-level guest experience are uniquely positioned to attract and retain customers at far higher rates. Of course, providing that experience requires a thorough understanding of what guests expect—and putting the right technology and processes in place to deliver that.

This is especially important now that conference season is upon us, meaning long lines at the airport, taxi and rideshare pickup stations and even some hotel check-in desks. Add a delayed flight or lost luggage to the mix, and traveling suddenly becomes an exhausting nightmare. Serve as a lifesaver for travelers – providing comfort and calm amidst the headaches – and you’ll rise above the competition.

Guest expectations are evolving

According to a Deloitte Travel Industry study, the first airline and hotel app launched in 2009. Ten years later, there’s been a tremendous increase in consumer purchasing power and digital innovation, which has helped fuel record growth for the industry.

With so much competition and rising guest expectations, every touch point should be a priority for hotel owners and management. Getting answers to questions before arrival should be fast. The check-in process should be simple and easy. Room upkeep and maintenance response times should be brief. And so on.

After all, both leisure and business travelers expect a seamless hotel experience and frequently rely on reviews, likes and star ratings when making purchase decisions. Hotels must be cognizant of guest satisfaction before, during and even after a customer’s stay, or risk bad online reviews, lowered occupancy and more.

This all leads to one question: are you meeting and exceeding guest expectations start to finish, or are they sending potential new and repeat customers to your competitors?

Employee workflows are pivotal

Many moons ago, I worked at the front desk of a major hospitality chain, and it was one of the best and worst experiences of my life. It is not a role for the weak and weary, but I’m grateful I stuck it out. Between covering the PBX phones, handling billing issues, checking in a line of guests and handing out complimentary items, I was on the front lines every shift.

Today, as I travel to visit many of our Mitel partners, not much seems to have changed at the front desk except for better technology that often goes unused or unnoticed by managers. Not only is this a waste of valuable dollars, but it means these hotels needlessly experience serious workflow issues, miscommunications and missed opportunities for guest satisfaction.

Leveraging the right hospitality communications solutions means being able to automatically gather crucial data about staff productivity and workflows—and customer needs. This includes call logs to report higher-than-normal inquiry times and repeat guest preferences for a more personalized experience, which can make all the difference.

Get the likes you deserve from guests (and employees)

With increased competition in the industry – both from traditional players and new niche brands – a hassle-free experience for travelers has never been more important. The more hotels can get in front of the busy times, customer needs and service woes, the better the overarching hotel experience will be for both staff and guests—reducing employee turnover and improving guest satisfaction.

Leveraging the right communications solutions can transform your customer experience. Learn how to select the right ones for your business. >

Kilynn Sommer

Group Director, Field Marketing and Events - Americas

Kilynn Sommer leads the North America field marketing and events team. Previous to her time at Mitel, Sommer was in the healthcare and hospitality industry managing marketing, public relations and promotions for physician offices, major hospital service lines and convention and film businesses for the city of Dallas, Texas.

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