The vast amount of hotel choices at consumers’ fingertips make both the digital and in-person guest experience crucial in securing new business and maintaining customer satisfaction. In the ever-evolving age of technology, hotel apps are making it easier than ever to browse, book and manage an online hotel reservation. Of course, recurring customers and new guests may also engage with travel search engines or third-party booking sites for online hotel reservations. Reviews posted on online hotel reservation sites can heavily influence the overall guest experience, which starts even before a guest arrives, so it is important to be aware of both the positive and negative effects reviews can have on your business.
Reviews on third-party booking sites may be outside of your control, but you can control what happens during your guests’ stay and enhance it with the help of a seamless mobile app that allows you to customize their guest experience. Here are a few examples of how hotel apps are elevating the digital guest experience by tapping into the growing need for quick and efficient solutions with the help of technology.
- Reimagining Check-In/Check-Out: No more waiting in lines to check into or out of your room. Hotel apps make it easy with just a touch of a button to upgrade, change rooms or request a late check-out with new hotel app features.
- Real-Time Requests: Whether a guest wants to order in-room dining, schedule a wakeup call or order fresh towels, hotel apps can be a streamlined and efficient answer to guest needs.
- Seamless Searching: In-app search functions allow your guests to not only review and select their hotel quickly based on easy-to-see criteria like location, price or amenities, but also have access to reviews from confirmed customers.
- Easy Access: Hotel brands like Hilton and Marriott are using the key card feature within their app, solving the age-old issue of lost or forgotten key cards.
With countless hotel options, it’s important not to get lost in the shuffle. A glowing review is a surefire way to set yourself apart from the masses. TripAdvisor says 83 percent of users will reference reviews before deciding where to book a hotel. This is great when the reviews are positive but can be a challenge when they are negative – or worse, out of your control.
Take bed bugs, for example. These unwanted pests have proven themselves to be great hitchhikers, stealthily entering your hotel on guests’ luggage and personal belongings. This means they can appear in your hotel overnight – literally. A negative review about bed bugs on an online hotel reservation site could be your demise if not handled swiftly and efficiently. Taking initiative, responding online and providing solutions are key to handling any situation that arises from a negative online review.
Whether you receive a poor review due to bed bugs or a customer service experience, your business’s responsiveness matters. Customers want to feel heard and 85 percent of people agree that a thoughtful response to a negative review of your hotel will improve the impression for the customer. Offering a quick answer to a question or explaining how any matter has been handled is the most effective response in the wake of a negative review.
Situations will arise that are difficult to anticipate. Take time to create a set of quick solutions that are ready to mollify a situation, whether it is a free night’s stay or a drink at the hotel bar. Provide a way for your guests to feel like you and your hotel staff are working to make their guest experience great.
Not everything is in your control but take preemptive measures where you can. When it comes to unwanted pests and bed bugs, train your housekeepers to be your watchmen. Be vigilant with professional inspections to catch and treat problems early and make sure you know how to respond in the event of a bed bug claim in a review.
Guests are experiencing great benefits from online hotel reservations and hotel app features making travel more personalized, simpler and easier with just the tap of a finger.