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Creating a Winning Digital Experience in Hospitality

Discover the key ingredients for a successful digital guest experience in the hospitality industry in our latest article.

Creating a Winning Digital Experience in Hospitality

Embracing new technology is essential for businesses looking to stay ahead of the competition, but it’s important to use technology in a way that best suits your industry. Not every digital solution will fit every business.

In the hospitality industry, one of the best uses of new technologies is in the creation of digital guest experiences. These digital experiences can help enhance a guest’s stay in a hotel by offering them new benefits, making communication easier, and allowing greater access to information.

Read on to discover more about creating a digital guest experience in hospitality; including best practices and the experience’s overall place in your digital transformation journey.

What is a Digital Guest Experience in Hospitality?

Before we look at useful functions and features to include in a digital guest experience, it’s important to understand what the term actually refers to.

A digital guest experience is the means by which your guests interact with your business digitally during their stay at your hotel. The experience is usually focused on a digital product created specially for your business, such as a custom-designed website or a branded app. Using this platform, the customer can enjoy the different features offered by your digital experience.

There are many different features that a digital guest experience in hospitality might include, but the basics include:

  • Communications tools so users can contact customer services as well as hotel staff.
  • Simple portals for common requests such as room cleaning or food orders.
  • Guides on things to do in and around the hotel, potentially with hotel-specific discounts.
  • User profiles, so that preferences and visit history can be saved. This also helps with data capture and the personalisation of marketing later down the line.

Best Practices For Creating a Digital Guest Experience in Hospitality

We’ve provided some basic functions that your digital experience should include. However, how can you ensure the experience you provide goes above and beyond? Here are a few best practices for building a digital guest experience in hospitality:

Seamless Customer Journey

One of the biggest customer experience wins that technology can provide is a big increase in convenience: having a dedicated brand app (or a custom-made website) for bookings, check-in and check-out makes life so much easier for your guests — a fact they will likely appreciate.

However, the quality of your digital product will decide the level of convenience it actually affords your guests. You need to make sure the design does not interfere with functionality and ease of use, but without taking away the visual appeal of your app or website. There’s also branding to think about: users should know that they’re enjoying your company’s digital guest experience, not a generic tool used by several brands.

To guarantee quality, it’s a good idea to outsource digital product development to experts like Future Platforms. For example, while working with Workspace, we helped create an accessible, streamlined room booking system that would be a huge asset for any hotel.

Personalised Communication

Marketing is hugely important for businesses, but it can sometimes become an issue with consumers. Your hotel guests will likely want to be made aware of things like discounts or promotions, but they also won’t want to be overwhelmed by constant communications, regardless of the value offered.

A great way to find a good balance is to use your digital guest experience for data capture. By allowing guests to make user profiles, they can customise the frequency of marketing, while you collect information on their preferences and buying habits. This benefits everyone, since guests are only contacted when they want, while you can ensure the communications they do receive are highly personalised and much more likely to lead to sales.

Personalised communication can also be sent via the digital experience during the guests’ stay. Small but useful functions like wake-up calls or alerts for hotel services (such as spas or restaurants) can also help to boost customer satisfaction.

Continuous Improvement

Listening to your customers is essential. As such, any digital guest experience in hospitality will benefit from a function that allows users to submit feedback. Even more important, however, is that you as a business listen to the feedback and implement suggestions that would improve your digital product.

A general rule is that your app or website should always be growing and evolving — even if that just means updating the images of rooms or eliminating small technical glitches. Major overhauls can be useful, but they’re a little trickier to pull off perfectly: your loyal customers could be ostracised if you change too much of the digital product.

Digital Transformation in the Hospitality Industry

Implementing a digital guest experience is a great first step. But what’s next? Technology can be implemented into almost any business function, but you need to make sure that digital assets are employed where they’ll be most effective. Completing an efficiency review of your operations is a good idea, as it identifies where automation is most needed.

A key point to remember is that total customer satisfaction is the end goal of your digital transformation. Research by Deloitte finds that 67% of hotel guests said they felt most satisfied when empowered with digital technology, especially when that technology lets them tailor their hotel experience to their personal preferences. By catering to this majority through digital transformation, you can ensure your hotel is booked out year-round.

Creating Incredible Digital Products With Future Platforms

Looking to create your own digital guest experience in hospitality? Leveraging digital products to improve your guests’ stay can help you stay competitive in an ever-evolving landscape. If you’re not sure where to start, try Future Platforms.

Our expert team of app developers and web designers can help you craft an incredible digital experience for anyone staying at your hotel. We have a huge depth of experience building any kind of digital asset, as well as a keen understanding of our clients’ needs. If you want to learn more about working with us, get in touch today.