6 Hotel Personalization Ideas For Inspiration
Imagine offering each guest an experience so unique and perfectly attuned to their needs that they’d never dream of booking anywhere else. That’s the goal of hotel personalization, and it’s become an essential tool for properties seeking to differentiate themselves as travel continues to surge in the wake of the pandemic.
Half of Americans planned a leisure trip over the summer of 2023, according to consultancy firm Deloitte, and 91% planned a hotel stay – up eight percentage points from 2022. After the ups and downs of the past three years, these throngs of travelers are driven by a desire for connection and novelty, and seek unique experiences centered on their interests. A global survey by Hilton found that 86% of travelers are looking for personalization during their experiences and interactions.
Hotel personalization can take many forms over the course of a stay, from suggesting add-on excursions and activities that mesh with travelers’ interests to proactively making custom room arrangements in time for check-in. This degree of individual recognition is possible, even at scale across multiple properties – but it requires a commitment to gathering and sharing information on an unprecedented level.
Pillars of Successful Hotel Personalization
To maximize relevance, personalized guest experiences need to be consistent across touchpoints even as they adapt to guests’ changing behaviors and preferences. To implement successful hotel personalization initiatives, start with three foundational pillars:
- Understand your guests. Mine current customer information to create segments of guests based on their preferred price points, seasons, business or recreational travel activities, and spending patterns. These personas can be used to guide development of site content and promotional offers, and then expanded and refined based on response to those offerings. On a more granular level, gather preferences about individual guests both implicitly, by analyzing such signals as web browsing behaviors, and explicitly throughout the booking process, such as by asking them to specify their preferred type of pillow.
- Leverage the data. In order to make the most of guest information, you need robust back-end capabilities. Whether visitors use your website, customer service call center, or the front desk, information they share should be accessible across the company so that future interactions reflect preferences and spending history. Tapping other sources of digital data, such as social media activity, can help add further details to guest profiles.
- Use technology to shape experiences. Putting the data you’ve collected to good use is the crucial last step in creating personalized hotel experiences. Thanks to modern computing capabilities and the power of artificial intelligence (AI), it’s possible to synthesize data with predictive insights, and use that information to generate personalized experiences online in real time as visitors browse your website. Email messages, text alerts, and targeted social media campaigns can likewise be tailored to account for individual preferences. And once guests are physically on your property, you can reference aggregated customer profiles to add personal touches to rooms and offer relevant add-ons and extras during guest stays.
Establishing a foundation on understanding guests, effectively leveraging collected data, and utilizing advanced technology are indispensable pillars for successful hotel personalization. With these principles firmly in place, hotels can not only craft personalized experiences that resonate deeply with guests but also anticipate and meet their evolving needs and preferences.
This proactive and thoughtful approach to personalization fosters a more engaging and satisfying guest experience, leading to enhanced loyalty and repeat business. By continually refining these pillars, hotels can stay ahead in the competitive hospitality market, consistently delivering exceptional, personalized service that distinguishes their brand and delights every guest.
6 Creative Hotel Personalization Ideas
Personalization can improve the guest experience starting from the first interactions with your brand. By providing opportunities to tailor stays according to individual preferences and continually honing digital offerings and options, you’ll create a one-of-a-kind brand experience that fosters a deep connection. Top ways to personalize at any stage of the customer journey include:
#1: Crafting First Impressions with Tailored Online Experiences
Tailored experiences can start at first contact with your brand. From the moment visitors start browsing your website, you can hone in on the content that reflects individual preferences. Visitors can also explicitly provide information to tailor the experience. Celebrity Cruises offers a “dream vacation builder” to capture data points such as preferred departure city and travel season, then interprets the results in real-time to deliver one-to-one experiences on the home page and beyond that reflect visitors’ selections.
#2: Deal Alerts for Personalized Notifications to Prospective Guests
Boost engagement by sending meticulously crafted deal alerts to your potential guests. Tailor these alerts based on the visitor’s browsing history and expressed preferences to increase relevance and appeal. Consider offering email and SMS signups so they can be alerted to price drops, package deals, discounts for add-ons such as free breakfast or parking, and relevant seasonal specials.
Such personalized notifications serve as gentle nudges towards booking while fostering a sense of connection and understanding between the guest and your hotel brand, laying the groundwork for a lasting relationship.
#3: Create a Unique Booking Process for Each Guest
Present a booking process that mirrors the uniqueness of every guest. Enable customization options for room selection, amenity choices, and special packages, providing an empowering and personal booking experience.
Giving guests control over their booking details not only enhances satisfaction but also helps you gather essential information to craft an experience that aligns with their desires and expectations, setting the stage for a delightful stay. Capturing the number of people in their party, the type of accommodations they seek, and the timeframe they’re looking for can prompt upsell and cross-sell recommendations.
#4: Delivering Unique Experiences with Personalized Room and Amenities
Once travelers have arrived on your property, it’s time to marshall all the knowledge you’ve accumulated so far to deliver a one-of-a-kind experience – whether proactively stocking extra pool towels for the family or providing chargers for the right mobile devices. Such bespoke touches inspire delight and earn travelers’ trust, demonstrating that the information they’ve shared is being used to elevate their experiences.
#5: Personalized Concierge Picks Offering Unique Local Experiences
Visitors are looking for more than just a place to lay their heads. Nearly half of respondents in Hilton’s survey, 49%, said they want to immerse themselves in local culture, while 40% say they’re looking for personalized experiences such as performances, classes, or spa treatments. Provide suggestions up-front for local attractions, dining, and recreation based on guests’ booking details.
#6: Loyalty Rewards That Matter with Tailored Benefits for Returning Guests
Loyalty deserves recognition and reward. Design a loyalty program that resonates with your guests by providing options that truly appeal to them and tiered rewards that acknowledge and appreciate frequent stays.
By doing so, your loyalty program not only adds value but becomes a testament to your understanding and appreciation of your guests, encouraging them to choose your hotel time and again for their travel needs.
What Are the Most Important Personalization Software Features for Hotel Marketing Teams?
Hotel experiences that are personalized for travelers from start to finish require a comprehensive toolset that derives meaning from every interaction and tailors experiences dynamically. Key features to seek out include:
- Dynamic content: Detecting whether visitors have come to the site via ad campaigns, synthesizing initial clicks or taps with predictive data, and recognizing past visitors or return customers can all help deliver the relevant experiences that drive bookings.
- Recommendations: Tailored suggestions for upgrades or add-on extras should sync not only with the other content on the page, but with the viewer’s past site behavior and purchases, if any.
- Social proof: The capability to flag which offerings are liked, shared, and sold the most gives viewers a new way to browse deals or packages through a display of “trending” items. Highlighting which rooms are going fast adds a sense of urgency.
- Privacy controls: A fast-changing regulatory environment surrounding online privacy means that hoteliers need transparency when it comes to data sources and usage. Site users increasingly expect to be able to manage their own data sharing and set privacy preferences.
- Reporting and analysis: Personalization tools should go beyond standard metrics to help hoteliers discover new usage patterns that can lead to creating new audience segments.
Choosing the right personalization software is imperative for hotel marketing teams aiming to craft bespoke, delightful guest experiences from the first click to checkout. The key features outlined—dynamic content, tailored recommendations, social proof, privacy controls, and advanced reporting and analysis—are fundamental in navigating the intricate landscape of guest expectations and preferences.
By investing in a software tool that embodies these capabilities, hotels not only empower their marketing strategies but also take a significant leap towards building guest loyalty, enhancing brand image, and ultimately, driving revenue in the highly competitive hospitality industry. Unlock the power of personalized guest experiences with Monetate, driving repeat bookings and upselling effortlessly while crafting unforgettable stays for your guests! Learn More!
Stay on Top of Hotel Personalization Trends
The tools and techniques that support personalization are increasingly more than “nice to haves;” they have a concrete impact on the bottom line. Getting it right matters: consulting firm McKinsey reports that personalization typically generates a 10% to 15% revenue lift – but can boost revenues by as much as 25% for top-performing companies. Monetate Personalization can help make your initiatives successful – and we offer free demos.
Hotels have much to gain by implementing comprehensive personalization, especially as the needs of travelers are only set to diversify further in the future. “Bleisure” travel blending business and pleasure is on the rise, raising expectations that hotel services can pivot from work to play and back again; families are looking for efficient, hassle-free experiences such as electric vehicle charging stations and guaranteed connecting rooms, according to the Hilton report.
Personalization can help meet these evolving expectations. By anticipating and serving the unique needs of each traveler, regardless of how they book, check in, and stay in touch with your property, you can foster the loyalty that leads to long-term revenue growth.