Imagine walking into a hotel room and finding a note with your name on it beside a plate of your favourite food. As you open it, the note details all the hotel amenities and suggests dishes similar to the one in front of you. The hotel even went the extra mile to recommend local attractions that align with your interests. Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it?
Personalisation is of paramount importance in many industries, especially in the hospitality sector. It enables businesses to tailor experiences and services to meet the unique needs and preferences of individual customers, leading to enhanced customer satisfaction and loyalty. Ready to wine and dine your way into loyalty? Let’s delve into this fascinating realm.
Understanding personalisation in the hospitality industry
Personalisation is a burgeoning trend in several sectors, with hospitality being a prominent one. Hotels and restaurants that leverage customer data can craft tailored experiences that cater to individual needs, including personalised ads, rewards, room amenities and dining recommendations. The right personalisation strategy can significantly enhance guest satisfaction, differentiate businesses and bolster brand reputation. Consequently, it’s no surprise that an increasing number of hospitality companies are incorporating personalisation into their offerings.
However, personalisation must be executed with the utmost care to address privacy concerns for guests. Collecting and using hospitality customers’ data or over-personalisation can make some guests feel uncomfortable and deter them from returning.
Furthermore, not all hotels and restaurants have the capacity to offer extensive personalisation options, and some personalisation efforts may translate into increased workload for staff. Implementing personalisation can be intricate, necessitating advanced technology and data analytics in the hospitality sector.
The past and the future of personalisation
The concept of personalisation in marketing dates back to the 1990s. However, merely targeting customers based on manual segmentation or personalising a message using their name is no longer sufficient. With technological advancements, particularly in machine learning (ML) techniques and the growing utilisation of artificial intelligence (AI), marketing activities can now be highly individualised and personalised.
Machine learning collects three general types of data:
- Customer interaction: Data related to reservations, special requests or other interactions are valuable for the hospitality business.
- Product or service ratings: Beyond traditional reviews, tracking activity is crucial for personalisation efforts.
- Customer demographics: Information like age group, location or preferred communication channel serves as the foundation for personalisation marketing systems.
Strategies to personalise loyalty touchpoints in the hospitality sector
Once you’ve gathered all the necessary data with the help of ML or AI, the next step is to develop profiles to gain a better understanding of individual preferences, behaviours, and their relationship with your business. While customised communication is prevalent in today’s marketing strategies, it’s essential not to overlook it. Utilise customer preferences to suggest personalised dining options, activities or even local experiences. The collected data can also inform the design of marketing campaigns that align with individual customer profiles.
Tailored services are an excellent way to make your customers feel like royalty. Offering choices in bedding, room amenities, room temperature, lighting or entertainment based on past stay data can greatly enhance their experience.
Real-time personalisation allows you to customise a customer’s journey during their stay by suggesting local attractions or events. An omnichannel approach can be incredibly valuable here.
Personalise the survey after the stay to encourage completion and gather more data from your customers. Your communication should not end when your guest leaves the hotel or restaurant. Remind customers of your services and regularly update customer profiles to ensure ongoing customisation. Adapt your strategies based on evolving market trends. All of this can be managed through a customer loyalty management programme.
The best loyalty programmes out there enable you to recognise and celebrate important occasions, such as birthdays or anniversaries, with personalised offers, messages, decorations or small gifts. Furthermore, customer loyalty programs can offer rewards based on individual users’ preferences, spending habits and interests.
AI-powered personalisation tools
One tool that facilitates the creation of unique personalisation solutions for the hospitality industry is the Comarch Loyalty Marketing Platform. This AI-powered loyalty platform delivers personalised customer experiences across multiple touchpoints. It achieves this through four main pillars:
- Loyalty management: Design and launch engaging marketing campaigns for the hospitality sector.
- Data analytics: Easily personalise marketing campaigns and analyse them in a matter of seconds.
- Marketing automation: Building and visualising customer journeys enables you to send the right message at the right time.
- Omnichannel marketing applications: A dedicated set of front-end apps that enhance customers’ interactions with loyalty programmes.
The presented tools and additional features, such as gamification elements, fraud detection or a mobile app help you build long-lasting customer relationships and, ultimately, lead to improved ROI.
In today’s dynamic hospitality landscape, personalised experiences can elevate a good hotel stay to a great one. More and more consumers expect brands to understand their preferences and be thoughtful, driving the industry to give their guests what they crave. Tailoring services and creating the ideal experience are key ingredients in increasing customer loyalty. Leverage technologies such as ML or AI in your marketing efforts for personalisation and create the trip of a lifetime.
If you want to learn more about trends in hospitality, download the ‘Hospitality Report 2023’ prepared by Comarch and The Loyalty People.