Symmons Blog

The Key to a Great Guest Experience: Understanding Your Customers

A great guest experience starts with understanding your customers. Here are three ways to build customer empathy to create a better guest experience.

understanding customers for great hotel guest experience

How often do you think about what your customers want when you’re strategizing hotel features to include in your guest experience?

This can be a hard question to answer. In the hospitality business, providing guests an exceptional stay is paramount in creating customer loyalty, obtaining favorable reviews, and having previous customers book your hotel again for future services. The best guest experience is dependent on how your staff engages with the customer at every point of their hotel stay — from check-in to check-out — as they are interacting with numerous staff members and amenities at various times. It can take just one poor encounter or event to ruin their entire stay, and it can be difficult to figure out what caused their specific issue.

To build customer empathy, you have to take a proactive step in understanding more about your customers. Then, you can focus on how people see your hotel brand, what they desire during their stay, and what may have been lacking when they visited your hotel. You need to proverbially “walk in their shoes” so that you can appeal to their changing needs. Here are three ways to build customer empathy to create a better guest experience.

Know Your Customer

You may have access to marketing research regarding your target customers. Yet, this data doesn’t give you a more in-depth view of what people are talking about in regard to your hotel. Are people familiar with your brand and award-winning customer service? Do they know about your features and VIP amenities?

To know more about what your customers are thinking, you have to see what they are saying about your hotel and brand. You can gather customer data and research using online reputation management strategies.

You can set up social monitoring in the form of online tags and alerts so that you are notified whenever someone uses your hotel name in a review or mentions it on social media. This strategy will allow you to instantly read reviews, even on sites that may not be hotel-related. You can also read reviews left on sites such as TripAdvisor and on your social media pages.

Also, take advantage of surveys and social media polls. At every opportunity, let guests share their opinions about your operations, amenities, and what they would like to see as part of your hotel offerings.

Integrate Customer Data into Your Brand

You can now review all the customer data gathered from polls, surveys, and reviews. You want to look for two things:

  • What your customers desire in your hotel, and
  • How they currently perceive your brand.

You may be surprised when reading the polls and reviews that guests will mention things that were great customer experiences for them, as you can look for ways to promote these aspects in future marketing strategies.

Other times, you may find that the brand values that you are promoting does not align to what customers want or how they perceive your brand. In these instances, you have to take a step back and figure out how to better listen to your customers. Then you can implement their requests into your brand strategy, which can lead to better reviews and increased profits.

Respond to Changing Customer Demands

While you can build customer empathy by learning what a guest wants at your hotel, it doesn’t actually mean that you have to implement every demand to the point where you are losing money. You need to understand a customer’s cost sensitivity when placing in different features into your hotel. Oftentimes, what a customer wants and what they would actually be willing to pay for can be two entirely different circumstances.

This is especially true during economic times when there is a recession. You may end up placing in these features and raising room rates only to find out that customers simply don’t have the travel funds. An alternative to adding new features is to create experienced-based amenities.

This large consumer trend started back in 2010 with Gen Y and Millennials and is still popular today. Instead of simply offering features in the hotel, you can team up with tour companies, businesses, and other resorts to offer special VIP package deals. If a guest stays at your hotel, they can also take part in scuba diving, hiking, or nearby resort amenities for a specified length of time or at a reduced rate.

When creating a winning guest experience, you want guests to enjoy every bit of your hotel: from the dining experience to the room features. Improve your guest experience by offering superior customer service throughout your building. Contact us today to learn how Symmons can help you create a positive guest experience with always-hot, always-reliable showers with our water management software.

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