These days, everyone expects personalization from their favorite hospitality brands. The next frontier is hyper-personalization.
Everyone in the hospitality industry knows by now that personalization is a powerful tool for creating a unique and memorable customer experience. By tailoring offerings to individual needs and preferences, hotels, resorts, and spa and wellness businesses can set themselves apart from competitors and build strong, long-lasting guest relationships. A vast majority of customers today want and expect personalized experiences.
Why? One key benefit of personalization in hospitality is that it allows businesses to create a more emotional connection with their guests. In 2015, researchers Alan Zorfas, and Daniel Leemon found that creating an emotional connection with customers can yield big payoffs. They wrote in the Harvard Business Review:
“Many companies are busy mapping their customer experience… Their stated goal is typically to improve customer satisfaction at each step of the customer journey. But overall customer satisfaction is often already high, and seldom a competitive differentiator.
“Our research across hundreds of brands in dozens of categories shows that the most effective way to maximize customer value is to move beyond mere customer satisfaction and connect with customers at an emotional level.”
Personalization is an effective way to do that. When guests feel that a hotel or restaurant understands their individual preferences and desires, they are more likely to feel valued and appreciated, which creates that connection. Separate research on product personalization found that the amount of effort invested into creating personalized products has both a direct effect and an indirect effect on the strength of the emotional bond a person develops with the product.
The power of data
Data can help businesses to better understand their guests and anticipate their needs. By collecting data on guest preferences and behavior, businesses can create more targeted marketing campaigns and develop more effective strategies for improving guest satisfaction. A hotel, resort, or spa can use data on a guest’s past stay preferences to offer them a personalized room or experience upgrade.
Technology has expanded the possibilities of personalization in recent years. With the help of tools like customer relationship management (CRM) software and artificial intelligence (AI), businesses can automate the process of collecting and analyzing guest data, making it easier to provide personalized journeys at scale.
The next frontier, so to speak, is what people are calling hyper-personalization. In traditional personalization, companies typically use basic information such as a customer’s name, location, and past purchases to deliver relevant messages, recommendations, and experiences. Hyper-personalization takes this one step further by incorporating a combination of historical and real-time data covering purchase history, behavior, and preferences across the entire customer journey. They may also use social media activity, and even biometric data.
A company can then create the most personalized experience and provide the best possible service offerings moment by moment, by anticipating a customer’s needs and providing personalized solutions in real-time. As this becomes the norm, eventually, all “personalization” will be “hyper-personalization.”
Here are just three ways your spa and ancillary revenue software system can help create hyper-personalized journeys.
1. Sharing information across multiple properties
In the second decade of the 21st century, a hotel, resort, or spa is expected to know a customer’s name, contact information, and relevant health information before that person arrives to check-in. They are also expected to collect purchase history and preference information – like slipper and robe size, and preferred products, snacks and beverages. They should also have a system that makes the data shareable across multiple properties once it’s logged. Book4Time will do this for your spa and ancillary revenue services. This means, for example, that when a customer who has visited your spa in New York City decides to visit the spa at your Bangkok location, that location already has all that guest’s information and can greet them accordingly. This is one of the best ways to elevate the guest journey all over the world.
2. Exquisite surprises
It’s standard for service providers to note special and relevant information, like important dates and conversation topics, for service enhancements, like giving the guest a birthday gift. These tidbits can also keep the conversation flowing when the guest returns to the spa (“How was your birthday?” for example). Hyper-personalization takes this a step further. If, for example, a guest shares with a massage therapist that it’s their anniversary, that they just got engaged, or they are pregnant, with Book4Time, this information can be quietly shared with the front desk through a mobile device, and a special package prepared to surprise the guest at checkout, without the service provider ever leaving the room or making an audible call – an almost magical touch.
3. Real-time retail recommendations
Features like Book4Time’s Shopping Cart allow your service providers to communicate treatment notes and suggested retail items directly with the front desk through a mobile device, placing the items in a virtual cart, so desk staff can continue with the recommendation for suggested retail purchases at checkout. This streamlines the process and keeps communication flow between team members open to create that hyper-personalized wow factor, while increasing upsells and retail sales.
A more engaging customer journey
Overall, personalization creates a more engaging customer journey, and is a critical element of success in the hospitality industry. By leveraging technology and data to create tailored experiences for their guests, businesses can build stronger relationships, increase loyalty, and drive long-term success.
Spa Executive is published by Book4Time, the leader in guest management, revenue and mobile solutions for the most exclusive spas, hotels, and resorts around the globe. Learn more at book4time.com.
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