A modern age hotelier's skill: predicting guest expectations.
As a hotelier, how do you ensure that you are able to predict the expectations of your guests?
Well, a hotel's core purpose is to accommodate guests to the best of their ability, or, to “make them feel at home”. Thus, there are multiple gestures or actions a hotel can do to satisfy guests, regardless of predicting guests’ expectations. For example, being friendly and professional, providing a guest with complimentary items, or even upgrading their room to a suite.
Now the tricky part of this question lies within that word “predict”. Hotels all over the world are looking for ways to maximize guest satisfaction levels, which have resulted in hotels predicting what the guest needs and wants. The world we live in today is highly diverse in which you cannot categorize guests or customers based on skin colour.
Therefore, it is impossible to predict the expectations of all your guests.
Now working in Dubai, a global pitstop for all types of travellers, showed me that guests demand different needs and wants.
In my opinion, there are only two methods that can assist a hotel to even begin to predict the guests’ expectations. One, which would be based on the guests’ culture. Individuals are brought up with culture-related values which ground them to desire what they want and need in life. The second method would simply be based on repeated guests. On the guest’s initial checkout, you can learn what his/her expectations were, whether it is by asking them or by receiving a review. Thus, this method is highly supported and accurate as the guest provides the hotel with his/her preferences, allowing the hotel to meet or even exceed expectations, upon the next encounter.
By identifying what the guest preferences are, the hotel can customize the guests’ experience. When expectations are met or exceeded, guests are highly likely to return, which creates a loyal relationship between the hotel and the guest.
For students entering the industry, how do you utilize the resources from the environment around you to make a difference?
Amongst students’ word of mouth is highly effective. Thus, I urge them to speak to hoteliers or if they can, industry leaders to identify what is important and how the industry operates. The use of social media is inevitable; thus I recommend students to follow reliable hospitality sources that will provide accurate and up to date procedures that the industry Is following.
The hospitality industry is highly dependent on the up and coming millennials, that could provide the industry with a new trend or business plan. Thus, it is imperative that students stay vigilant and identify what has failed in the industry versus what has succeeded.