Personalizing guest experience on the basis of guest type

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Personalized guest experiences pre-date the arrival of digital technology by centuries.

Where the concierge’s little black book of yore may have given way to loyalty programs and artificial intelligence, the intentions remain the same: accommodate needs and preferences, maintain impeccable levels of service and create memorable experiences that entice customers to return.

The proliferation of loyalty clubs and points programs can cause businesses to overlook the fact that recognizing and taking care of a valued customer may mean something different for each individual.

Accumulating upgrades or free stays can be useful ways to keep score of customer value, but these practices are far from personalized.

Recognition and proactive attention to detail — like providing a frequent guest with their preferred room next to the health club — can be the key to higher booking levels and greater profits.

Winners in the hospitality and travel sectors recognize this truth, and they’re acting on it.

In this article, we segment hotel customers into three broad categories based on their travel search behavior.

You can use this segmentation to understand what different types of travelers want so that you can attract them to your property.

City travelers search for accommodation for less than 5 days with a majority on weekends.

These travelers usually travel with a partner, family, or friends, that is, they rarely travel alone.

Their main travel interests are sightseeing, shopping, and experiencing the local culture, of which trying out new food and drinks is a significant part.

City travelers like to stay in/around the city center, whether in an independent and boutique hotel or a hotel chain, depending on the budget. Sometimes, however, they might prefer the outskirts of the city, especially if the city they’re visiting is packed to the brim with tourists during that season.

Search behavior insights revealed that having a complimentary breakfast and Wi-Fi is a must for city travelers, followed by a pool.

Here’re other offerings with which you can provide memorable guest experiences for city travelers:

City travelers appreciate recommendations as they like to hit the destination’s main attractions.

Make sure you provide them with a map suggesting all the major attractions and eating joints or bars around the hotel and in the city.
Collaborate with local tour guides and other group activities.

You can also promote special offers and packages for the same at your hotel reception.
Lastly, there should be a receptionist with decent knowledge about the city available all the time, in case guests have any questions related to the destination or available means of transport.

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Business travelers
Who they are:
Business travelers search for accommodation on trivago* for less than 5 days with a majority on weekdays. These travelers usually travel alone. Their main travel interests are only work-related. They’d usually be not interested in sightseeing; however, they might be interested to visit some high-quality restaurants for personal as well as business purposes.

Where they like to stay:
For business travelers, the location of stay greatly matters on the location of their meeting, convention, office, and other places of work. As they’re usually not footing the bill, business travelers are less price sensitive. Therefore, their preferred accommodation types are the established hotel brands, which give them loyalty rewards and free upgrades. This helps them enjoy comfortable, and sometimes luxurious stays without paying anything from their own pockets.

Which amenities they want:
trivago* search behavior insights revealed that while searching their ideal hotel, business travelers pick properties with 5-star or 4-star accreditation with excellent ratings. Having free breakfast, pool, Wi-Fi, and car park are other essential facilities for most of them.

In addition to the above-mentioned amenities, here’re a few other personalization tips to help business travelers make the most of their stay:

Keep in mind that business travelers are frequent travelers. Delight them so that you can earn their loyalty. Offer your guests complimentary drinks in the bar or free high-speed Wi-Fi connection so that they can work with ease.
Another way to delight business travelers is by offering an upgrade to them, whenever possible. These are one of the biggest at-property spenders as they’re most of the time too tired to get out of their rooms after a hectic day at work. Keep them happy and you’ll see that even after an upgraded stay, business from them is much more profitable.
Business travelers sometimes look for fine-dining, luxurious restaurant recommendations for business purposes. It’d be amazing if you’ve one at your property; if not, keep a list of all the nearby fancy restaurants handy.
Another very important facility for business travelers is laundry and ironing service. Also, make sure that business travelers have irons in their rooms already before they check-in.
Holiday travelers
Who they are:
Holiday travelers search for accommodation on trivago* for more than 5 days. Their preferred holiday type is sun and beach or mountain. They’re mostly interested in sightseeing, experiencing nature, water or other adventure sports, and relaxing. Because of this, they’re usually more flexible than city and business travelers as they aren’t in a hurry and like to experience things at their own pace. Such travelers usually travel with their partner, family, or friends

Where they like to stay:
Holiday travelers like staying at places that are near to a beach or at a mountain top. They usually prefer hotels that have in-house adventure sports, activities, breakfast and buffet spreads, spa, sauna, and other relaxing facilities. A big chunk of holiday travelers also prefers Bed & Breakfast (B&B) so that they can enjoy the place in their privacy and comfort.

Search behavior insights revealed that just like business travelers, the quality of rooms and accreditation and ratings of a property is the most important to holiday travelers as well.

While planning their holidays, most of them pick accommodations that are 5-star or 4-star. They also like having access to free breakfast, pool, beach, air conditioning, car park, and spa.

Let’s see which other facilities might attract holiday travelers in addition to the ones mentioned above:

Like city travelers, holiday travelers also like visiting major attractions. So, make sure you have a map or guide suggesting all nearby must-see places and must-do activities.
Holiday travelers prefer hotels that provide complimentary breakfast and/or dinner buffet They’d also be willing to pay for food and drinks upfront while booking the hotel rather than shelling out money for each meal.

EndnoteTo ensure personalization for these guests, have at-property fun and adventurous activities for the whole family. If it isn’t possible to have anything inside the property, collaborate with local clubs and create special packages for your guests.
Along with the pool, holiday travelers like relaxing in a sauna and spa. You can also have paid massage services at your property.

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