Spanning everything from the essential (Wi-Fi, housekeeping) to the exotic (dog concierge, selfie assistant), services offer a myriad of possibilities for guest interactions, and help enrich the customer experience. Of course, services that tie in with your hotel story are particularly valuable, as they can strengthen your overall concept. In-room poker sets and whisky tastings will bring a distinctive appeal to a hotel whose story revolves around “great times with friends”.
Keep in mind that…
When building a hotel concept, the level of services offered is an important consideration. Depending on your positioning and target audience, you could settle on anything from the barebone experience of a no-frills hostel or motel to the “your-wish-is-my-command” approach of some palace hotels.
The degree of technology is also important. While a free – and reliable – Wi-Fi connection is now considered a commodity in most hotels, some establishments also offer Bluetooth speakers, connected TVs with Netflix or Apple TV, or chatbot concierges available anytime, anywhere. It’s important to consider which of these services actually add value for your guests, and whether they make sense in relation to the story. Signature services are often exclusive to a specific hotel or location. When devised as an extension of the hotel story, they can leave a lasting impression on the customer and generate great PR value. For instance, a wilderness retreat could offer a digital detox kit for guests wishing to reconnect with nature.
“Consider which services actually add value to the guest experience.”
Start with the basics. It doesn’t matter how exhaustive your service catalogue is, if the bedroom is dirty or the water cold, your customers won’t be back. Structure your offering with different service levels, from essential to nice-to-have, and make sure you deliver on what you promise. In a similar logic, always stop to consider how your services match with your story, your positioning and your audience. A good service offering should be an investment, not a burden.
Questions to ask yourself
- Map out all possible service touchpoints in your customer journey. Which ones are indispensable ? Which ones can you do without ?
- Did you define standards for service excellence ? How are you empowering your staff to deliver on them ?
- Do you have a signature service that expresses your hotel story ?
Get inspired by: The Ritz Carlton, Worldwide
The Ritz Carlton chain empowers its employees by allowing them to spend up to $2,000 per guest, per incident, in order to improve or fix an aspect of the customer experience, without having to ask a higher-up for approval. This lines up perfectly with the “Ladies and Gentlemen serving Ladies and Gentlemen” story of Ritz Carlton.
Get inspired by: CityHub Amsterdam, Netherlands
The Dutch hospitality concept CityHub fully embraces the digital age, offering a host of connected services to its young customers. Guests are provided with bracelets that both open their room door and unlock the beer taps at the hotel bar. The CityHub app lets guests interact directly with locals (the “CityHosts”) to find out about the best attractions and parties. As for internet access, free portable Wi-Fi hotspots are available to avoid hefty roaming fees.