do hotels really need to compete with home stays?
By Piyush Kedia
18 April 2019
Budget hotels and B&Bs have come a long way in the last decade and their numbers have increased exponentially. Access to these properties has also become easier with the advent of aggregators that promote and list them. Travelers usually opt for budget hotels or B&Bs when they are looking to spend less or are not keen on availing any ancillary services apart from a clean bed to sleep in.

Full service hotels are still the preferred choice of business and leisure travelers who want to have a luxurious and comfortable stay. The ancillary offerings at hotels still attracts a lot of guests. That being said, hotels need to constantly innovate to delight their guests and ensure that they keep coming back.

Services & facilities are a big attraction
Great hotel stays always bring back delightful memories of extreme comfort, lip smacking food, fun in the pool and a relaxing spa experience. These are the kind of experiences a budget hotel or a B&B cannot offer. Hence only hotels have the potential to create pleasant memories that a traveler would love to repeat.

Hotels have to realize that these ancillary services play an important role in attracting travelers to select a full-service hotel compared to budget hotels or B&B’s. Encouraging guests to use room service, restaurants, and wellness spa will ensure that guests have a good time and return for another stay. They are more likely to recommend such hotels to other too.

Personalized and superior guest experience is a differentiator
Guests love it when they are made to feel special - in the form of upgrades, personalized deals or unique experiences. Special requests from guests should be encouraged and seen as an opportunity to make an impression and create a loyal customer. Guests have lower service expectations from budget hotels and B&B’s as their USP is lower room tariffs, but expectations from full service hotels is high.

Since guest expectations are high, it is important that hotels are able to identify what each guest likes and cater to special requests with ease. Offering personalized deals makes guests feel privileged and can make a big impact in providing value to guests.

Consistent service is highly desirable
Guests like to receive the quality of service that they have been promised and dislike negative surprises. Consistent service helps in increasing the trust towards the hotel brand and guests feel more comfortable in selecting the same brand again for future stays. Hence hotels should focus on standardizing services and guest interaction.

Providing high quality service consistently is resource intensive and requires constant improvement. Budget hotels and B&B’s are constrained by resources, hence guest experience is generally not consistent. Luxury hotels usually ensure that only experienced staff interact with guests and the information provided to guests is consistent with what they can deliver.
What it takes to delight your guests?
Ensuring that your guests get personal attention and high-quality service every time they stay with you, requires great commitment from every member of the crew. The hotel management has to make a conscious effort to create a culture of enthusiasm and responsibility towards guests needs.

With hotels getting bigger, guest expectations increasing, profit margins decreasing and staff attrition rising, it is difficult for hotels to maintain consistency without spending a lot of time and money. It is not possible for hotel staff to go and check each guests profile and personalize services to suit guest needs and likings.

Also exchange of live information between different departments at the hotel is critical to ensure that guests always receive the right information or status update. This is not always done efficiently and requires a lot of effort in terms of internal communication and process compliance.

Technology can play a big role in empowering the hotel staff with quick actionable insights and in automating activities that do not necessarily require human intervention. We at About Stays help hotels transform guest experiences through our Personalize, Interact and Engage approach to hotel stays. To know more or get in touch, visit our website www.AtHotels.app