Last year marked one of the strongest hotel transaction volume years in U.S. history. And even with headwinds from record interest and inflation rates, this positive momentum has carried into 2022, with hospitality industry M&A deals totaling $829.1 million globally in April of this year.
With so much consolidation occurring, many hotels are struggling with brand homogenization, and standing out from your competition is becoming more and more difficult to achieve. An IBM study revealed that 68 percent of guests see little to no noticeable difference between hotel chains and they’re demanding greater differentiation in their hotel experiences.
To attain success, it’s essential for hoteliers to make certain that their offerings stand out from the crowd. The right technology can play a decisive role in the differentiation necessary for creating unique guest experiences that increase loyalty and earn you coveted repeat business.
Apps Give Guests More Control
With seven in 10 guests preferring to stay at hotels offering self-service tech, one effective way to differentiate your hotel is by offering a web or native app, accessible via guests’ personal devices. An app allows guests to take control of simple tasks, such as ordering more towels, scheduling golf tee times, or arranging the optimal time for housekeeping service – a capability that more than one third of your guests want. Advanced solutions even enable guests to control the in-room lighting, temperature, and TV.
Eighty percent of your hotel guests would download an app that lets them check-in/out and 73 percent would download one that enables them to open the door of their room. In-app remote check-in/out functionality combined with mobile key provides a smooth start to a standout experience for your guests. And within the check-in process, you can also automate customized upgrade offerings that guests can easily select with a tap of their smartphone screen.
Chat and Messaging
Incorporating a chat or messaging feature within your hotel app – particularly one with auto-translation capability – empowers effective staff-guest communication before, during, and after stays, helping you connect and build stronger relationships with your guests. One way to distinguish your hotel service is by sending a welcome message that includes a few guest experience questions, such as:
“Do you need any toiletries?”
“Is your room the way you like it?”
“Are you interested in any specific activities while you’re here?”
You can turn answers into action by fulfilling guests’ immediate needs, helping to create a memorable guest experience.
Access to Data Analytics
Data is the crucial thread for weaving together unique guest experiences. An app that integrates with your hotel’s PMS and CRM lets you collect and consolidate all of a customer’s information into a single guest profile that every team member can access. You can easily segment your guests to send targeted messages that satisfy the needs of your different demographics. Data also helps you tailor your marketing promotions, something that 90 percent of your guests find appealing.
In this increasingly consolidated industry, a key way to differentiate your hotel is through delivering hyper-personalized guest experiences. Using data analytics, you can customize experiences when guests are on property, plus you can proactively tailor future visits. By analyzing guest preferences, you can provide next-level service, ensuring that the room lighting, temperature, a favorite music station, extra blankets, or baby crib are ready and waiting for your guests even before they even step into the room.
Advanced apps help distinguish your hotel from your competitive set through location-based services. Apps can track guest location data to improve response times for guest concerns. Location tracking also enhances your F&B services, allowing you to deliver food and cocktails to guests no matter where they’re located on-site. Incorporate location services and your loyalty program into your app, delighting guests by sending push notifications with geo-targeted benefits and offers based on where they are on property.
Having the right technology in place that guests can access via their own personal smart devices enables savvy hotel brands to establish meaningful connections with guests, foster long-term loyalty and stand out in this ultra-competitive marketplace.
Would you like help using technology to differentiate your hotel guest experience?
 Killion, Christine. “How Market Conditions Will Impact Hotel Transactions in 2022.” LODGING Magazine, 21 Mar. 2022, https://lodgingmagazine.com/making-the-deal-how-market-conditions-will-impact-hotel-transactions-in-2022/.
 “Tourism & Leisure Industry M&A Deals Total $829.1m Globally in April 2022.” Hotel Management Network, 26 May 2022, https://www.hotelmanagement-network.com/deals-analysis/tourism-leisure-industry-ma-deals-total-829-1m-globally-in-april-2022/.
 “Hotel 2020: The Personalization Paradox.” IBM, 2011, https://www.ibm.com/downloads/cas/K5NM3XD2.
 A Data-Driven Look at Hospitality’s Recovery. Oracle and Skift, July 2020, https://www.oracle.com/a/ocom/docs/industries/hospitality/data-driven-hosp-recovery.pdf.
 Creating the Coveted Hotel Guest Experience: Perspectives from Consumers and Hoteliers. Oracle Hospitality and Phocuswright, 2017, https://www.oracle.com/webfolder/s/delivery_production/docs/FY16h1/doc35/Guest-Experience-Report-2016-V7.pdf.  “Study: 80% of Consumers Willing to Download Hotel App to Enable Contactless Experience.” Hospitality Technology, 18 Aug. 2020, https://hospitalitytech.com/study-80-consumers-willing-download-hotel-app-enable-contactless-experience.  U.S. Appeal of Personalized Marketing 2017.” Statista, Apr. 2017, https://www.statista.com/statistics/808313/personalization-marketing-perspectives/.