May 14, 2021 | Hotel Management | Reading Time: 4 minutes
Standardization for hotel chains is a fundamental strategy to attract and retain travelers. Hotel service standards can provide a sense of professionalism, and at the same time, they can evoke a sentiment of familiarity. These are references that a traveler is looking for when searching for their “temporary home”.
Standardization is directly related to branding. Brands are crucial for hotel chains because they depend on them to attract travelers. Consequently, avoiding negative associations with a brand should be a top priority.
This connection between standards and a brand is directly related to your hotel chain´s reputation, which needs a universal identity, regardless of where a specific hotel property of your chain is located. That is why it is so vital to maintain standardized management for a hotel chain.
Standardization has a massive impact on your guests as they will associate it with your brand no matter where they are in the world. It creates a feeling of familiarity that, in turn, will change into loyalty.
This is one of the biggest challenges encountered by managers in hotel chains: maintaining standardization in all properties. In this article, we will discuss five essential standardizations for a hotel chains:
1. Traveler Amenities
The modern traveler likes to feel special, and their expectations only get higher. Having this in mind, personalized and unique experiences will eventually lead to loyalty.
For instance, if you choose to give your guest a beverage along with the wifi password when they check-in, you should do the same at all properties.
The same thing goes for amenities. For example, if one hotel location offers blowdryers, then all locations should provide them to their guests. When there is no uniformity, this can cause problems with a guest’s experience. They may not pack their own blowdryer when traveling to your hotel in another location because they will expect the same experience that they had on a previous trip.
If they don’t get the same personalized service they experienced before, they will be disappointed.
It is important to set yourself apart from other hotels by providing consistency. If travelers know what to expect at all locations, they will be more likely to remember your hotel chain when planning their next trip.
2. Visual Identity: Interior Design
The US hotel chain Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants has more than 65 locations scattered throughout the country. One of their strategies is to have the same type of decor for their rooms in all locations, aligned with their hotel service standards.
Regardless of the differences between one hotel and another, the thematic thread makes it clear that it is a Kimpton property.
In addition to blending luxury with simplicity, wood and metal, the rooms also have standard color pallets. The Kimpton’s blue is noticeable in the drapes, rugs, furniture, and walls, and is part of the hotel image, evoking the brand power no matter where the location is.
3. Standardized Service
We analyzed the performance of customer service in major hotel chains in South America. The result opened our eyes to a crucial factor: there is fragmentation and carelessness in online support and standardization.
Answering travelers quickly and efficiently is essential to increase direct bookings, but many hotel chains are overlooking this important aspect. Long response times and insufficient information were the major problems found.
Moreover, it is imperative to maintain hotel service standards when assisting clients.
The way your employees communicate with guests and how they guide the conversations also have a major impact on your hotel service. Standardization will diminish spelling errors and optimize the quality and response time.
An easy fix is to standardize the online assistance in hotel chains with a hotel chatbot. Responsible for answering the frequent questions that often generate high operational demand, chatbots will never answer incorrectly or say something that is not aligned with your brand.
👉 Every service channel has its challenges. Learn more about the advantages of automating your service with WhatsApp
4. Consistency in Loyalty Programs
A practical way of understanding how standardization works for major hotel chains is the loyalty program. Just like Kimpton Karma or Marriott Bonvoy, these programs aim to maintain a combination of services that are exclusive for members.
The benefits may differ. From credit to use in the hotel’s spa, Wi-Fi, preference of bar or restaurant to many others. You create a VIP experience, accessible in all hotels in your chain.
A loyalty program can do much more for your hotel besides creating guest loyalty. They can also provide a competitive edge when facing OTAs, like Booking and Expedia.
5. Online Guest Reviews
Reviews are not exactly an element that can be standardized. However, they are important since reviews gauge service satisfaction.
If the hotel chain is delivering a satisfying experience to loyal guests, they will not have problems with online review pages like TripAdvisor.
With a team responsible for managing online reviews, you will be able to monitor, in real-time, what your guests are saying about you. That way, you will have a notion of what can be improved, and measure what is already working in your digital strategy.
All hotel services need to have a 5-star recommendation in all your units: restaurant, pool, bar, meeting room, room service, or cleanliness.
Strive to achieve a certification of excellence. If a unit of your hotel chain has negative reviews, this can impact the entire company, the same way a good review is a reflection of the service quality from all other units in your hotel chain.
Loyal guests: Standardization for Hotel Chains
Standardization is paramount for good management in your hotel chain. Every new guest creates expectations around the services of your brand and takes past experiences into consideration.
In the end, what is old becomes new: an old loyal guest will come back and be your new guest again generating loyalty!