Business travelers represent a significant percentage of recurring revenue, so hotel operators must ensure they’re offering the amenities this group wants. That requires taking inventory of what’s currently offered and then enlisting help from a group purchasing organization to fine-tune hotel amenities for business travelers and consider any evolving trends. The result? A competitive edge and greater guest loyalty.
Professionals are focused on work and arrive with different needs and expectations than leisure travelers. They need to be able to stay connected while working on the road, so amenities like a reliable high-speed Internet connection and comfortable workspace are vital to their comfort and productivity.
An article on HotelCluster.com highlights several other key amenities. Examples include 24/7 housekeeping, meeting venues with multimedia equipment, transportation to/from the airport, charging stations for electronics, rental service for notebooks and tablets, a full-service business center, and recreational and entertainment facilities.
Business travelers are primarily looking for hotels to deliver on their brand promise…with consistency. After traveling a day of meetings, they want their hotel to deliver a consistent, positive experience. It’s all about the trust the guest has with that brand.
A significant part of the overall experience relates to dining options. Hotels need to ensure they’re delivering on those guest expectations with the right brands, and that comes down to strategic purchasing. Does the operation have access to the right products at the right price point? Using a group purchasing organization like Source1 Purchasing provides tools and resources so operators are able to deliver those products with a brand halo. In turn, business travelers feel like they’re receiving a consistent, high-level experience with every visit, regardless of the zip code.
Convenience is also a top priority for business travelers. For example, the Hyatt Place brand has created a bistro concept where guests can order sandwiches, pizza, soups, salads and sweets ahead and then pick them up on their way up to their rooms. They also have a 24/7 market where drinks, snacks, baked goods, and other quick meals are available.
Ultimately, the products and services in the guest experience can be broken down into three types:
1) Dissatisfiers: This can be anything from being served food that is cold or off-flavor to having a rude waiter at dinner. These negative experiences cast a shadow over the whole guest experience and damage customer satisfaction levels.
2) Satisfiers: These are the characteristics that guests expect to deem a stay acceptable. They want hot food served by friendly people in an efficient manner. It’s not memorable, but it meets all the basic exceptions and guests will consider it an OK experience.
3) Exciters: These are the qualities that make a stay exceptional and one your guests will remember. It can be anything from an ice carving in the dining room to a chocolate fountain on the dessert table. These are all features that elevate a meal to an experience. These exciters become a hotel’s competitive advantage and help ensure that guests return repeatedly.
When considering what amenities to offer, hotel operators need to audit their current services with these areas in mind. With help from a group purchasing organization, hotels operators can build a base of highly satisfied guests. Whether it’s a signature dessert or an amazing pillow, these are the amenities guests will remember and return for.