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Hyper-Personalization: The Future of the Guest Experience

Luxury hotels are fantastic. But any hotel that goes above and beyond to create a hyper-personalized experience becomes most memorable of all.

One of the best parts of staying at a top-rated hotel are the extras that show that you matter as a guest. Beyond soft sheets and great shower heads, a truly amazing property elevates the guest experience so every single visitor feels like the most important person there. 

In their quest for the ultimate in hyper-personalization, hotel and marketing staff have to exercise extreme caution as well. After all, when dealing with customers, one has to find the right balance between incredibly thoughtful details and those that just might border on creepy. 

Before we dig deeper into how to create the most uniquely hyper-personalized guest experience ever, let’s talk about what hyper-personalization is.

Making meaningful connections

In case you’re wondering just how important it is to create a guest experience that is tailored to perfection, multinational consulting firm Deloitte created a 37-page document covering all elements of hyper-personalization in marketing. In their definition of effective hyper-personalization, they said “Hyper-personalization is the most advanced way brands can tailor their marketing to individual customers.

It’s done by creating custom and targeted experiences through the use of data, analytics, AI, and automation.” They also included tips to send   “highly contextualized communications to specific customers at the right place and time, and through the right channel.” 

There are many ways to continue the good feelings beyond the hotel stay. 

In Deloitte’s report, they stated that “hyper-personalized marketing provides the opportunity for organizations to meaningfully engage customers, deepen existing relationships and build new ones, and improve the customer experience.” While much of this was geared to CMOs and marketing officers, it can almost universally be translated to hospitality executives as well. Benefits to this extreme level of intention can increase customer satisfaction while building loyalty. One wonders if guests might also spend more to see what other delights could be in store for them.

Sense of wonder vs. sense of unease

In your eagerness to create an effective highly personalized incentive or experience, it’s important to above all protect your guest’s privacy. There’s a fine line between sending a guest flowers for their anniversary if they honeymooned at your hotel vs. seeing them post on Instagram and then sending a gift to their home address. 

So how can a hotel marketing team navigate a potential privacy minefield? With the greatest of care, of course.

At Relay, we’re proud that our devices connect distanced workers and empower them through the use of a panic button and a completely connected cellular network. Contact us to find out how to empower your staff and clientele through connectivity with a device that alerts anyone to potential danger.

Before you begin

Before deciding on your next big promotions, it’s important to figure out just how deep a dive you’ll take on. If you’ve been effectively managing your data, you already have a pretty good idea of what your guests expect from their stay. After all, a more homey or family managed hotel might not want to bring out all the tech bells and whistles while a digital hotel or resort might intentionally create experiences meant to be shared widely online.

“Is your goal to delight your guests or their entire social media following?”

At your next marketing meeting, ask your team these questions:

  • Would you rather delight the guest or their entire social media following?
  • How much of an investment in time, resources or technology are you willing to invest in creating a hyper-personalized experience?
  • Will your guests care if a fellow guest has a similar gift or experience?
  • What if anything do you expect in terms of ROI?
  • How deeply will you mine collected information or resources?
  • What happens if something goes wrong with your activation or experience?
  • What are some of the best results you’ve had in personalized experiences or extras?
  • Are you breaching any privacy or sensitivity issues? Have you unwittingly included a pejorative in another language?
  • How will safety factor into this experience? For instance if you send guests on a complimentary hike around your property, will you outfit them with panic buttons and a guide? 
  • Will artificial intelligence play into your planning, or will you have a dedicated staff member creating more hyper-personalized experiences?
  • Are you trying to outdo your competitors, or do you truly want to create moments to delight your own guests? 

The differences between personalization and hyper-personalization

Many of us fondly share stories about the best hotel experiences we’ve had. At one resort in Turks and Caicos, we were delighted to find pillow cases embroidered with our initials. Incredibly thoughtful, right? Now imagine if the pillow cases had also included a private nickname theoretically unknown to staff unless they’d listened in on private conversations. Not quite as thoughtful anymore. 

When building your plans for hyper-personalization take into account not only each and every guest, and their immediate reaction, but the way your stunt or surprise might age as well. While you might think your display of lights that flashes every guest’s name as they walk past is worthy of a few headlines, others might wonder how they’ve been tracked. Still others might fault your team for wasting resources. 

In the quest to provide not only an amazing guest experience, but also a hyper-personalized one, your smartest move is sometimes choosing something slightly less personalized to be on the safe side. And when in doubt, check with attorneys specializing in privacy issues.

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