02 Apr The Importance of Offering a Personalized Hotel Experience
By Michael Heflin
Senior Vice President, Hotels Division
Travel Leaders Group
I’ve learned over decades of traveling, for both business and pleasure, how important the small details can be. How much a single experience can influence your overall trip. How much better your morning can be because your waiter remembers exactly how your wife likes her iced coffee. And what, after traveling to the same hotel every other week for six months, a simple welcome by name and extra cookie in your welcome bag can mean to a weary business traveler.
The best hotels are an extension of their location. They are a combination of both the uniqueness of their facility and a celebration of their city. And while that combination can hold powerful sway over your overall satisfaction while there, nothing compares to when a travel professional goes above and beyond to personalize your stay.
It’s such a simple, human act—the agent securing a free upgrade, complimentary Wi-Fi, or maybe breakfast for two. And yet in those small details, two big things happen. One, the client understands that their agent is looking out for them, hoping to make their trip as memorable as possible. And two, the client sees that the agent has significant clout in the industry to make these benefits appear without extra charges.
Those are powerful influencers when it comes to cementing client loyalty. Your clients can go anywhere to book a hotel, and they often choose the web. But the web is not looking out for them. That website does not have the power of an international company like Travel Leaders, one that can secure those benefits.
I can prove that they’re powerful influencers. My wife and I lived in Chicago for 10 years, both of our children were born there, we have family there and visit often. Only one experience made my daughter ask to move back; not to our condo, or to live with grandma and grandpa—it was a hotel experience of course. And that hotel experience was enhanced thanks to a little touch provided by a travel agent I still use today.
If you are lucky enough to join the Travel Leaders Network family, I’ll tell you the full story. There isn’t enough room here to explain how valuable a personalized hotel experience can truly be.