Provide better customer experience
User experience and customer experience in a traditional sense are closely related and can’t exist without one another.
This is one of the biggest advantages of a hotel brand website as opposed to aggregators like Booking.com, Expedia, etc.
These online travel agencies can’t provide the personalized guest service on their website the way a hotel can.
Make sure there are multiple ways to get in touch with your hotel on your website:
• Live chat & Line
• Phone number(s)
• Contact forms for reservation related inquiries and special requests
Also, make sure your website and online staff are available in all the major languages your guests speak e.g. Chinese.
Better customer experience by booking direct?
Offer special add-on services, which are not available on any other sales channel.
It can be as simple as a welcome drink or free breakfast.
You can also go all the way and offer paid services bookable online, perhaps with a small discount.
These will make the user feel the difference when booking with a hotel directly.
There should be a clear advantage to booking direct vs the OTAs.
What about F&B?
Hotel F&B Spend increased by 4.9 percent in 2017. STR has released a report that shows U.S. hotel food-and-beverage revenue per occupied room increased 1.6 percent during the year.
In Asia however, things are even better. F&B spending is growing strongly in the region – up 11% year on year.
More and more restaurants are now relying on online bookings for F&B. On average, A digital presence increases bookings by 7% for small restaurants and 30% for large restaurants.
• 57% of people who book tables online dine out at least 3 times a week.
• 25% of online bookings are made between 10pm and 10am - a time when most restaurants are closed.
• 30% of ‘connected travellers’ book restaurants online.
Consider using Tavolos, or OpenTable to allow your diners & guests to book online.
One of the most important factors affecting customer buying decisions is social proof, which comes in so many different forms: testimonials, reviews, video blogs, social following, etc.
Hotel guests are no exception. In fact, according to Tripadvisor, “77% of travelers always reference reviews before booking travel accommodation”.
Consider using a tool such as Review Pro, to aggregate your reviews showing a Net Promoter Score to your potential guests.
• Focus on UX & CX, not just design.
• Give guests the information they need in one place. Don’t make them search for it.
• Focus on driving direct bookings - give guests a clear advantage.
• Give guests a chance to book activities & F&B online
• Keep imagery clear, concise and smart.
• Provide social proof (external reviews)
• Talk your guests language
• Provide guests a way to easily contact you.
Examples of hotel websites with good UX:
Case Study - Hilton
• Scrolling the page immediately leads to the sales pitch for specials and exotic destinations.
• The Hilton site provided an impressive number of language choices, which shows not only that they are a world class destination, but that they are dedicated to the UX of a global clientele.
• The UI/UX is delivered in simple layers, with sidebar choices along the way, allowing for the user to view rooms, amenities, etc
Case Study - Marriott
• A small but important design aspect is the placement of the notices about saving money, price guarantee, free wi-fi, and mobile check-in. If one thinks of the above-the-scroll homepage as a postcard, the hook has to be placed within. Using the design space for the most important aspects of your hotel is essential.
• Marriott has a simple, light design that hits the viewer with an inviting pool, offers quick reservation in layers, and the sales points previously mentioned. Very effective website.