UX and Digital for Hotels - Customer Experience and F&B Trends

10/09/2018

In the final part of our introduction to UX for hotel websites and mobile, we look at customer experience and F&B industry trends.

Get our full guide to UX for hotels:

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)
  • Skype/IM
  • 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.

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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.

 

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Social proof

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.

 

Summary

  • 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

 
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  • 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

 
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  • 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.

Read Part 1 - our introduction to UX for hotels, Part 2 - starting to understand user behaviour, and Part 3 - mobile and image UX for hotel websites

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