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Personalisation and profit


Addressing guests by their name is just the beginning, says Heather Byron, Senior Vice President of Services, Alliants


In previous senior consulting roles, I travelled the world and enjoyed the services of many delightful and luxurious hotels. Now with Alliants, as a provider of technology solutions to the hospitality, travel, and retail sectors, I have a whole new perspective on what it takes to deliver personal customer care.


My new role frequently puts me behind the front desk and in the shoes of receptionists and concierges. I can see the hard work and skill required to deliver warm, professional service combined with those all-important personal touches.


I love the human-centric nature of hospitality, but to excel in this area, staff need the right back-end support. Let’s look at one simple scenario in a little more detail.


Addressing guests by their name. It’s a reward that all hotels can deliver, whether they are in the budget, midscale, or luxury segments. The information is there when the guest made the booking.


Why is it a good idea? Sure, it’s important to strike the right balance and ensure that the interaction remains authentic and respectful. But generally, when staff use a guest’s name, it creates a more welcoming and friendly atmosphere, making guests feel valued and recognised. This allows the guest to feel at home, open to conversation, which, in turn, can open the door to a whole range of business and upselling opportunities.


At a time of high input costs and staff shortages, hotels are not only looking for ways to increase ancillary revenue, but also ways to differentiate themselves from the competition.


With so many similar brands, one clear way to stand out from the crowd is personalised service. How do you make your guests feel? What is the quality of the experience you are providing?


Of course, your staff will know some of your regular guests personally. But businesses of all sizes -from small to enterprise - need a data system that stores guest information for quick and easy access.


Luckily, hotels gather plenty of customer data, much more than many other sectors. Historically, the problem has been aggregating guest profiles in one place that is accessible to all. So, your London front desk agent can welcome Mr Sirokos by name but may not know, for instance, that he was a guest at your Tokyo property the previous week.


Now, cloud computing and APIs are able to join the dots and make complete guest data profiles available to all hotel departments, not just the sales and marketing team.

For all the worry about new technology removing the human heart from hospitality, in our experience, it is quite the opposite.


The newest, future-proof operating systems remove the drudgery for front-line employees while at the same time providing real-time data whenever they need it.

This only leaves staff to enjoy doing what attracted them to hospitality in the first place – making someone’s day amazing.


It’s so much more powerful when the front desk employee has a guest summary at his fingertips and can ask: “We know you went to Nobu the last time you were here. Would you like us to look after that for you again?” or “I can see you have a few hours free tomorrow. Can we arrange something in the spa for you?”


Compare the above conversation with: “Can I have your passport? Can I take a swipe of your credit card?”


Thanks to recent technological advancements, any hotel can now transcend the transactional and deliver exceptional experiences.


In the end, the onus is on us as an industry to ask ourselves: how much do we care about our staff? How much do we care about our guests?


About Alliants

Alliants has helped many of the world’s most respected hotel, travel and retail brands deliver exceptional customer experiences. Founded in 2009, Alliants has built industry changing technology solutions, including award winning mobile apps and chat applications that transform the digital guest experience. Millions of users around the globe use Alliants’ technology as guests of the world’s most respected hotels and brands.

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