With the market saturated with many different brands, hotels and offerings, it is not surprising that the customers are confused about what they are getting into. As client demands keep changing, many luxury hotels struggle to maintain their competitive edge in the industry. About a decade ago, there was a clear differentiation between luxury hotel brands and the guests knew who was who and what did they offer. Faced with a huge choice, it is difficult for the consumers to decide on the most ideal hotel for them.With increasing competition, the hotels are only focusing on the product, that is, room type and facilities, they are not focusing on the most important aspect- experience, which is the reason why branding is back for luxury hotels.
Most large, medium and small hotels offer the same products to the clients. There is no individual personality either and if the choice of the customer depends on the products that are easily comparable in terms of price and features, it leaves the hotels vulnerable. A brand has longevity, it can weather a fall in demand and will still make the customer stay forever. Creating a brand for your hotel is about defining your offering, which includes tangible as well as intangible offerings. Tangible services include the quality of rooms, spa, dining rooms and other facilities while intangible services is the quality of service and how the guests look at it. The best hotels stretch themselves beyond the tangible offering to bring something additional to the table.
Luxury hospitality should be a transformative experience. It should connect with the customer and enrich their experience. With guests arriving from around the world, it is essential to go beyond cultural differences and deliver the care that will leave a long lasting impact on them. The staff should be trained to manifest the cultural difference and give care to the guests that visit. Hospitality is how you make someone feel and it should provoke a feeling that transmits between people. It is equally important that the local culture adapts to hospitality, the culture should understand how to take care of someone, make someone feel welcome and provide for all the needs of the guests.
Emotional intelligence plays a prominent role when it comes to hospitality, caring for the guests and anticipating their needs requires being sensible to their emotions. If you can develop emotional intelligence of your staff, you will be able to make your brand stand out and it will become irreplaceable. It is challenging for hotels to put this into practice. Those hotels that invest in emotional intelligence, look beyond the client’s stay in the hotel and work on anticipating the needs of the guests even before they arrive. This anticipation ensures that the relationship with the client continues even after they leave and that is when the intangible becomes tangible and converts the loyalty of the client into a long term relationship.
Hoteliers across the luxury hospitality industry need to accept emotional intelligence as a brand asset and invest in the development of skills of their staff. Monitoring these elements will create tangible data for a long lasting impact on the business. Using this information, the brands will be able to focus on what really matters to the customer. The goal is to offer hospitality from a personal and emotional perspective.
When the brand has become the basis of choice for a client, it will have no impact of the fleeting trends in the industry. The brand will enable the business to continue even with a technology disruption. If the luxury hotels want to set themselves apart and longevity is the game, then emotional connection is the ideal way to go.