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Want to Improve Guest Experience This Year? Here Are 3 Key Things to Do

Zac Francis
Zac Francis

It’s 2024 and guest expectations continue to evolve. The pandemic reshaped the way we think about travel, giving rise to a more health-conscious guest who seeks a streamlined, contactless experience without compromising on luxury.

For many hotels, this means adapting the core services that define their entire experience: personalization, check-in processes, cleanliness and hygiene, and issue resolution. 

With that in mind, we’ve decided to put together a list of things you can do to improve your guest experience and remain relevant in 2024 (and beyond!). 

Of course, with the majority of hotels offering dining experiences, we’ll be offering advice that’s also applicable to restaurants. So any restaurateurs who have found their way here, feel free to stay!

Interested? Keep reading to find out more.

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Guest experience trends for 2024

Before we recommend how you should improve your guest experience, it’s important to provide some context. What consumers want, and even who they are, is sometimes difficult to pin down. Trends that were relevant only a few years ago might no longer hold true.

Great guest experience is built on the foundation of knowing who your guest is and what they’re looking for from your business. Let's dive in:

Consumers plan to spend more on travel

Despite a difficult economic climate over the last few years, and the many countries still experiencing a cost of living crisis, consumers are projected to spend more on travel by reducing personal expenditure in other areas.

Travel is becoming a priority for people, especially millennials and Gen Z who crave experiences over products. Hotels and dining experiences always play a vital part in the traveler's experience, meaning now is the time for businesses to capitalize on the zeitgeist and invest. 

Millennials and Gen Z are now the dominant demographic

In 2024, 60% of hotel bookings are expected to be made by millennials and Gen Z. Why is this important? Because how these two demographics judge an experience is different from those that came before. 

As children of the digital era, technology isn’t a luxury for these guys, it’s a necessity. Sure, a hotel that rolls out physical keys and a menu without a QR code might be considered quirky by some, but for most, it’s an inconvenience. And there’s an additional focus on wellness, with travelers highlighting a desire for a good night’s sleep while away from home. 

Hotels must reassess and adapt their priorities to meet the needs of today’s guests. Of course, this isn’t to say ‘out with the old in with the new’ completely. After all, a friendly face and a warm welcome will never lose its value. But for those of you resisting the changing tides of travel, it’s time to reconsider.

It's all about technology

Considering the above point, it’s no surprise that guests expect technology to feature heavily throughout their experience, whether it’s mobile check-ins for minimizing physical interaction, or in-room tablets to personalize a guest's stay. 

These demographics understand the power of technology and are asking more from hotels because they know the right tech investments can provide the experience they desire.

For example, 67% of guests crave high-level control over their guest room environment. The answer? In-room tablets that give guests the ability to control everything in-room. 77% of guests want 24/7 assistance. The solution? AI-powered Chatbots that can handle multiple tasks. And 90% of travelers are looking for sustainable options when they book a hotel, encouraging hotels to invest in tech that can reduce their environmental footprint.

Many in the hotel industry are already ahead of the curve, and hoteliers are expected to increase technological investments by 16% over the next 12 months. Make sure you’re not left behind!

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3 ways to improve guest experience this year

Time for the answers! Here are 3 ways to improve guest experience this year that are easily implemented and tailored to the modern traveler.

Employ a guest experience specialist

Sometimes rolling out a special experience requires the help of a specialist. A guest experience specialist is a relatively new role, but one that will no doubt become a mainstay in the industry over the coming years. They are individuals with an in-depth understanding of what makes an exceptional guest experience. 

Traditionally, individual teams (customer-facing staff, housekeeping, kitchen staff etc), would do their best to optimize their own area and hopefully the sum of these individual efforts would be a positive guest experience. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

A guest experience specialist is an expert in all areas. They move from team-to-team, ensuring all moving parts are working in harmony, each maintaining the same high standard so that there are no weak points.

In a job description they posted,  Marriott describes a guest experience expert as someone who is empowered to move about their space and do what needs to be done, taking a hands-on approach and doing all things well.

If you’re yet to employ a specialist of your own, now is the time.

Focus on employee development

Your employees are the heart and soul of the operation, meaning the only way to optimize your guest experience is by optimizing your workforce. By consistently developing their employees, hotel’s empower staff to utilize the skills and knowledge they’ve acquired to roll out an exceptional experience.

In fact, the benefits of investing in your team are endless. Well-trained staff often enhance guest satisfaction, leading to positive reviews and repeat business. And continuous development allows your staff to remain informed on industry trends and practices, ensuring your experience remains relevant to the consumer.

To add to the good news—investing in your team increases retention and reduces turnover, improving your chances of holding on to that exceptional team of yours.

So, what’s the best way to develop your employees? By investing in an optimized training program that levels up your employees and continues to do so during their time working for you. More on this below! 

→  View our report on hospitality strategies for 2024

Level up your tech

Hotel technology can be split into two categories: Tech that’s now a necessity, and tech that can separate you from the field, taking your guest experience to new heights. 

For necessity, we’re talking about online bookings, contactless payments etc—tech that is widespread in almost every industry. These convenient tools are staples of our everyday life, and hotels should do their best to replicate the day-to-day of their guests. If you haven’t yet integrated such tech into your business, now is your chance.

Next is technology that provides a unique guest experience. What do guests want and what technology is best suited to provide this? Augmented Reality (AR) provides an immersive experience where guests can explore rooms and amenities prior to booking, greatly assisting them during the decision-making process. Robotic room service is a great way to provide a futuristic experience for guests while satisfying their wish for a contactless service.

Then there’s AI, a form of technology that’s widely applicable, resulting in its unprecedented growth. Just ask the restaurant industry, where businesses are using it to streamline processes and improve the customer experience. The same can be applied to hotels.

And it’s not just your guests that benefit from the right tech. Your workers—you know, those responsible for delivering the experience—can level up through the use of modern, tailored, and engaging training technology. 

Level up your workforce with training designed for the frontline workforce

What does your workforce training look like? If you’re part of the majority then there’s a good chance you’re rolling out training that’s incompatible with the needs of the hotel workforce. 

As frontline workers, your staff are always on their feet either serving customers or engaged in tasks that benefit the experience. They’re unable to spend long periods on training and away from their role. Therefore, any type of long-format, classroom training is not ideally suited to be the sole or primary form of training. After all, you can’t assist guests if you’re not there. 

That’s not to say long-format training doesn’t have its place in an optimized training program, but its execution can bea double-edged sword for the fast pace of hotel and restaurant operations.

And vitally, if not reinforced, it’s forgotten. Research indicates that within a mere 24 hours, learners tend to forget around 70% of newly acquired information. Overcoming this requires learners to revisit information, something this format doesn’t offer.

So, what does an effective frontline training program look like? That’s easy: training that’s engaging, accessible, and integrated into existing technology. 

Imagine TikTok-style tutorials providing housekeeping staff with step-by-step instructions on proper bedding changes, accessible anytime and anywhere via their mobile devices. This user-friendly approach not only streamlines training standardization for businesses but also outperforms traditional lengthy sessions, fostering continuous learning. Bonus points if you can integrate training into already in-use systems, like Workday or other HRM platforms — we call this invisible learning.

AI Guides

The future of frontline training is about intelligently embedding training where it's easiest for your frontline to get to it.

Final thoughts

We know you’re probably itching to get started and make the changes we’ve outlined, but give us one more minute. Each of our recommendations will upgrade your experience on their own, but they’re best utilized when working in tandem.

By hiring a guest experience specialist, you’re placing someone in charge of each location whose specific responsibility is to optimize the guest experience. You’re then ensuring they achieve their goal by upskilling staff and empowering every member to deliver an outstanding service across every touch point—all of which was made possible by investing in the right technology.


For hotels and other hospitality businesses looking to level up their training, look no further than eduMe. We’ve partnered with hotel giants including The Marriott and Hilton to revolutionize their frontline training. Let us do the same for you. Get in touch with us now.

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