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Sell the Dream, Sell the Experience: How Big Hotels can learn from the Small

Prabhash Bhatnagar
Prabhash Bhatnagar

bed-&-breakfast-softwareThe good thing about small hotels is their personalized service. The Hotel we choose to stay can be your guide, host, local expert, chef, all mixed into one. A big hotel can never compete with this, but they can learn.

When I stay in a big hotel, I miss the quick check-ins that a small hotel offers. It’s no good waiting in a long queue and filling multiple forms if I have already taken the pain of doing that during online booking. With all the innovation in smart technologies, big hotels still have a long way to go here. Another thing that all small hotels win over is their knowledge of the local landscape. A big hotel can learn and look beyond hiring local guides, who work with them on commission and tell guests how hotel excursions are the best.

Guests don’t want to be a room number, and the more they are made to feel like people the better. This is where smaller hotels score over the bigger ones. Add a bit of innovation on deploying appropriate technology, and small hotels can emerge as a stronger competitor to big hotels in any part of the world.

A recent study in UK funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) states that both big and small hotels can learn from each other. “While big hotels lead the path in innovating with new technologies, smaller hotels are good at responding to customer needs with personalized services,” says Professor Allan Williams of Surrey University, who has led this research along with Professor Gareth Shaw of Exeter University. “Customers are playing a large part in shaping innovation…many hotels have introduced environmental measures; while, small and mid-sized hotels are developing new websites, marketing material, new software for property management systems (PMS) or simply updating the décor.”

I think large hotels should add that extra touch to make guests feel more at home by employing appropriate staff and presenting complimentary local treats that smaller hotels revel in. How nice it would be for a customer to get a complimentary dinner treat at an authentic local restaurant or simply, a special keepsake that makes guests remember their stay. Planning this into the budget is a small price to pay for returning loyal customers.

I know I would rather book a local, friendly hotel than a large, multi-starrer one for my personal or business trips. But my reason could be driven purely by my personal motivations that favor hotels with Hotelogix as their smart choice, whenever available. But looking at this generally, the only thing that might stop me from picking a smaller hotel is the lack of friendly technology that makes customers’ stays more comfortable. That maybe something that smaller hotels can learn from the big ones, and make it so much easier if they embrace the cloud. So the moral, “Shed that discomfort about hiring new technology and offer your customers what they like best: living the dream and enjoying the experience.”

You may also want to read another post by our Founder Prabhash Bhatnagar on “How Guest Behavior is Changing the Way we look at Cloud”. Click here to read