two people capturing a balloon festival reflecting the importance of creating memorable guest experiences through personalization with storytelling

Guest experience encompasses the overall satisfaction a guest encounters throughout their journey with the brand. It starts even before booking and extends beyond departure. It includes the emotions triggered and feelings that result from the interaction with people (i.e., employees), the physical environment – the ambience and multi-sensory elements; as well as the tangible and intangible aspects.

NB: This is an article from EHL

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Factors include cleanliness and quality, courteousness and personalized attention, emotional engagement and empathy, efficient and relevant service that reflects context and demonstrates cultural sensitivity, as well as relevant communication, use of memorabilia and appropriate follow-up after a guest’s visit or stay. Specifically, the guest experience is about creating individual experiences.

The importance of guest experience management

Brands aim to exceed expectations. Managing guest experiences is a key part of this. It helps build a positive reputation, foster brand loyalty, gain a competitive edge, and drive sustained success. Positive encounters with the brand enhance brand image, increase satisfaction and WOM (Word Of Mouth), and encourage repeat business. Whilst the guest experience has always been relevant, particularly in the context of luxury, it has become increasingly so today and with the younger – Millennial/Gen Y and Gen Z – generations.

It is therefore crucial for hospitality brands to prioritize and manage guest experiences – and to view them as an investment rather than a cost. This involves knowing your client or guest, understanding their needs and preferences and effectively using this knowledge and data, as well as client/guest feedback, to tailor experiences and enhance service offerings.

Whilst today everyone talks about experiences, what makes an experience unique and memorable, particularly in the context of hospitality?

Personalization plays a large part and always has done

It elevates an experience and makes it special. With digital and developments in technology, “personalizing” is easier than it has ever been. But it’s not without its drawbacks. Technology brings anonymity and dehumanization, but the “human touch” – particularly in luxury – brings a relevant dimension of the experience. It’s also about knowing the purpose of it: Why are you personalizing? What do you want to achieve by it? It goes beyond a simple automated or automatic response.

In luxury specifically, personalization needs to carry meaning. It provides an opportunity to engage at a deeper, more human level that triggers emotion; as well as being more genuine and authentic.

Storytelling is one way to personalize

We know that stories are a powerful way to communicate. Using narrative transportation, they draw you in and take you on a journey… Inspire the imagination and initiate a process of self-discovery. Stories create interest and more easily engages its audience. They affect us in some way, eliciting emotions and defining feelings that drive action. Brand storytelling brings an occasion – the experience – to life and makes it more memorable.

Specifically, this requires:

Read the full article at EHL