The hotel industry thinks it has this issue figured out—the one of room assignments, that is. I am here to tell you that it does not. Far from it in fact, and guests notice in a big way. For those guests who don’t get the right room, it is ruining their experience from the get-go.
Let’s first just be clear, reset the dial. We talk a lot about what travelers want. They want free Wi-Fi, the best guest service, mobile check-in, and so on. However, we’re getting so wrapped up with these things that we’ve lost sight of what they truly came for. First and foremost, what travelers need from a hotel is a place to sleep that feels comfortable and safe. A pillow on the bed size they want in the room size they specified. They need the room that they need, the one that they requested because they requested it for a reason. I can’t overstate the importance of this. Someone asking for a King bed isn’t a luxury request; it is a very real and significant obligation for your hotel to deliver upon at the most basic level. And guests are at your mercy for that. The very least you can do is deliver on the fundamentals.
Unfortunately, hotels are not delivering. In our “2016 Check-in Experience Survey,” we found that only 5% of guests are given the room they request on a regular basis. A shocking 95% said they only “sometimes” are assigned the anticipated room. Our research shows that misalignment in the systems that handle room allocations occurs approximately 60% of the time.
The process is broken, and the break begins in the booking process. With so many technologies at play in distribution, few of which are truly integrated, there are bound to be missteps, but this is a particular area where we need to solve for mistakes.