Boutique and independent hotel guests are a different breed of customer, typically favoring exclusivity over consistency. They seek a unique, one-of-a-kind guest service and experience over the familiarity of a chain hotel stay. The good news is that because they are unrestricted by “big brand” standards, independent and boutique hotels are well-suited to deliver on the high expectations of their guests. Below are some ways that smaller hotels can leverage their size and independence to deliver BIG guest services and experiences:

Be Yourself. Don’t try to replicate the look, feel, or experience of a big chain. Remember that your guests sought out your property for its uniqueness. Use bold paint colors. Place locally sourced soaps, shampoos, and other items in each room. Find your own identity and deliver a distinct guest experience that stands apart from the big brands.

Keep it Personal. Unhindered by corporate restrictions, independents and boutiques have more flexibility and resources to meet each guest’s needs. Pay attention to what customers are saying and track their preferences in order to create intimate guest experiences. If a guest requests a yoga mat for their room, make sure the mat is ready and waiting in the room upon their next check-in.

Empower Staff. A great customer experience is rooted in solid training and invested staff. With fewer rooms and guests, boutiques and independents have the ability to dedicate more time and attention to making each guest feel special. Train your staff to go above and beyond when it comes to meeting guests’ needs… and provide ongoing incentives to reward their efforts.

Embrace Technology. Leverage the great tools and technologies at your disposal to help deliver a superior guest experience. Start with a cloud-based, mobile PMS that helps you manage, multi-task, and service guests more personally and efficiently.Our SkyTouch Hotel OS® system provides the ability to track guest history information and monitor on-site operations from one centralized location, in real-time, so that staff can act and respond quickly in order to meet guest needs.

While they may not be considered big brand players, boutiques and independents who know their guests, cater to their preferences, and stay true to themselves, will realize that their smaller size can mean a bigger competitive advantage.