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Delivering a Great Guest Experience Begins with Website Accessibility

Delivering a Great Guest Experience Begins with Web Accessibility

Make your guests feel welcome from the moment they Google your name with an accessible website.

The very core of hospitality is a great guest experience.

At the heart of every hospitality business – whether you run a hotel, restaurant, event venue or spa retreat – lies your guests. And giving guests a great experience is what separates one establishment from the next.

This is done by creating positive interactions between your brand and the guests. It can be anything from conversations with your staff to smooth check-in and check-out processes, personal touches, desirable amenities, marketing and sales efforts, fantastic 24/7 customer support and more.

These days, however, the experience begins long before the guest first steps foot in your establishment. It starts from the moment they interact with your brand online—when they type your name into Google and find your website.

This is why web accessibility is so important for hospitality businesses in the digital age. The guest experience now extends online—but how is that exactly?

Your Website is a Preview of What’s to Come

In hospitality, your website reflects your caliber as a host. Your online presence is a preview of what’s to come at your establishment. How can prospective guests expect excellent service if you’re delivering a poor website experience to begin with?

Globe paperweight on top of a map with a compass and part of a magnifying lens in the background

First impressions matter. And your business is facing an uphill battle from the start if your website isn’t optimized for accessibility.

Leads won’t convert into customers if they’re not able to access the information necessary to make a decision. And even on the odd chance they do, the poor experience kicks off the guest’s stay in a negative manner. During a time when they should be excited to visit, your site may be delivering difficulty, confusion and frustration.

Not only do you run serious business risks with an inaccessible website, but it’s also a reflection of your business as a whole.

Think about it. Your website is often the first interaction your brand will have with a guest. This comes long before they ever speak with a representative of your company or even consider booking—so they should be able to navigate easily and interact with your website despite any disabilities.

Web accessibility creates an inclusive environment to make your guests feel welcome and positions your brand as a place they would feel comfortable visiting. It’s about having your customers’ needs in mind, which is something hospitality businesses are naturally doing anyway.

Your Website is an Extension of Your Staff

Imagine a tired guest arriving at your hotel after a long flight—only to be greeted by a bored concierge who wants nothing more than to get off work. Or an impatient waiter serving a couple who had been looking forward to their reservation for weeks.

Hospitality businesses don’t get very far by having their staff provide the bare minimum in face-to-face customer service. Why should your website be any different?

A great starting point for web accessibility is adhering to WCAG 2.1 guidelines.

You likely instruct your workers to be attentive to the needs of your customers. They’re always ready to answer any questions, provide support and ensure a great experience for all visitors. Your website checks all the same boxes and more.

Your site is no different from your staff in the sense that it should accommodate your guests’ needs beyond the bare minimum. In the same way your staff go above and beyond to make your guests’ stay extraordinary and memorable, your online presence should do the same.

This means ensuring your website and content are compatible with assistive devices, have a mobile-friendly interface, easy navigation, simple booking processes, swift customer service and much more.

Delight Your Guests Before They Arrive

Web accessibility isn’t about just satisfying guests. It’s about delivering an experience that will truly delight them and exceed their expectations. Are you accommodating their needs? Special requests? Making them feel welcome with every interaction leading up to their arrival? This will, in turn, separate you from the competition, and turn guests into lifelong customers and loyal advocates for your brand.

Around 25% of the population have a disability of some sort. That means 1 in every 4 visitors on your website isn’t having a great user experience...

Successful hospitality companies understand that all potential customers should be taken care of and given the exceptional service they deserve. A positive experience gives customers the necessary trust and confidence to do repeat business with your establishment as a delighted customer.

After all, the best type of marketing is a happy guest.

Welcome Your Guests with Open Arms

It’s time to start treating your website as an essential part of the guest experience.

Digital accessibility has its foundation in equality, empathy and responsibility. These are all factors in crafting a great guest experience from the moment they interact with your business online.

Delivering a great guest experience is make-or-break in hospitality—a sentiment that’s only increasing in the digital age.

Schedule a FREE accessibility assessment of your website today.

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Denise Páne <br><span>CEO & Founder</span>

Denise Páne
CEO & Founder

Denise is an Accredited Accessibility Expert with a lifetime of experience with people with disabilities and over 2 decades of experience at the helm of her branding and accessible web design agency, Access Design Studio. She is a passionate outdoorswoman and bold adventurer in life and business.

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