The following are the Top Five Ways to Keep customers happy, coming back, and referring your hotel to more guests.
Customers are the most important component of your hotel. Customer Satisfaction is what keeps your hotel going and thriving day after day, week after week, year after year. Every good hotelier understands that to make sure customers come back again and again, it is vital that the hotel does everything it can to provide excellent customer service and exceed a guest’s expectations. So the question becomes what are the key measures of a hotel guest’s satisfaction expectations? We put together a list of five key benchmarks that most hotel guests expect from any hotel.
1. Keep the Rooms Clean!
It may seem obvious that this would be at the top of the list. Not having a clean room is the most important concern resulting in an unsatisfactory guest experience. From the moment a guest walks into your hotel, he/she is observing your hotel’s cleanliness. Not only should the room the guest stays in be thoroughly cleaned, but the front desk, lobby area, and hallways leading to their room should be just as clean. Frequent dusting, floor sweeping, clutter removal, and air freshening goes a long way to ensure guests view your hotel as a clean one. All employees should be trained to take action if they observe something that needs to be cleaned. You cannot afford to have employees with the attitude that ensuring a clean hotel is only the job of the housekeeping supervisor.
2. Be Friendly and Outgoing
Customers come into hotels with certain pre-set ideas of how they should be treated. A welcoming smile and a cheery greeting from each employee a guest encounters goes a long way to show your hotel cares about the guests. Frequently asking guests, “Is there anything we can do for you to make your stay more enjoyable?” shows your guest your employees are concerned for their welfare. It is always good when employees hit the mark with what you’re providing to your customers; a clean room, exceptional service, and a relaxed friendly atmosphere supported by professional conduct and attention to detail. Never settle for just being okay. Proactively answer guests inquiries. Guests want a respite from a hectic day at work or travel. They want a friendly reminder that your hotel is a place where they can relax, be comfortable and allow others to serve them. By employees who recognize this, your hotel will exceed their expectations so customers will not only have a good experience, but will recommend your hotel to others.
3. Use the Three Pronged Response to Customer Problems
Many employees, especially hospitality workers, have tendencies toward conflict-avoidance personalities because of their people pleasing orientations. So, when a guest is irate and has a problem with something at the hotel, your employee may want to avoid the conflict rather than acknowledge it if confronted. Customers want their concerns and problems acknowledged and validated. It is important to your guests that their concern is met with the appropriate response. Train your employees in the three pronged response - acknowledge, empathize, and offer resolution. The three pronged response is the cornerstone to providing exceptional customer service when a guest encounters a problem. ”The experience you encountered is not up to our standards” (acknowledgement). “I can see why you are concerned” (empathy). “Let me call maintenance right now to take care of it” (resolution). Using the three pronged response doesn’t mean that your hotel has to satisfy every one of your guest’s unreasonable demands. Some guest expectations just can’t be met. In those cases the resolution portion may be an apologetic explanation of the practical limitations in resolving the issue. It is always better to be able to say what you can do for a guest rather than to say what you can’t do for a guest. “I can put you in a different room to get away from the noise if you’d like” rather than “I can’t tell the person next door to stop snoring". Acknowledging a concern, empathizing, and explaining what you can do to resolve it will reassure most guests. Being patient and explaining why practical limitations prevent you from meeting an unreasonable demand will disarm even the most cynical guest.
4. Recognize Loyal Customers
If you have guests that are coming back to you again and again it’s because you are doing something right and they like the way they are being treated. When a customer shows their loyalty to you or a brand, they like that loyalty to be acknowledged. Formal customer loyalty programs reward guests for return visits by giving them discounts, frequent communications and perks. But the most satisfying experience for a returning guest is being acknowledged by an employee. “It is so good to see you again, Mr. Smith – thanks for staying with us again.” It is a sure fire way for your returning guests to feel appreciated – much more than any formal loyalty program. Simple, direct statements acknowledging a return guest are the best rewards. People want to feel included, welcomed, and acknowledged. Front desk personnel are the best ones to be in a position to acknowledge a returning but all employees should be trained in using similar communications.
5. R - E - S - P- E - C - T
A guest’s experience is made by the people who serve them. So from the top of the hotel to the bottom, all employees must treat guests with respect. Exceptional service comes from treating people in the way in which you would like to be treated. It is giving guest respect for what they are – people just like you. Serving others well is a special characteristic. Some say it takes a special personality – others say it can be learned. Whatever your belief, serving others comes from a respect for the individual and it is the foundation for any hotel that expects customers to stay and enjoy. Your guests deserve a warm welcome, attentive staff, and service that makes their stay a “home-away-from-home” the way it should. And while hotel employee’s interaction with guests make it a good or bad experience, respect for the guest will drive motivate your employees to levels of exceptional service.
Exceeding customer expectations is not a difficult task to master. It is something that all of us do on a regular basis. The key is to be consistent and reinforce it whenever possible. Want more infomation on how to improve your Hotel's direct bookings? Click here and receive our FREE ebook on how to increase your hotel's direct bookings.