The hospitality industry is constantly evolving. There was a time when the customer service etiquette was a short list and clients were satisfied with a simple ‘thank you’ and ‘please’. Though these still are very much in practice, the culture of spending time in hotels has been changing constantly. As opposed to slightly earlier times when credible hotels were few and far between, one can now find (and quite easily) many hotels with a great deal of information about them: there are a thousand channels and websites which provide every kind of information.
Customer service is present at every step of the way in the hospitality industry. It is the first point of contact between the guest and hotel staff that will define the course of things; it is an opportunity to create solid impressions that last long and ensure the guest has an experience which is irreplaceable. In other words, guests at a hotel are its lifeblood and everything depends on how they feel during and at the end of the stay. Remember, word of mouth spreads faster than we think. The industry has evolved with time and has taken on a new shape. Travelling across the globe is much easier now and many people take advantage of this. Naturally, with an increase in the need for suitable hospitality, new places and hotels have come about. People seek an experience which is more than just a simple stay; an experience that is unique and reflective of the local culture and flavour.
Fundamentally, every hotel now is listed online with easy access and it is not just information anymore that the guests seek but the general feel and sense of a hotel. And since all this is available at one’s fingertips, there is an added responsibility to provide great value for the guests’ money. With so much happening in the hospitality space, it is perhaps safe to say that a hotel’s practices are ultimately the deciding factor. Every hotel has to own an internal culture which sustains and translates into great service. Let’s take a look at some of the best practices that a hotel can follow, both on- and offline to get as much guest satisfaction as possible.
With so much happening in the hospitality space, it is perhaps safe to say that a hotel’s practices are ultimately the deciding factor. Every hotel has to own an internal culture which sustains and translates into great service. Let’s take a look at some of the best practices that a hotel can follow, both on- and offline to get as much guest satisfaction as possible.
Face time: Valuing face time and being available to your guests is certainly important. While a strong presence on the internet helps immensely, it is the personal touch that does the trick. Building personal connections during the stay, starting from a warm welcome, remains with the guests for a long time.
Know your customer: Is the guest on a business trip or a personal one? Do they require a morning wake-up call? Any dietary preferences that can be addressed? There are plenty of things a guest would want from his or her stay. Luckily, there are plenty of tools available to gauge customer habits. Online surveys and other simple ways to track interests among customers help in the long run because small things always matter.
Being Interactive: While we’ve already spoken about the importance of face-to-face communication, being present in the digital space is very important as well. A guest always wishes to get to know his or her hotel of choice better: What does the place look like? What’s the view like from the room? Hotel owners can share pictures and important details and through online methods, get to know the guest better. It is always nice for a guest to hear from the hotel owner after the stay since it helps to create a bond that can last longer.
The ‘wow’ factor: To keep up with the constantly changing hotel world, it is indeed important to offer something unique to the guests. There are a plethora of options out there to choose from but why should one stay with you? It is imperative to set yourself apart and offer an experience that is unlike anywhere else. This could be a visual theme, where guests experience themes and colors of the region or an exquisite menu that comes from the heartland. Thinking outside of the box for all design ideas is the way forward.
A happy staff: staff who is content means everyone is content. And this shows very clearly because the mood of a hotel is very palpable for a guest. Keeping the staff happy and inclusive, educating them constantly about good practices and being there for their needs is always helpful. Be it an informal, casual set up or a high-profile one, having your personnel on the same page works wonders.
In a nutshell, a hotel that imbibes a culture and strives to impress its guests will always remain relevant. Be it on-property or in social media, it is important to stay in touch and updated because customer service is crucial for the success of any hotel. Today, there are more ways than ever to attract guests but believing in practices that suit one’s own personality is the key.
Guests across the world have high expectations of their stay and this has to push a hotel to continually look for ways to elevate their experiences. Though the competition is persistent, one has to remain alert and proactive in offering new and distinctive services. Thus, give the guests and their inputs a priority and keep the dialogue going between you and them so that you can find small but new ways to attract them and keep them satisfied.