Improving Hotel Customer Service
Customer Service Is Essential
Top-notch hotel customer service ensures that guests won’t choose a rival hotel next time or even the current stay short. It generates positive online reviews and word of mouth that draw in new customers.
Additionally, hotel staffers who know they’re providing excellent customer service can take pride in their work. This enhances their morale and esprit de corps. That in turn helps them work as a team and promotes employee retention.
You probably had some sense of all that. If your hotel is like many others, however, it’s possible you could still benefit from some customer service pointers. Here are eight likely to prove particularly helpful.
Know the Customer
You should have a sense of your clientele. Are most of your guests traveling for business or pleasure? What are their preferences? Knowing will help you serve them better, and there are plenty of online tracking tools and surveys that will help you assess their habits.
Face-to-Face Contact Is Essential
A guest may well have formed his first impression of the hotel online. That, however, doesn’t make subsequent face-to-face interactions any less important. They’re what will leave a lasting impression. Be sure to provide a warm welcome and pleasant interactions throughout a customer’s stay.
At some point, a guest will have a request. If things have gone off track, he or she may even have a complaint. Whatever you’re hearing, act on it quickly. That’s the way to make a happy customer happier or mollify a dissatisfied one.
Maintain Contact After the Guest Departs
Checkout shouldn’t be your final interaction with a guest. Online communication makes it easy to elicit feedback that can improve customer service. Or, if the guest says everything was great, you can give the staff a “Great work! Well done!” Online communication also lets you share hotel news and promotions that will encourage return business.
Make the Hotel Memorable
Naturally, you want the hotel to feel welcoming. You also want it to feel cool, interesting, and/or impressive. Eye-catching décor and artwork can produce this effect. So can social hours with some intriguing theme in the lobby. Essentially, you want a guest to feel his or her stay was more than pleasant or convenient. It was an experience.
Look at What the Other Guys Are Doing
No matter how great your hotel’s customer service already is, there’s a good chance somebody somewhere is doing something effective that hasn’t occurred to you. Take note of what other hotels large and small, chain or independent, are offering. If an idea is successful, don’t be shy about stealing it.
Keep Your Staff Happy
A happy staff is more likely to care about customer service and make a good impression on guests. A well-trained staff has the tools necessary to provide good customer service. Accordingly, make sure to educate employees about their responsibilities and reward them for doing a good job. A gaming framework can make training fun. Establishing concrete customer service and customer satisfaction goals can both provide a concrete measure of progress and make rewards seem fair and achievable.
Hotel Customer Service: A Final Thought
Creating a satisfied guest who will return for another stay is easier and much less expensive than attracting a new customer. Accordingly, almost any effort that goes into producing customer service is worthwhile. So do whatever it takes.