In the hospitality industry, the term hospitality refers to cordial, humble and welcoming to people. As hoteliers, we’d like to consider ourselves as providers of great customer service. Guests feel good when they walk into a hotel and are greeted by their name, offered their favorite drink and are made to feel special, just like a part of the family. Hotels run on the principles of guest satisfaction with a strong focus on attracting new guests while retaining the old ones. But great service is not an easy task as one needs to know how to handle crisis, resolve issues professionally and maintain peace and harmony.
Treat guests the way you would like to be treated
You must have heard the famous proverb, “Give Respect, Take Respect”. The way you would like to be treated by anyone is the same way how others like to be treated. Excellent behavior leads to excellent service that in turn leads to excellent guest satisfaction.
Take a look at these simple commandments you can adopt into your business philosophy and day-to-day operations:
– Lend an Ear: Always make your guests feel that you are listening to their problems, as clear and concise communication is the key to great customer service. Respond to their problems and if you cannot respond immediately, then make a note and be sure to follow up. You can also facilitate surveys that will help you understand your guest’s needs. Also, keep in touch with your guest through social media, emails and other communication channels.
– Do a Little More: Times have changed and guests no longer get impressed with just pleasing words or gestures. They often look for memorable experiences and dynamic service from the hotel staff. Little gestures like extending the check-out duration, giving unexpected discounts, small gifts or customizing the menu according to their needs is what impresses them. These little things count and can drive in more business to the hotel. (Also Read: Enchant your Hotel Guests with Delights & Surprises)
– Stick to Your Words: If you wish to turn your guests into recurrent guests then deliver the service as you promised. Guests are more likely to get irritated when they don’t receive the special services or products that have been offered during the booking. Avoid making promises that cannot be fulfilled. Many hotels develop cheap marketing gimmicks to attract travelers only to disappoint them once they arrive. Never make that mistake of promising something and then delivering something else.
– Offer Personalized Service: Always remember that happy guests often turn into loyal guests. Train your staff to provide stellar service from the time they check-in till the time they check-out. Be sure that your staff is 24/7 available to your guests as no one likes waiting or being refused for specific services as this might lead to your guests being swayed away to your competition.
– Train and Monitor your Staff: Though this point has been touched upon since ages, it is more critical than ever now to have staff who are trained to handle guests. Because any carelessness on the part of the staff can snowball into negative reviews on social media, review sites and blogs instantly doing instant damage to your hotel’s reputation. It is important to provide training to your staff members regularly on how to handle both easy-going and tough guests. Train them on resolving issues and ask them to observe their managers on how they handle situations. Another way to share best practices with co-workers is to hold weekly meetings where employees can share their experiences that have dazzled the guests. Encourage these employees with small gifts or vouchers that will boost their confidence. More likely than not, the others will follow suit and adopt the same practices.
In the hotel industry, guest satisfaction largely depends on the quality of the service. And in order to be successful in the market, it is important that the management and staff are well in sync towards the aim to enhance guest experience.
The hotel industry is booming yet is highly competitive. Guests, these days, want exactly what they expect, whether it is to do with amenities, services or location. A well-trained management and staff help in building good customer experience and encourage recurrent guests.
From my personal experience: Loyalty increases with guest satisfaction hence satisfied guests are less likely to switch brands even if the prices go high or few amenities are amiss. Pleasing your guests is a crucial factor for the success of your hotel and you don’t need to spend a fortune to attain guest satisfaction. Sometimes a smile or good behavior are enough to sweep them off their feet.