During the stay: How to create an emotional connect with your guest?

Hotel Front Desk with Guest

In the earlier blog, I shared tips on how to engage with guests as soon as they arrive. What happens after the guests have arrived? Does your hotel create an emotional connect with guests during their stay? Every effort made to enhance guest experience during the stay can help in building a long-term relationship and keep them coming back.

Don’t go overboard but add a pinch of personalization

As a guest, would you like to be referred by your name? Would you like being woken up with a hot cup of tea instead a mere phone call? Would you like having a book or movie DVDs placed in your room?

Everyone loves attention and giving priority to guests’ well-being and personalizing your approach is valued higher than hi-fi amenities or discounted rates.

An interesting survey by Gallup reveals that taking care of guests’ well-being leads to a healthier relationship. Among guests who strongly agree that the hotel they visit most frequently takes care of their well-being, 79% are fully engaged, compared with 20% who are indifferent and 1% who are actively disengaged. Among those who strongly disagree with this statement, a mere 6% are fully engaged.

Nowadays, travelers are less concerned about luxury amenities, it’s more about the personal attention that they are looking forward to. Small and independent hotel owners have advantage over the large hotels as they can provide personalized services to each of their guests. On the other hand, large hotels cannot attend to each guest and that is why they rely on their amenities for the guests to stay committed to their brand.

Also, personalized services don’t require huge investment but just a bit of effort from your end. Even if you happen to spend a bit on extending a certain kind of service, you can incorporate that into the room rates because your guests will definitely not mind spending a few pennies for this kind of satisfaction.

Here’s sharing few tips to elevate your guests’ experience during their stay:

Be courteous

Once you know the purpose of your guest’s visit and the preferences, ensure you customize the in-room facilities according to their likes. Little things like providing stationary to the business traveler, wine to the newly-weds and film DVDs to the leisure guests will make them feel special and elevate their stay experience.

Also, checking on your guests by calling them up or inquiring about their stay will give them a feeling of belongingness. I remember visiting a hotel whose manager called me after his shift just to check if I received the order I had requested for at the front desk. Such a gesture can leave a long-lasting effect on your guest.

Be helpful

Some of your guests may have visited your city for the first time and might not be aware of the attractions and places. Provide assistance related to the sightseeing tours and packages, offer maps or recommend nearby places to visit.

Alternatively, you could tie-up with the sightseeing tour providers, local events or rental car services to provide your guests with services that will help them explore the city. This will also drive in additional revenue.

Address your guest by their name

In my experience of staying with hotels, I have often heard the terms ‘Ma’am’ and ‘Sir’ and have never heard the hotel staff address guests by their name. Don’t you think it’s time to stop this age old tradition and start calling people by their names? After all, when we are talking about personalizing the experience, might as well start by the name.

Recollecting my experience on a recent trip to a hotel where the valet attendant asked for my name to write it on the ticket. He then introduced me to the bellboy by addressing me by my name who further introduced me to the front desk executive using my name. People appreciate being addressed by their names and it is also a good conversation starter. One should never refer to the guest by the room number or codes.

Be humble in your approach

Ensure that you greet your guests with a smile and be humble in your approach. Citing another personal experience where the bellboy was on a call when I arrived and kept yelling on the phone to the person on the other side. He picked up my luggage and escorted me to my room but was on the phone throughout. I didn’t complain as he did his duty but I would have appreciated if he had kept his call aside for a minute and greeted me with a smile.

These little things can annoy your guests so train your staff members to be humble and generous to your guests and treat all of them alike. Remember, it’s not only you but your staff should also carry the same attitude as they are more likely to interact with the guests.

Arrange for activities

It’s good to know your guests and acquire more knowledge about them. Arrange for small activities or games during dinner or breakfast wherein you can interact with the guests on a personal basis. Once you know your guest well, this data will help you get more insight into creating marketing campaigns around them.

Connect on social media

Social media is a personal space and to strike an emotional chord, connecting on social media is perhaps the best way. Request them to like your page or follow them on Twitter. You could stay in touch with them and keep them updated on the changes in your property so that they re-consider your hotel during their next tour.

Always remember to make it a point to acknowledge their comments. If there are positive comments, acknowledge it by thanking them and if there are negative comments, make it a point to revert to them by providing a solution or fixing the problem.

Although price, location and recommendations are the primary factors that bring guests through your hotel door for the first time but if you manage to create an emotional connect with your guests, they’ll be more likely to return to your hotel again even if they find a better deal elsewhere.

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Manisha Pathak

Manisha Pathak is a Content Writer at Hotelogix. She creates helpful articles, eBooks and other content resources for hoteliers. With a passion towards writing, she loves writing on topics that helps hoteliers, especially small and mid-sized, to keep up-to-date with the latest news and current trends in the hospitality industry. Connect with her at manisha.pathak@hotelogix.com

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