It’s no secret: travelers are reading online guest reviews when deciding which hotel to book. Future guests may make their booking decisions based on a single customer’s exemplary or negative experience. Websites like TripAdvisor have changed the game, and especially now during the COVID-19 pandemic, the hotel industry cannot afford a single negative post.
By proactively providing excellent service to each and every customer, hoteliers can decrease the number of poor reviews. Many time, quality of service is the only thing that differentiates one competitor from another. However, many hotels struggle with the concept because a great guest experience is personal to each guest who walks through your door. And that’s the secret – hotel staff must identify what’s important to each guest and then provide an experience that exceeds their individual needs and expectations.
Here are six ways to provide personalized and excellent service to your guests:
1. Consistently (and efficiently!) onboard new employees.
Due to the hospitality industry’s current labor shortage, hotel managers are often hiring employees with little to no previous related experience. Therefore, onboarding is critical to ensure each new hire is prepared to deliver the hotel’s standard of service. By properly laying a consistent foundation with every new employee, managers reduce potential for mistakes, quickly encourage productivity while instilling the importance of guest service from day one. ALICE, a hotel operations and management software, assists hoteliers with almost instant onboarding to its task management platform. ALICE features color coding and icons that make it easy for new employees with limited technical experience or a language barrier to master the platform’s tools right away. Easy and effective onboarding enables hotel managers to hire employees with less experience, and have new team members performing at a high level very quickly.
2. Provide continuous and relevant training for staff.
With most hotels working short staffed, it’s easy to forgo regular training due to lack of time and bandwidth. However, now is exactly when staff needs training the most. When hotels are trying to do more with less, it’s easy to make mistakes and cut corners. In addition to poor reviews, these errors or moments of poor service cost your hotel revenue – for some properties, guest compensation represents a 30%-40% loss. Training is not only about attending one-off sessions or learning protocols; it’s a continuous effort. With ALICE, every day comes with hotel staff training opportunities, and management should embrace these opportunities to reward or coach their teams. Regular webinars hosted by ALICE’s Customer Success team help users remain up-to-speed on the latest features and provide best practices for ways to optimize the platform.
3. Recognize and reward great service.
When employees provide excellent service, hotel managers should publicly recognize their efforts.One option is a bulletin board in the breakroom with positive feedback for your hotel; it’s also good to mention employees’ specific efforts at team meetings and to provide small prizes for those who go above and beyond. Capturing these shoutouts is made easy withALICE’s guest feedback logbook which collect comments from guests to praise your staff and to coach them to become better hoteliers.
4. Maintain your building’s physical facilities.
Service quality also includes the ability to upkeep the property’s facilities appropriately. Having a strong maintenance team along with a preventative maintenance program goes a long way. To put it simply, guests want what they pay for no matter their age or background. This is certainly a way to avoid having to pay any guests compensation for bad service. With the ALICE Preventative Maintenance tool, asset tracking and engineering task management is organized, user-friendly and simple for the team to adopt. Hotel managers can proactively identify, assign, and track any equipment or room issues, and fix problems as soon as they are reported.
5. Focus on guest recovery.
Having a system like ALICE Guest Services allows hotel teams to proactively track guest feedback. This ultimately allows more time, bandwidth, and money to provide the kind of guest recovery that turns a guest’s frown into a smile. Even more important, guest complaints, which often lead to poor reviews, don’t slip through the cracks. The task management feature assigns complaints to a team member and ensure that guests’ issues are resolved before they escalate.
6. Build and preserve a robust guest profile.
Maintaining a strong guest profile allows each staff member the ability to develop a personal relationship with said guest, build loyalty, and encourage a positive review. Personalized measures can also be taken to preemptively prepare a room or reservation from guest profile notes. This can impress a guest in the future who may be surprised that staff remembers, for example, she is allergic to feathers. By focusing on the guest profile as the cornerstone of hotel operations, hoteliers not only prevent negative reviews, but dramatically increase the odds that the next review is glowing.
Strong service quality enhances customer satisfaction, which translates not only to a better revenue stream or less financial loss, but also to a happier environment for staff as well as guests. The goal in hospitality is to make guests feel at home away from their homes. ALICE can be that crucial tool that allows guests to easily have a positive, well-rounded stay.
Schedule a demo today to learn more about how ALICE can help your hotel’s service quality.