By Jennifer Bumgardner, Customer Success Specialist, ALICE
Consider a time you thought of a hotel stay as extraordinary. What made your experience so memorable? Was it the moment you approached the front desk, where a friendly bellman carried your bags? Or was it the simplicity and comfort of your room?
This stay could have also been more memorable because of the technology utilized by staff to communicate reservation updates via SMS or live chat. Whatever you may have pinpointed, in some way, contributed and molded your customer experience from one of satisfaction to one you remembered as extraordinary.
All of those details (no matter how small) are the keys for great customer experiences and have been from the dawn of hospitality. A hotelier’s efforts with customer interactions ensure each experience remains as exceptional as possible.
As a hotelier, here are a few ways to improve your guests’ experience, giving them an extraordinary stay and your hotel a positive review:
1. Personalize A Guest’s Stay
Personalization is one of the surest ways to improve your hotel guest experience. The more your team is able to customize a stay to meet the preferences, and desires of a guest, the more welcome and appreciated that guest will feel.
Every opportunity to interact with a guest in a more personalized manner will influence their overall perception of your property, and service. After each guest interaction, the mentioned details (such as favorite breakfast items, housekeeping preferences, etc.), should be notated and shared cross-departmentally. For example, if a guest discloses reasons for travel, recognize them and plan proactively. You can for example, pre-place an iron and ironing board with a personalized note for a business traveler, or have a crib already set up in a family’s room.
The key to customer satisfaction is making sure that all hotel departments know the same personalized information for those guests. This will improve the customer experience and allow the staff to interact more confidently with each guest which is guaranteed to increase customer loyalty.
2. Have Genuine Concern For Complaints
Treat every complaint and bad experience as a gift. Welcome critique and criticism with open-mindedness and genuine concern. Guests do not wish nor plan to confront issues while onsite.
If they do, and happen to mention their issue to management, consider the complaint a chance at mutual resolution and as an opportunity to learn. One of the most highly applicable acronyms, LEARN.
LEARN represents the ability for a team member to Listen, Empathize, Apologize, React, and Notify when handling service recovery. This step-by-step method is known to deliver optimistic results, as guests oftentimes are merely looking to be heard, understood, and acknowledged with professionalism and sincerity. Customer feedback is crucial for any business.
Be sure to also address each complaint as its own, regardless of whether or not it may be one you’ve heard many times before. Every experience is independent of others, and deserves your full attention if a positive outcome (and potential review) are at stake.
3. Maintain A Robust Guest Profile
Take a note of any and all preferences, issues, and/or personal details as possible within your PMS system or hotel operations software. Guests not only look for signs of recognition if they decide to return, but also appreciate when small details are remembered.
Maintaining a strong guest profile allows each staff member the ability to develop a personal relationship with said guest, build loyalty, and encourage positive review. 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 your staff remembered she was for example allergic to feathers.
4. Be Empathic and Authentic To Your Guests
Encouraging your team to take a more empathic approach can cause a significant shift in your hotel guest experience. Relationships are the core of hospitality, and relatability is a key factor in development of strong bonds and loyal customers.
Place yourself in a guest’s shoes when confronting conflict and make an honest effort at understanding their perspective, verses stating only yours.
In addition, allowing team members to showcase their personality, converse candidly, and foster organic friendships/relationships amongst guests enables them to welcome guests as individuals. With shared interests, talents, and hobbies, versus as mere customers of a company or corporation.
5. Deliver Great Customer Service As A Team
Aim to have your hotel operate at the same level cross-departmentally, each team reverberating from the positivity and excellence of others. The guest experience secretly begins within the employee’s experience. Taking care of your teams can call for consistency in delivering luxury service and customer support.
If everyone feels as though they are contributing to a common goal and are all treated with respect. They will work together versus apart to create an experience for guests as great as their own.
6. Always Practice Proactivity
Do not wait until a guest is onsite to begin their experience. A guest’s hotel experience begins when they book the room. Reach out prior to arrival with an email or phone call to begin building a relationship.
This allows for your team to already know what to expect once that guest arrives. Actively practicing intuitive service is the idea that your team should handle issues or requests before a guest even knows they need them.
This type of service, that expects and addresses the guests preferences or requests, prior to them having to themselves, based on information, pattern, and/or logic. This easily surprises guests who do not expect your team to know anything about them. Welcoming a guest by name before they have even mentioned it for example. If your team knows their arrival time and/or something to recognize them by- this makes a big difference to the guest.
7. Use Hotel Operations Software
Last but not least, you can always improve your hotel guest experience by utilizing one of the industry’s many hotel operations software (such as ALICE). Softwares allows staff to track a guest’s requests or build a more comprehensive guest profile. It can also deliver elevated itineraries/confirmation letters, and/or relay important information all via SMS or Messenger.
Taking advantage of these advancements in hotel tech allows your team to work more effectively, efficiently, and seamlessly. Bettering not only a guest’s experience, but your teams (and who doesn’t love a happy staff).
Schedule a demo today to learn more about how ALICE can improve your guest experience management and benefit your hotel!