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The guest experience in a hotel can be so much more than just checking in, sleeping, then checking out. Sure, if you’re running a motel, that might be all you need to pull off, but in any case, you should be striving to provide an exceptional guest experience.
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The question you should be asking yourself at every stage is “how can I impress my hotel guest?” because, with the right answers, you’ll find that repeat bookings come in smoother and more commonly. We’ve put together this guide to improving the hotel customer experience beyond the bare minimum, so people enjoy their stay and leave with good things to say about your establishment.
Begin the Guest Experience Before They Arrive
Communication is key throughout your guest’s stay, but it can be equally important before they arrive for their stay. Sending a simple pre-arrival text before your guest gets to the hotel is a great way to lay things out for them, so they don’t feel overwhelmed or confused on arrival. This text can be as simple as a cheery message with the details of their stay and explaining the check-in process, but it really goes a long way.
Personalize Their Stay
Remember, service isn’t the same as hospitality. Anyone with the resources can provide a room and a shower for a night or two, but personalizing a stay for a guest is a surefire way for your hotel to stand out.
Personalization is great for inspiring loyalty and repeat visits from your guests, while also increasing the potential for them to recommend you. Allow them to dictate the particulars of their stay as much as you can, as it will ensure their comfort to the highest degree.
Tailor the Guest Experience to the Purpose of Their Stay
Business or leisure? This is a key question that you should be asking all of your hotel guests, as it will inform the way that you treat their stay going forward.
If they’re there for a work trip, ask how much housekeeping they want, perhaps provide them with a little extra coffee or tea, and refrain from engaging with them more than necessary. For a holiday, amp up the friendliness and recommendations!
Profile Your Guests Based on Previous Stays
If you have repeat customers, keep track of their names and a few key details about who they are. Of course, in this industry, you have to deal with hundreds of faces at a time, but if someone feels personally remembered, it will go a long way in making them feel more comfortable and important.
Be an Expert in Your Area – Have Connections
A big part of knowing how to enhance guest experience in hotels is being knowledgeable and connected in your local area. Lots of guests come to hotels wanting recommendations for things to do nearby, so knowing plenty of options for activities, meals, and experiences surrounding the hotel is invaluable. It’s even better if you have connections with local businesses that you can send your guests to directly, saving them the effort of booking themselves.
Be Empathetic and Responsive to Complaints
Even if you do everything right, there’s a good chance that a guest will have some complaints or specific requests during their stay. If this happens, don’t brush the complaints off or victim blame, respond to complaints quickly and efficiently with open ears and an open mind.
Celebrate Special Occasions with Guests
Whether a guest is staying for Christmas, Valentine’s Day, or an anniversary, try to go the extra mile when you can to enhance their stay. If this means leaving a little care package in their room, offering them some champagne on arrival, or providing them with a discount at the restaurant, do it. It will take their guest experience from serviceable to exceptional.
Keep Communication Clear and Open
If the guest experience begins with your pre-arrival email, don’t let that be the end of the communication. Make it easy for your guests to get a hold of you whenever they need to, along with letting them know everything they need to know quickly and promptly.
No one likes to be kept in the dark, especially not when entrusting the comfort and cleanliness of their temporary home to a stranger. Keep channels of communication open and easy to use to allow your guest a degree of freedom and control.
Provide Good, Free WiFi
Remote work is here to stay, and your hotel could be the venue for a lot of WFH employees, whether on work trips or simply taking their laptops out of town. Forcing guests to pay for WiFi after they’ve already arrived is a cheap move that will likely inspire poor reviews and guests that won’t come back. Even if it’s not for work, we all know how addictive browsing can be, so make sure people have the ability to do so when in your care!
Service With a Smile!
We’ve all stayed in hotels with apathetic staff who appear put out by doing the bare minimum – don’t be like these hotels. Make sure your staff knows to provide their services with a welcoming smile, so the guest experience isn’t tainted by any negative energy.
With this guide, you should feel more confident than ever in providing an exceptional guest experience to everyone that you welcome into your hotel, all that’s left to do is put it into action!