All discernible metrics make one thing very clear: If you’re in the hospitality industry it’s essential that guests enjoy their stay with you. A happy guest is far more likely to return, far more likely to leave one of those oh-so-valuable positive reviews on tripadvisor, and far more likely to encourage their friends to book their travels with you.
Really, at the end of the day, all you want is for your guests to fall in love with your hotel. Just how do you do this? Read on for some killer strategies.
Anticipate the Little Things
No matter what kind of property you operate, your guests are going to have unique preferences that you can anticipate ahead of time. These don’t even have to be big, exceptional things. In this case it’s the little things that truly count.
For example, if you’re operating an upscale hotel it’s likely that your guests who are staying multiple nights will want to explore some restaurants outside the one on your property. Were your executive chef to provide some recommendations – including your own restaurant – on a beautifully printed card, that would provide a nice touch that such guests would appreciate.
We have one client who operates a chain of hotels where guests frequently sleep at odd hours. Knowing this, they were sure to install heavy duty blinds that would block out all traces of daylight so their guests could sleep peacefully.
It’s the small things that can sometimes make all the difference.
Personalize the Guest Experience
We have yet to meet the person who feels truly happy to be part of the masses. Everyone wants to stand out in their own way, everyone wants to be unique.
And everyone wants to be treated well.
Our above point on the little things provided a mechanism to add a layer of polish to your hotel. Now we’re going to talk about how you can personalize the guest experience to specific desires.
The best way offer personalized services in a scalable, efficient way is with technology – make sure you log all guest requests and save them to the guest profile.
The Ritz-Carlton is famous for providing exceptional levels of service and one of their tricks is that they’re rigorous about logging guest preferences. If a guest requests a hypoallergenic pillow the hotel logs that into their system and the next time that guest arrives there is a hypoallergenic pillow waiting for them in their room.
A guest who requests specific treatment will be absolutely delighted to encounter the same levels of service the next time they come to your hotel.
Aim to Go Above and Beyond
If every guest who stayed at your hotel had a great experience where you went above and beyond, they would be sure to appreciate it. Notably, we’re not talking about correcting a problem with a sweeping gesture. We’re talking about things you can do that a guest will not expect but will absolutely enhance their trip.
One very simple thing that seems to be shared on social frequently is complimentary champagne in a room for couples who are away on a weekend retreat (chocolates are a good choice too). This is a perfect example of going above and beyond to enhance the couple’s experience.
Going above and beyond does not have to be complicated – a less upscale hotel that assists elderly travelers with their bags will be smiled upon. The busy business traveler who is given a rapid way to check in will surely appreciate the time savings.
Not Sure What to Do?
Finding ways to improve improve the little things, personalize the experience, and go above and beyond can be challenging – especially if you’re already running a smooth operation. In this case, we would recommend actively sourcing feedback from your guests.
It would take a mere moment to ask a guest checking out how their stay was and whether there was anything your property could do better next time.
Log this information for a month and then see where your property stands. It will be helpful to capture some kind of guest mood as well. One useful application of this would be to identify all complaints by unhappy guests.
Finally, make sure you segment the information across your database. Segmentation categories should include business travelers, romantic retreats, and family vacations, among others.
This will give you a pile of invaluable data that can be used to enhance the guest experience, making them fall in love with your hotel.