Improving Hotel Customer Service
Phil Benson provides an overview on how to best improve your hotel customer service.
The key to your hotel providing a good customer service is to know your customer. Through numerous surveys and studies, the hotel industry knows that the majority of overnight hotel customers are corporate males and that their primary expectations are for a quick check-in, a clean room and a speedy check-out.
Although these three aspects are an important part of the service that is provided and has been drilled into staff for years, it may only be “ok” for guests who have the same expectation levels and needs as the male, corporate majority. Simply concentrating on speedy reception procedures and cleanliness may result in forgetting to meet the many needs that other guests have. It is important to remember that each guest is a unique person who will have different requirements and expectations during their stay.
Consistent Level of Customer Service
Being able to provide a consistent level of quality customer service to all guests should be a constant work in progress for hoteliers. Going that extra step by making them feel welcome and a friend of the hotel could pay dividends in the future with repeat custom and referrals. Being friendly to guests is obvious, but treating them as a friend of the business will instantly make them feel more valued personally.
Often a customer will be from another part of the country, so may have a number of questions about the local area. Being responsive to them and offering guest’s personal assistance in finding what they are looking for is crucial. Often, giving them information and exclusive knowledge about good places to visit or eat and drink will give the guest a better understanding of the area, but also give the hotelier a better understanding of what the guest wants out of their stay.
Even customers who have used the hotel before will appreciate the wealth of useful knowledge staff can offer, especially if new attractions or bars and eateries have recently opened locally. You would tell your friend if they were visiting, so treat guests in the same way.
Right Question, Right Time
Sometimes guests will not want to ask questions as they might think hoteliers and staff are too busy for them, so by going to them and asking the right questions will allow the guest to see that staff members are willing to make time for them and value their custom.
Often, the first face-to-face contact with a customer is at check-in. This is the opportunity to give the best first impression with a kind welcome, but also the first opportunity to find out more about the individual. Many hotels’ offer services, such as a wake-up call at the guest’s discretion, but these services should be offered upfront at check-in so the guest knows this option is definitely open to them. End the check-in process by asking if there is anything else that staff can help them with as the more interaction you can have with the customer, the better you will know them as a person and gain a better idea of what their specific requirements might be.