11 ways to improve the guest experience in your hotel
In this guide you’re going to get 11 simple ways to wow your guests and gently nudge them to leaving a glowing 5-star review.
The guest experience is something you should give a great deal of thought when managing a hotel or B&B, although there are many aspects that can be easily overlooked.
If you want to make your guests feel extra special and become loyal customers, keep reading…
Engage before arrival
Just impressing customers while they are actually at your hotel? Pfft, leave that to the amateurs.
Be one step ahead by engaging guests before they’ve even made it through the front door.
I’m talking welcome emails, calling to see if they need a pickup service, making sure they have the right location, or even asking if they’d like a complementary massage in the spa after their delayed flight.
You’ve already made a winning first impression before you’ve even met them, so you are well on your way to customer service stardom.
But, what about when they do arrive? Keep reading…
Deliver a warm welcome
A smile and the room key isn’t going to cut it. They are the bare minimum.
Am I giving you advice to give your guests the bare minimum? Nope, these are tips for wowing the socks off your hotel goers.
Firstly, cut the ‘Sir’ and ‘Madam’. We’re customer focused here, so address the guests by their names to offer a personalised touch.
Next. You’ve welcomed them, now ask about them, ‘How are you today?’ ‘How was your flight?’ ‘Did you have a pleasant journey here?’ are all great starters. Showing genuine interest in the guest will get you off to a great start in the customer relationship.
Once you’ve covered the details such as confirming their stay length and booking details, give them an overview of what your amazing hotel has to offer. Perhaps based of the information they’ve already given you, suggest which facilities might especially appeal to them.
And finally, the 9 golden words…
‘Is there anything else I can help you with?’ Just in case you didn’t cover everything in your award-winning welcome speech.
How about when they’ve checked in and head to the room? Here’s what you need to know…
Offer tea and coffee around the clock
The absolute essentials, offering your guests a good cuppa.
Whether they are a tea or coffee lover, you need to provide the goods.
Ideally, offering tea or coffee making facilities in the rooms would be the favourable option. Although, if your establishment can’t offer this in the rooms, make sure there is a communal drink making facility that is available to everyone around the clock.
Go the extra mile and provide other hot drink options for those who avoid caffeine, such as decaf tea or hot chocolate.
If your guests can enjoy a 5-star cuppa in their room, they are one step closer to leaving a 5-star review. However, don’t forget about the other facilities that your rooms have to offer…
Display a clear guide of what the room & hotel has to offer
Have you ever discovered something crucial on the last day in your room that you wish you had at the beginning of your trip, such as a hair dryer or TV remote?
I’m sure you felt an irritating level of frustration and dissatisfaction.
Well, this is the last thing you want guests to feel as their stay comes to an end.
If you’re providing special facilities in the room such as a TV, kettle, hair appliances or toiletries, make sure they are abundantly clear to the guest. If they aren’t in plain sight, perhaps include them in a welcome guide that informs them of the facilities they access to in the room.
This isn’t the only thing that should be provided for guests at the beginning of their stay…
Surprise guests with a special gift
Do you want a super easy way to wow your guests, make them feel special and create a spectacular start to their trip? Of course you do!
There’s only one thing for it… free gifts!
Well, that’s not quite true, providing outstanding customer service and facilities is a better long-term strategy, but a simple free gift is a nice touch that puts your establishment in a positive light in the eyes of your guests.
Depending on your hotel and budget, this could be anything from a chocolate on the pillow to a mini hamper of local produce. A small gesture goes a long way in this industry!
Keep reading for a completely free way to add extra value to your hotel experience…
Provide expert information of the local area
The majority of your guests are most likely not from the local area, so will rely on your staff to guide them to the top attractions.
Make sure you staff are experts of the local area and know exactly what they’re talking about. It’s not too impressive when the concierge has to Google the local pharmacy when asked by a guest.
Also provide local guides, leaflets and helpful booklets throughout the lobby (or even in the rooms) for your hotel goers to help themselves to.
Impress with your amenities
When thinking about the extra special touches you can add to the guest experiences and out of the ordinary rewards for loyal guests, it can be easy to overlook the basics.
Going the extra mile is great, but it means nothing if your guests aren’t happy with the basic amenities.
What’s the first thing you do when you arrive in your hotel room?
Most guests will go straight for the bed to see how high quality the mattress and sheets are. If they’re of poor quality, this is a massive red flag for any hotel goer.
Other basic amenities you need to get right include:
- Free Wi-Fi
- Attentive phone answering
- A high level of safety and security
- Bottled or fresh water
- A room service menu
- Blackout curtains
This is great for the bedroom, but what about the dining room? Here are my tips…
Give guests what they want at breakfast
The most important meal of the day.
Your guests come down tired, cranky and certainly hungry. They go to the breakfast bar to find some stale croissants and some weird mango juice that they thought was orange juice.
You’ve probably caught them at the worst time to disappoint them with your services.
Providing a wide variety of breakfast options is the key to pleasing everyone and improving your guest’s experience.
If you want some more pointers on exactly what should be provided for the morning meal, take a look at this guide to what guests want for breakfast.
Schedule constructive communication
Continuous pestering is certainly irritating when trying to relax on your trip, but a total lack of communication will leave your guests in the dark.
Have a strategy with your communication to make sure you are getting across the right information and so that you aren’t pestering anybody, as this is a sure way to dampen someone’s experience of your establishment.
For example, you may have one call the day of their arrival to make sure their room is ok and that they are happy with everything. You may also want to ask on this call whether they want a wake-up call in the morning or a newspaper.
If their room isn’t serviced one day because they had a do not disturb sign up, this doesn’t require another phone call. Push a note through the door to explain and leave a number they can call if they wish to arrange housekeeping.
At the end of their trip, you may want feedback on how they found their stay. To avoid bombarding them at the check out desk or with calls, send a feedback form over email.
Ensure there are plenty of staff to give each guest enough attention
If you’re understaffed, how on earth are you going to provide each guest with the special treatment and attention they deserve?
The answer is: you can’t.
Being understaffed is a sure way to lack in high quality customer service and deliver a below average hotel guest experience.
You certainly don’t want guests wandering around the hotel quarters endlessly searching for a member of staff to assist them in their request.
Don’t forget the details
Pay attention to the tiny details.
From signing off the welcome card with your name to soft and fluffy bath robes, the details that seem small to you make a huge difference to your guests.
This collection of small gestures come together to leave lasting impression on those staying at your establishment.
What have I missed? Please let me know in the comments below if you have great tips for improving the guest experience in a hotel…