04 November 2015

4 Takeaways For Excellent Guest Satisfaction In Hotels

  1. Check the alarm clock!
  2. Book directly with the hotel via its website, not via a third-party aggregator.
  3. Tip the housekeeper.

We learned these tips from one of the most fun articles we’ve read recently, Don’t Drink From the Glasses in Your Hotel Room. In the article, Micah Solomon lists 14 somewhat-unexpected tips that can help travelers enjoy a better hotel stay.

We thought it’d be fun to turn the tables, so to speak, and make a list of takeaways for hotel managers, owners, and operators that can help them improve guest satisfaction in hotels. Here are four tips we came up with:

1. Be proactive in reading and responding to your hotel guests’ reviews.

Check this out: “78% of travelers say that seeing a hotel management response to reviews makes them believe that it cares more about its guests.” This statistic (from PhoCusWright’s Custom Survey Research Engagement via this Trip Advisor webinar) should be eye-opening to those of us in the hospitality industry.

Guests want to see that you care about what others are saying about your property. More importantly, they want to see that you’re offering genuine, honest, helpful responses to those reviews, both good and bad. If you’re monitoring your hotel feedback and protecting your reputation online, you’re leaving so much to chance—including what current and potential guests think of you. This white paper can help you get started with the basics of monitoring your online reputation.

2. Ensure your front desk staff is stellar.

“Hotel success is dependent, at least in part, on guest impressions. Make a good one, and the average satisfied customer will tell three other people about your establishment. Make a bad one, and they will tell eleven. Hiring the best front desk manager is one way to insure (sic) more of those impressions are good.”

-Angela Rose, Why Your Hotel Front Desk Manager is One of Your Most Important Hires

Here are two ways you can make sure your front desk team is treating your guests the way you expect them to:

  • Train new employees consistently from the get-go.
  • Monitor and evaluate inbound phone calls.

We can help you make sure the face of your company—your front line—is representing your values.

3. Keep your guests’ credit card and other sensitive information protected.

In one of our recent articles, we discuss the trend of hotels leaking guests’ credit card numbers and other sensitive information. More importantly, we share how our GuestProtect solution helps you stay PCI compliant and keep your guests’ information safe. Click here to find out more about how PCI compliance is an important part of customer service in hotels.

4. “Focus on the fundamentals.”

Wonder how luxury hotel brand Ritz-Carlton maintains its sterling reputation?1 For starters, the ladies and gentleman of the Ritz-Carlton brand focus on three fundamental characteristics: location, product, and people.

  • Location: “…making sure we get absolutely the best location, where our luxury customers want to stay.”
  • Product: “…building the right physical product for what our guests want today and what they will want tomorrow.”
  • People: The “ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen.”

In the article, former Ritz-Carlton leader Simon Cooper talks specifically about how the people of the brand are charged with focusing on service:

“The concept is to do something, to create an absolutely wonderful stay for a guest. (…) It could be that someone finds out it’s a guest’s birthday, and the next thing you know there’s champagne and cake in the room. A lot of the stuff that crosses my desk is not that they overcame a problem but that they used their $2,000 to create an outstanding experience.”

While not every hotel chain or lodging company can afford to shell out two grand for a single guest, the idea is easily implementable—all staff members should pay attention to what your guests are saying and doing, and then do what they can to make the guest’s experience stand out. The key here is that everyone is responsible for taking the initiative. As Cooper says, “No culture sticks if it’s not lived at the highest levels of the organization.”

Ultimately, these four tips can help your hotel provide an excellent guest experience to every person who walks through your front doors. Make sure you’re implementing them consistently, and you’ll create loyal guests who become advocates for your brand.