Customer service

Good vs. Bad Customer Service: How to improve customer service


Good vs. Bad Customer Service: How to improve customer service

Customer service in hotels is arguably one of the most important considerations that guests make before booking a room.

While quality hotel customer service can be a huge boon for your business, offering inexcusable customer care in the hospitality industry can be just as disastrous.

Let’s look at some situations that are widely considered unacceptable:

  • Delayed response time to a query, complaint, or concern
  • Long lines due to inefficient service
  • Rude and unprofessional interactions
  • Impersonal experiences or lack of attention to detail
  • Excuses and arguments presented to guest grievances

Some of these scenarios can seem unavoidable- especially in the aftermath of the pandemic. But, it does not reflect well on your hotel if too many of your guests express the same concerns time and again.

There are repercussions to bad service, and sometimes a tarnished reputation is harder to deal with than a disgruntled guest.

The importance of good customer service in the hospitality industry is many-fold. A few consequences to below par hotel customer service are:

  • Damage to your reputation
    Building a reputation takes years, but you could ruin it within seconds. In today’s world, a single tweet or video could derail your business for a very long time.
  • Losing existing customers
    Great hotel customer service builds guest loyalty. In contrast, bad customer care in a hotel means that more and more guests will prefer to stay at a competitors’.
  • A drop in your revenue
    NewVoiceMedia estimates that $62 billion is lost annually in the US because of bad hotel customer service. Consistently bad customer service in hotels is a good way to drive guests to your competitors, and the loss in revenue adds up.
  • Marketing efforts are futile
    If you’ve got a bit of a bad reputation- on review sites or through word of mouth- it is very unlikely that any of your marketing efforts will lead to fruition.
  • Potential staff attrition
    Nobody wants to be associated with an unsuccessful business. With decreasing occupancy and sub-par service, you can expect higher staff attrition.

Guest experience and customer satisfaction are the keys to a successful hotel business in the long-term. Measures should be to be taken to make sure you’re giving the best hotel customer service possible.

While you may have your own methods to ensure customer delight, we’ve put together a list of 10 surefire ways to up your ratings:

1. Have a Customer-Centric Approach

It is vital for your business that you keep up with the latest travel trends.

Know what your audiences are looking for, implement those services and amenities within your hotel, and always be on the look-out for innovation and advancement.

Remember- your hotel should be all about serving your guests and centered around their needs and experiences.

2. Know Your Guests

Once a guest checks-in, don’t forget about them. Reach out to them, try and make conversation with them- ask them where they’re from if they’re here on business, and offer insightful recommendations based on this information.

If they are returning guests, remember their preferences- they needed an extra pillow the last time? Make sure that’s ready. Do they enjoy a certain vintage of wine? Ensure it’s available.

Remember that your guests are unique people with their own individual personalities. Don’t treat them like just another serial number.

3. Work to Impress Your Guests

Guests will associate your brand with the quality of your hotel customer service.

Make it a daily goal to surprise and delight your guests while sticking to the confines of safety and social distancing protocol.

Do your best to exceed guest expectations and set up little ways to make them happy.

4. Presentation is Everything!

The difference between a good hotel and a great hotel is presentation.

Train your staff to be courteous and polite- not just with their words but also with how they present themselves.

Keep your property looking immaculate. Guests do not want to be greeted with wobbly tables and rust ridden staircases.

Excellent customer service in the hospitality industry isn’t just about doing the right things, it is also looking the part.

5. Embrace Innovative Technology

Upgrade your hotel’s technology to suit the kind of guests you get. A millennial, corporate or gen Z traveler may not be very appreciative of out of date technology and lack of WiFi.

Automation technology and AI is the future of hospitality customer service.

6. Make An Impression

A great first impression is crucial for great hotel customer service.

Here are a few things you can do to ensure that the first contact that your guest has with your hotel is a good one:

  • Clean and clutter-free front desk
  • Polite and professional staff
  • Positive body language
  • Welcoming smiles
  • Saying the right thing

Train your staff to create the right impression on your guests.

7. Empower your Staff

Your hotel staff interacts with guests on a regular basis.

Having set protocols is great but may become lackluster in the long run. Empower your staff to be creative and improvise when the situation calls for it.

You can ofcourse set a limit or a budget for each employee, but giving them the freedom and flexibility to help out in a tough spot yields great results.

8. Take Regular Feedback

The best way to provide top-class hotel customer service is by listening to your guests. Let your guests talk- show them that you understand their concerns and that you’re working towards getting them resolved.

Always be available to your guests, regularly ask for their feedback- how their stay is, how they’re enjoying their time in your hotel if there’s anything you can do to make their experience better, etc.

Promptly solve their concerns and give them updates.

9. Create Memories with Guests

Hotel customer service prospers with this as your goal- make your guests feel special.

Customers go to hotels for an experience- it isn’t just about the bed and the food. They expect to be served and treated a certain way.

Understanding customers requirements and giving them just a little more will add value to your service. Anticipate their requests and be proactive in your approach.

Thoughtfulness and attention to detail- even with small things will go a great way.

10. Make Things Right

You could do your best and do everything right but still be met with some negative feedback. What do you do?

Negative reviews can also be a great way to show guests you care. Promptly and politely respond to their concerns and make it right or do whatever you can to make it up to them.

The way you respond to a dissatisfied guest may just convert him to a loyal patron. Your response also serves to show potential customers that you take your business seriously, and you care about their experience.

Criticism can be hard to handle, but remember that it is also a key factor to growth. In the long run, it’ll make your hotel better and stronger.

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