In this technology savvy era, everyone has an opinion and even more so if they’ve had a bad experience. Quality service can be a deal breaker to decide whether a guest becomes a repeat customer or whether new guests stay at your property. With forums like Booking.com, TripAdvisor, Facebook, Expedia and more, encouraging guests to leave feedback about their stay experience, hotels – especially independents need to ensure that they are on top of their game.
Nowadays, guests look for a hotel where the service has been impeccable; they may compromise on other factors but never on good service. Whether it’s a business or leisure traveler, good service is something that entices guests to become repeat guests. It also makes them speak about their great experience to other people through various forums. But if the customer has had a bad experience, then you can be very sure that they would be extremely vocal about it.
As an independent hotel, you need to work towards improving your hotel’s service quality. We share a few tips:
Handle with Care
Many a times, the hotel staff feels extremely intimidated to approach disgruntled customers thinking they may get their head bitten off or would not know how to handle them. Don’t be! More often than not, if a guest has any problems, they just want to know that they have been heard. Listen to them, address the problem, give them a time frame if possible on when the problem can be solved, try and be as transparent as possible. This would also apply to guests who may have listed a complaint online, because most of the times the feedback may have been made in real time.
Keep a Google alert on your hotel’s name, so that you can track the feedback that a guest has left for you. Remember that many times, guests may be posting their feedback in real time via their tablets or smart phones, thereby giving your hotel an opportunity to correct any service issues. Track sites such as your property’s pages on Booking.com, TripAdvisor, Facebook and so on to read and respond to any feedback left by the guests.
Lend an Ear to Employees
Your operation staff interacts often with the guests and would ensure whether the guests received good service or not. Listen to their suggestions; see what procedures work and which don’t. By having a two way communication line, the employees would also feel invested in the procedures via which the service is handled. This would make them feel motivated to extend their best service.
Focus on Training
For independent hotels, time and budgets may be limited when it comes to training the staff but try and see what best could be worked out. For consistent service, all the employees need to be on the same page. They need to know how the systems and procedures in the hotel work. From simple things like how long check-ins to check outs should be to more elaborate things like how the room set ups should be or how certain dishes should be plated in the restaurants. Good service and consistent service has to work hand-in-hand.
Reward Good Service
Have special incentives for the staff that provides quality service. This shall push the employees to raise the quality of service at the hotel. The incentive need not be a monetary reward but should be something enticing.
The word ‘service’ says it all – the hospitality business is a service industry and no matter how good all the other facilities are, at the end of the day if the service is bad then your customers may not look at visiting you again. And there are chances of them spreading the word around, especially on social media and reviews sites, which is even more risky for your business.
I would love to know what measures you take to improve your property’s quality of service in the comment box below. Let me know if the above suggestions work for you.