An essential ingredient for success in the hotel business is comfort and quality of experience provided to the guest. As competition grows in the hospitality industry, it is important for hotels to deliver exceptional customer experience which will improve the ratings and positive reviews received by the hotel. When choosing a hotel, potential customers often read reviews before making a decision. Keeping this in mind, here are some useful tips to enhance the customer service performance of your hotel staff.
The true essence of giving customers the royal treatment centers around your hotel staff doing everything it can to ensure that customers’ needs will be well taken care of. Through your actions, assure your guests that they will receive the best experience while staying at your hotel. Decorate your tables with flower arrangements. Freshen up your hotel with an automatic fragrance dispenser and play soothing music in the halls and lobby. The first impression on entrance to the hotel is created by the behavior of those at the front desk. Make sure that they welcome the customers warmly. Provide your guests will welcome drinks if they have to wait for a few minutes. These little things will reinforce in the customer’s mind that he/she has made the right choice by coming to your hotel.
Personalization is very important especially if you are running a hotel. There are many simple ways in which this can be delivered. For example, make sure that your staff knows the names of all your regular guests. Does your staff remember their favorite rooms? Do your clients have any special preferences and is there anything that they do not like? Is your staff doing a little something extra for your guests on their birthdays or anniversaries? Making notes of these details will help you in winning the hearts of your customers who would always keep coming back to your hotel and recommend it to others.
Ask your guests if they have any unique requirements which they want you and your staff to cater to. For example, a client who is staying at your hotel for business may want your staff to arrange a taxi for him/her beforehand so that he/she can get to a meeting on time. Do your guests prefer a particular room type on a specific floor? By asking for feedback, it is implied to customers that the hotel is making an effort to tailor its services according to their individual needs.
Martin Cramer who is the General Manager at Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel and Resort says that they actively seek feedback from guests whether at reception desk, in the form of an in-room questionnaire or an online survey.
The timing of the interaction also has to be right. Interact with your guests and ask questions when they are relaxed and not in a hurry. For example, during a meal you can ask them about your service and quality of food. Ask them if there is anything else they would like or if they want something to be changed or improved.
Giving away small tokens of appreciation will make the guests feel valued. Never let them leave your hotel empty-handed. Provide them with farewell gifts before they depart. For example, offer personalized chocolates with their names and business logos on them. Always remember to thank them whenever you can. Thank them when they arrive and before they leave. Acknowledge them when they say good things about your hotel and be open to criticism so that you can identify and work on those areas which could further improve your customer service. Tell them that you look forward to having them as your guests again in order to make them feel that your hotel appreciates their business. In this way, you will have happy and satisfied customers making reservations at your hotel the next time they are in the area.
Customer service must be delivered consistently and for this training is a prerequisite. Iftikhar Hamdani who is the General Manager at Ramada Hotel Ajman while discussing strategies for ensuring a memorable guest experience and customer loyalty said that anticipating customer needs and providing consistent, standardized and unwavering service are essential.
Ensure that your staff knows the expectations of guests staying at your hotel. Conduct a training course which empowers them to fulfill what customers expect and demand. For example, knowing how to receive an incoming phone call from a new customer who wants to make a reservation makes a big difference in the first impression that the client gets about your hotel. Train your front desk to ask for every single detail about the customer’s preferences so that there are no mix-ups.
Engage your staff in role playing sessions where one person is assigned the role of a customer and the others are the hotel personnel. For instance, imagine that the customer is upset because he/she called room service several times to serve breakfast and nobody attended to his/her needs or got the order wrong. Making your staff experience such situations gives them a clear idea of how customers feel when they are neglected and it gives them the ability to handle problems in a better way. Empower staff to make the right decisions whenever they come across difficult customer situations. Ongoing training will motivate your workforce and enhance their customer service skills.
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