How To Improve Your Hotel Customer Service: Tips & Tricks
Constantly improving your hotel customer service can lead to increased customer satisfaction, positive word of mouth, and repeat business. That’s why it’s important to constantly evaluate and make adjustments as needed.
There are many tips and tricks you can implement in order to improve your hotel’s customer service. Here are a few to consider.
What is Hotel Customer Service?
Gone are those days when a clean room and a handful of amenities were sufficient to attract guests to the hotel. Today, customer service has become the bedrock of the hospitality industry. In fact, most of the world’s best hotels owe their success to the exceptional and personalized customer service that their teams provide. After all, courteous and empathetic interactions offer the easiest way to win over customers and help turn them into brand ambassadors.
But what does customer service in the hospitality industry mean?
Simply put, hotel customer service is the support hotels provide to customers before, during, and even after their stay. But customer service is not just about serving the needs of the customers. It’s also how you go that extra mile to provide top-notch, personalised, on-demand services that make your customers’ stay comfortable and enjoyable.
Why is it important to provide great customer service in your hotel?
The Internet has changed the way customers search and book hotels for their stay. Right from scanning social media sites to stiffing through online customer reviews on e-commerce travel websites, travellers nowadays do everything to understand and evaluate a hotel. While they may not be looking for luxurious 5-star amenities in the hotel, they definitely want impeccable customer service that takes care of every aspect of their stay. Even one negative review about your hotel can leave your potential customers sceptical about your service capabilities. This, in turn, can significantly impact your sales and take your business elsewhere.
So, if you want to win over your customers and boost your revenue, make customer service a culture, not a process. Strive to give your customers an experience that leaves them spellbound – right from the moment they make a booking to the time they step out of it.
11 practices you should adopt to improve your hotel customer service
Here are some tips that can help you provide exceptional service to your guests and consistent customer experience throughout your customers’ journey:
1. Emphasise staff training
Every member of your team needs to know what exceptional customer service means and what they can do to impress customers at every level. Training offers the easiest way to align your employees to your goals. It helps them understand your vision and how to execute it in the best possible way. So go above and beyond the regular employee handbooks and give your employees regular customer service training to help them learn the nuances of great customer service.
2. Encourage open communication between staff and management
Addressing issues or concerns with customers should be your Number One priority. For this, teams across all levels must be communicating openly with each other. Encourage employees to openly express their thoughts and suggestions and use their input to improve the service delivery of your hotel.
3. Offer personalised customer experience
A little personalisation goes a long way in making the guests feel valued and welcomed. So personalise all interactions with your customers. From collecting guests’ preferences during bookings to tailoring your services as per their needs. From offering special amenities upon request to extending warm greetings on their birthdays and anniversaries. There are a lot of things you can do to give your customers the comfort and convenience they deserve.
4. Collect customer feedback
Always ask your team to collect customer feedback – both during and after your customers’ stay. This can help you tailor your services around their needs. You can also use their feedback to improve your operations and iron out any issues in the future. For example, if multiple guests have complained about noise in a particular room, you can address the issue and ensure it doesn’t happen again.
5. Create a rigorous customer service policy
Make it a point to create a comprehensive customer service policy that clearly outlines the duties and expectations for staff. Ask your managers to enforce it consistently so that there are no loose ends anywhere. This will help ensure that every customer receives the same level of exceptional service, no matter which department they’re interacting with.
6. Ensure omnichannel communication
The conventional modes of communication (calling the help desk to book a room) work no longer. Today, customers look for various ways to interact with a business – phone, email, web, and social media. So, use these multichannel communication mediums to your advantage and meet your customers wherever they are. It will not only boost your marketing efforts but will also help you improve your customer satisfaction rate. While doing so, keep the discussions uninterrupted and personalised.
7. Ensure regular follow-up with customers
Make it a point to connect with each customer after their stay to ensure they had a positive experience. Ask them about any issues they may have encountered during their stay and address them promptly.
For example, if a customer was unhappy about any of your facilities, try to make up for your mistake. Send him an apology email, offer a room at a discounted room rate, or upgrade his next stay to make him happy.
8. Survey your guests for their opinions and suggestions
Another interesting way to improve hotel customer service is by asking your customers to participate in online surveys. Send them survey forms via email and ask them for their feedback and suggestions. Find out the services they liked the most and areas they would want you to improve. This will help you understand your customer’s needs and make necessary improvements.
9. Make sure any member of your staff can handle guest requests
It’s never wise to make your customers wait. So, to deliver the best customer service, make sure every staff member of your hotel can provide prompt help and assistance to your customers. They might not be ably equipped to resolve the query, but they should at least be capable enough to put your customers in touch with the right service executive.
10. Stay up to date with industry trends and technology
Businesses today are following an omnichannel approach to customer delivery. Make sure your hotel is not left behind. Implement the latest technology and trends to connect with your customers.
From building an impressive website to creating chat bot-assisted interactive mobile applications, use technology to make your customers’ stay pleasant and rewarding.
11. Go above and beyond service expectations
Empower your staff so that they can go beyond their capacities to make your customers’ stay memorable and positive. Encourage them to take care of even the most unexpected, yet relevant, needs of your customers. Trust in their abilities and give them the freedom to implement solutions they think could leave your guests both surprised and impressed.
For example, give your employees a budget so that they can expertly meet your customer’s needs. Whether it is ordering a flower delivery or booking a cab in the middle of the night, they should be able to solve customers’ requests on their own.
In conclusion, improving hotel customer service involves creating a welcoming and helpful environment for guests, using various communication channels, regularly following up with customers, surveying them for feedback, ensuring every staff member can handle requests, staying updated with industry trends and technology, and going above and beyond expectations. Implementing these tips and tricks will help make your hotel a desirable destination for customers.
Don’t forget to constantly review and reassess your customer service strategies to see what’s working and what needs improvement in order to consistently provide the best service possible. Happy guests mean repeat business and positive word of mouth, leading to even more success for your hotel.
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