As traveler preferences evolve, the tides are changing in the hotel industry’s “sea of sameness.” Across all segments, guests are looking for more than a cookie-cutter lodging experience. They understand that nightly room rates dictate hotels’ level of luxury, but travelers greatly appreciate when operators go above and beyond to ensure their experience is memorable. Delivering a memorable guest experience does not need to be expensive for independent hoteliers. Many times, displaying a little extra effort is all that is needed to leave a great impression with guests. Here are a few simple ways your independent hotel employees can enhance the guest experience at your hotel:
Pre-arrival phone calls
Traveling is stressful for many people, especially those traveling with young children or coming from far distances. Independent hoteliers can help put these travelers at ease with a quick pre-arrival phone call. On the morning of their scheduled arrival, front desk agents can call guests to ask if they have any questions. Additionally, hotels can use this opportunity to convey important information. For example, when hotels are at high occupancy, team members can use these calls to identify early-arriving guests and offer to store their luggage until their room is available.
As with any guest interaction, pre-arrival calls can result in unusual requests, so operators will need train team members on how to handle them properly. Over time, this small gesture will help endure countless guests to your hotel.
Gone are the days when hotel employees must act like robots and “do things by the book” in regards to delivering customer service. To maximize every guest interaction, independent hoteliers should empower their team members to read situations and respond accordingly. For example, if a guest stops by the front desk to ask for dining suggestions, in addition to recommending a great restaurant, team members can then offer to call ahead to inquire about wait times and reserve their table. Again, it’s simple, unexpected gestures like these that can elevate a guest’s visit from acceptable to memorable and, in the process, make them a loyal, life-long customer.
Surprise acts of kindness
A surprise act of kindness is sure to brighten a traveler’s day, as well as enhance their overall experience. Do you have long-term guests who visit regularly? Leaving a small “welcome back” basket filled with snacks in their room is a great way to acknowledge their loyalty to your hotel. Or do you occasionally encounter guests who are struggling with their tired and agitated children? Keeping a stash of popsicles in a freezer or crayons and coloring books behind the front desk will not only make the kids happy, it will get you an excited and extremely grateful “Thank you!” from their parents.
As you can see, it doesn’t take much more than a little extra effort for independent hoteliers to enhance the guest experience. Let us know some of the simple strategies you use to impress your guests in the comments section below.