Every independent hotel operator has experienced their share of customer service successes and misfires – it comes with the territory. However, independents don’t need to wait until something goes wrong to prove they’re great a handling customer service. Here are 3 proactive tips for elevating your hotel’s customer service.
Respond to online reviews daily
Reviews posted by travelers on OTAs, TripAdvisor and Google should be treated like digital currency by independent hotel operators. A string of good or bad reviews can help sway travelers to book rooms quickly or eliminate hotels from consideration – both of which impact revenue. While hoteliers cannot control what travelers post, they can make a habit of always responding to their feedback. Responding to feedback not only helps strengthen loyalty with past guests, it signals to potential guests that customer service is a top priority for your hotel, even after guests have checked-out.
Pay attention to the “small things”
The difference between good and great customer service can often be determined by how hotels manage the “small things.” For example, when guests include special requests in their reservations or call the front desk for assistance, they expect the hotel to meet their needs. However, requests occasionally slip through the cracks and never get completed. While it’s likely that a small mistake won’t ruin their stay, it does cast a small shadow on their perception of the hotel’s customer service. For independent hotels that are already good at customer service, expertly executing the “small things” that matter to guests can quickly elevate them to being great.
Surprise and delight
Travel, whether on business or for pleasure, can be stressful and tiring – leaving travelers longing for their hotel stay. Independent hotels can make their guests’ travel experience a little more enjoyable by providing an unexpected, “surprise and delight” perk. A small gesture, like refreshing snacks at check-in or $5 coffee shop gift card, can instantly brighten up a traveler’s day and enhance their hotel stay, all while giving your customer service a much deserved boost.