As any hotel operator knows, you are only as good as your guests think you are. Guest satisfaction should be a top priority at any hotel property, whether you are managing a large chain of corporate hotels or you operate an intimate property in a quiet location.
You need to provide the guest experience that you promised, and in many cases, you will have to go above and beyond to impress your guests.
If you are looking to improve hotel guest service, you will want to consider some new and innovative ways of boosting your guest satisfaction ratings.
Top reasons why you need to prioritise guest satisfaction at your hotel
The guest experience at your property is going to resonate far beyond the duration of their stay.
Here are a few reasons why you should make your guest satisfaction ratings a top priority:
- Your guests can be your most powerful marketing tool, or your biggest detractors. If your guests have a good experience, they are going to share that on social media, as well as recommend your property to their friends and family members. If they have a negative experience, they are going to express their views through online reviews and go the extra mile to make sure people know about what happened.
- Guest satisfaction is a clear indication of your hotel staff’s ability to provide the experience that is expected when they book a stay at your hotel. If your guest satisfaction ratings continue to decline, it’s important to figure out what is causing the problem and how you can address it.
- A positive guest experience is one of the best ways to continue to build your brand. Your brand depends on consumer loyalty, which cannot be achieved with high guest satisfaction ratings.
How you can provide a great experience for your guests
Recognising the importance of guest satisfaction, it’s important that you actively work to improve the guest experience at your property.
These tips will help you provide every single guest who stays at your hotel with an amazing and memorable experience:
#1 The guest experience begins long before they arrive
Know that the guest experience begins long before they arrive at your front desk to check in for their stay. You should create a mobile-friendly website that offers visual appeal and social proof of the experience that they will enjoy at your hotel. Aim for fast site speeds and incorporate valuable content into every page of the site, while also adding “Book Now” buttons whenever possible. When a traveller connects with your brand online, they will immediately develop an opinion of your brand that will impact the ultimate experience that they have at your hotel.
#2 Respond to guest feedback
Actively solicit and respond to guest feedback. When you accept and promote your online reviews, you are showing other travellers that you value the opinion of your guests and that you are willing to go the extra mile to deliver superior customer service. When you send out automated emails with guest satisfaction surveys, you are proving to your guests that you want more information about their stay and that you strive to exceed expectations at every turn.
#3 Connect with your guests on a personal level
Connect with your guests on a personal level. This also begins before your guests arrive at the front desk. You can use social media to reach out to your guests prior to their stay, and learn a little bit more about them. Customised booking forms also help you gain insight about the people who will be staying at your hotel. While your guests are staying with you, be sure to add small touches and details that personalise the experience. Guests will remember those experiences for years to come, and they will significantly improve their overall opinion of your property.
#4 Use guest feedback to make future decisions
Use guest feedback and relevant data to guide future decisions at your property. When you monitor your guest feedback and respond to it accordingly, it’s important that you take note of what improvements you could make in the future based on those responses. You also can use booking data and marketing data to finalise decisions for upgrading amenities, creating events, designing promotions and more. Not only will this help you make the best decisions and use your resources wisely, but it will show your past, present and future guests that you genuinely value their input.
What to look for in customer service focused employees
Naturally, a large portion of your guest satisfaction ratings have to do with the staff that you employ at your hotel. Every single person who works at your hotel — whether they manage the front desk or cook in the kitchen or tend to the gardens outside — is a customer service employee.
Every staff member plays a significant role in the guest experience, and it’s critical that each team member understands that.
When hiring an employee for your hotel, you need to look beyond their basic qualifications and experience and delve into their personality. There are specific things you should be looking for in your customer service employees. To begin, you need every staff member to be friendly, welcoming and approachable. Every person who stays at your hotel is going to need to feel like they are enjoying a home away from home, and that means that they should be able to ask any guest at any time for help or assistance. When interviewing people for positions at your hotel, you should pay close attention to their demeanor before, during and after the interview. It’s absolutely necessary that they are friendly and that they enjoy working with people.
Your employees also need to be good communicators. They need to be able to accurately portray and express the sentiments of your brand when responding to guests enquiries, even during confrontational encounters. They need to be able to relay important information to their superiors and to help provide guests with solutions to their problems as quickly as possible. Communication skills are some of the most important skills to have when you are employed at a hotel.
It’s also important for your hotel staff members to be patient. While it can be frustrating to deal with upset guests or with people who aren’t willing to work well with you, it’s necessary that they stay calm in the moment and work hard to address the issue at hand. At a hotel, staff members will be dealing with people from all walks of life and from all corners of the world. Patience is more than a virtue when you are a hotel employee — it’s a necessity.
When you take the necessary steps to hire people who are going to be good customer service employees, it will be easy to please the guests who stay with you. Everyone who works at the hotel should recognise that they are part of a team, and that together, they must provide an exceptional experience for each individual hotel guest.
How technology can help improve hotel guest experience
Some elements of guest satisfaction are timeless. Travellers want to stay in a hotel with clean rooms, nice amenities and delicious food. They want to interact with employees who are friendly and helpful. They want to be located in a central part of their chosen destination so that they can experience the surrounding area.
However, these factors do not solely determine the outcome of the guest experience. In fact, technology is playing an increasingly prominent role in the experience of any guest at a hotel.
First and foremost, it’s important to have booking technology available that allows your guests to book directly. You can invest in a property management system that includes a booking engine as well as a channel manager, which will allow you to streamline your administrative tasks, while actively increasing your direct bookings. It’s necessary to have functional and innovative technology that makes your guests’ first experience with your hotel brand a positive one.
In addition, you should utilise a website creator tool that allows you to design an appealing, responsive website that focuses on the user experience but that also can easily be updated and maintained.
Your online presence is necessary to growing your brand and improving guest loyalty, so you need to use the right technology to create a space for your hotel on the web.
Of course, you also should use technology throughout your hotel to enhance the experience that your guests enjoying during their stays. Wifi lounges, charging stations, smart room keys and customised mobile apps are a few types of technology that guests are growing accustomed to having when they stay at a hotel. You need to think beyond traditional amenities, and start offering amenities that effectively utilise the latest and greatest technology.
It’s easy to improve your hotel customer service techniques when you invest in the right technology for your property. SiteMinder offers the hotel technology solutions that you need, ranging from a website creator tool that builds user-friendly websites, to a channel manager and online booking engine. To learn more about SiteMinder and the tools that are available to help you improve guest satisfaction ratings at your property, watch a demo today.