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Tips and Tricks Blog

Hotel Customer Service WOW’s that cost you nothing

There is so much clutter online these days trying to divert your guests attention when they are looking to book accommodation. It is a known fact that 80% of your customers are people who have stayed/visited you before - or know someone who has. If you focus on your guest service and take the time to know them as individuals, you will be one step ahead of the competition every time.

Here are a few simple tips to get you started

Remember their name. So many times I have stayed in hotels, walked in and out past reception countless times during the week and only in a rare few hotels have the staff greeted me by name. Noted, I do have a strange name but even an attempt earns points. I will always stay at the hotels who remember my name - regardless of rate - whenever I’m in those towns.

Welcome them back if they have stayed before. As a frequent traveller there is nothing more annoying than having to go through the check-in rigmarole every single time. Every hotel reservation system can tell you the number of previous stays a person has had. Of course, it is not possible for everyone to remember every single guest - so make it easy for your reception team. A red or yellow dot in the top right corner of the registration paperwork is all you need. A cheery ‘Welcome back Varia. Great to see you again’ will do the trick to ensure that guest will return again and again.

Remember the kids
If you welcome leisure travellers - and you want the families to return for their annual school holidays then remembering the kids names and favourite things is even more beneficial than knowing their parents names. They will love it - and bring their kids when they grow up. Plus everyone knows it’s the kids who are the real influencers these days (sorry parents)

Anticipate your guests needs

It is the small things that can create a real wow. Don’t just notice, take note and you can have their room set up exactly as they like it every stay. They will be loyal guests from then on.

  • Do they like a particular room - try to ensure they get ‘their’ room on future stays.
  • What side of the bed do they sleep on - move the remote, clock, notepad & pen etc to that side of the bed.
  • Do they use an extra pillow or an extra blanket - place it on the bed ready for them.
  • Do they always drink a lot of tea? A particular beer or drink? Stock up on those favourites.
  • Do they bring their own (ie peppermint tea) - provide it next time with a little note ‘we noticed on your last visit you enjoy peppermint tea, please enjoy with our compliments’
  • What coffee do they drink? Do they request extra milk? Do they like an extra towel?
  • What’s the first thing they do when they arrive? Have a cup of tea? Boil the kettle in advance.
  • Do they like the air-conditioning on or off?
  • If you know their birthday (month) - give them a gift.

Direct booking benefits

These days when you are competing against your own distribution channels, those agressive online travel agents, you need a few benefits to encourage guests to book direct with you via your website or over the phone. It’s pretty easy - you just need to think about your guests and what they like

  • Offer better rates direct vs via the online travel agents - and always price match
  • Release special offers at least one week earlier than opening them for sale via online travel agents.
  • Free streaming speed internet (vs standard speed via the online travel agents)
  • Free car parking
  • Room upgrade to higher category rooms when they are available
  • Include breakfast in your direct rates
  • Free coffee pods and top ups
  • Better bathroom amenities
  • Offer a free drink at the end of the day in your lobby bar
  • Provide discounts for lunch and dinner and/or a free glass of wine when dining
  • Discounts on show tickets, tours or transfers

Customer loyalty is not about price, it is about the little things that make them feel at home during their stay. The things that make them smile, and share with their friends.

These tips are only a few ideas. I’m sure if you sit down with your staff and have a brainstorm session you will come up with many more. Start with one or two small things and add new improvements each week or month. If you can hear your guests say WOW you know you’re on the right track.

If you’d like help to get started feel free to contact us and we can discuss how we can assist you and your team.

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