Guides & Best practices

Tips for hotels to provide an exceptional service

Make your hotel stand out

Provide your customers an exceptional service

To guarantee that your hotel stands out you do not need fancy features or expensive websites, it is mostly the small inexpensive behaviors and services that make the difference. But what constitutes truly exceptional hotel service? The easy to implement tips below can help you to create great memories.

Emotionally intelligent and dedicated staff
Service and people are what stands out above the rest. To be exceptional, hotels need a great team of managers and front-line staff who are intuitive, empathic and dedicated. Your guests should feel your hotel’s attention to detail and experience the exceptional servie of your staff.

Communication, communication, communication
For upscale hotels communication not only means wishing your guests a nice stay. It goes way beyond that. The check-in sets the tone for the overall experience. Train your staff so that they recognize your return guests. This small gesture really makes a difference. Your front-line staff, from front-desk to housekeeping and restaurant, needs to show that they would go the extra mile for the guest. You could for example include weather forecasts during wake up and other calls. Keep in mind that your guests should not feel that you dictate to them. Your staff should ask questions, give recommendations and opinions, but let your guests decide.

Recognize a birthday
You most likely check the IDs of your guests while they check in. Train your front office staff to write down your guests’ birthdays. Don’t mention this to your guests. When guests celebrate their birthday in your hotel, send them a handwritten birthday card and complimentary pastry to their room. This will give them a pleasant surprise. If you want to go a step further, you could send a birthday card to every single guest including a discount or a special offer, for example a glass of champagne, for their next stay.
Remember special request
Some guests ask for a softer pillow or a certain newspaper. Let your staff write these preferences down. Next time the guests arrive these special requests should be already up in their rooms. Your guests will be amazed that you remembered their preferences. Personalized service that shows that you really know your guests makes the difference between a good and a great hotel. Personalization is easy with the right data. For a solid guest arrival report, you need to use the PMS data from your hotel. Analyzing frequency and monetary value as well as your guest’s booking source, ADR, rate type, VIP status, guest history, survey data, demographics, behavior, interests and lifestyle will help you to create a 360 view of your guest.

Motivate your repeat guests
Never forget your repeat visitors. Companies often make the mistake to hand out special offers to new guests but do not reward the loyalty of their repeat guests. Loyal guests can be granted a permanent discount, complimentary breakfast, a bottle of champagne or a fruit basket. A small goodie as a birthday or a Christmas present shows your appreciation.
Give free upgrades
You have an occupancy for 48% for the night. Does it cost you any money to upgrade your repeat guests or guests that celebrate a special anniversary? Your guests will remember a free upgrade and will most probably tell their relatives and friends about it. This is the best word-of-mouth propaganda you can get.
Call after problems
Most certainly you have experienced that before: One of your guests called your front desk staff and told them about a problem. You send someone over to fix it, but what happens afterwards? Pick up the handset and ask if everything has been fixed to your guest’s satisfaction. This will show that you really care about them.

Show your knowledge
People visit places not hotels, therefore, the stay at a hotel is only one part of the overall experience. Create a printed folder or a page on your website with recommendations of local businesses and helpful information about the area. Ask your guests whether they have any dinner plans. Especially business traveler will appreciate this, as they often do not have time to plan their dinners beforehand. If your hotel has its own restaurant take into account that not everyone wants to eat in the hotel. If a guests specifically asks for a place around your hotel, you should recommend a local business instead of pushing your restaurant.
Tell your story
The travel experience already starts with the booking of a room. Make your hotel’s online appearance special and welcome your guests with a beautiful website. Add personal touches and your own story to your website. This sets you apart from your competitors. People buy stories from real people, not from companies. This is an advantage for independent hoteliers over the big hotel chains. Don’t sell, but inspire - people travel for experiences.
The difference between a very good hotel and a memorable hotel is service. Implementing these small advices will result in memorable stays for your guests. You might become their hotel of choice and guests will reward you by spending more than average in your hotel and will return frequently.

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