Delivering great customer experience is essential for most businesses, but even more so for those working in the hospitality industry. Exceptional customer experience is something hotel guests have come to expect as standard. So, with hotels now reopen, how can you ensure you’re providing first class customer experience? Here are 7 things you should be doing.
Implement a loyalty scheme and pay attention to returning guests
With more people turning to ‘staycations’ during the pandemic, you may have seen a number of new faces over the past few months. To encourage those guests back again and again, you might want to consider introducing a loyalty scheme. Think a free breakfast or drink in your bar on a second visit, a discounted rate on a third visit or even one night free on their fifth visit.
There’s a lot to be said for showing your customers that you value their custom and thanking them for their loyalty. Guests that feel valued are more likely to stay with you again. Even more so if there’s an incentive on offer.
You should also consider implementing a system where you can store important information on returning customers. This is something several of our clients have found to be hugely beneficial. With insight into information such as a customer’s preferred time to stay with you, favourite dish in your restaurant and date of birth; you can deliver personalised experiences for each visitor. With personalisation delivering five to eight times return on investment, and 86% of consumers reporting that it plays a role in their purchasing decisions – it’s certainly something worth investing in.
Give employees the opportunity to experience a ‘day in the life of a customer’
Help your staff understand first hand the service being provided by putting them in the shoes of a customer for a day. This will both help them see things from a customers point of view and give a real insight into how customer experience has changed as a result of the pandemic. It’ll also give them a great understanding of different roles across the business.
Take a customer first approach
It’s the oldest trick in the book but there’s a reason for that. You won’t go far wrong if you always have the customer front of mind when making any business decisions.
Train employees on more than just their role
Don’t just train your staff in their role. Make sure they have good knowledge of the overall business, the roles of other employees and are clued up on the local area.
Providing transparency on things such as your business model, objectives and strategy; will help your team feel more invested in the business and therefore more likely to want to and succeed in delivering the exceptional level of service your guests are looking for.
And with knowledge of the local area they’ll be able to offer your guests advice and recommendations on the local area; taking that level of service above and beyond. Don’t limit customer experience to the basics, train your staff to take it that one step further.
Give your team the flexibility to think on their feet
Not everything is black and white so don’t be too regimented in your approach. Give your employees responsibility and trust them to make decisions for themselves. Of course you’ll have procedures and guidelines in place for certain situations, but there needs to be some flexibility involved.
With the freedom to deal with customer complaints in a way they see fit, your employees will not only have a greater sense of responsibility, and therefore greater respect for you and your business; your customers will always receive a solution tailored to them.
Outline the main do’s and don’ts for common situations and leave the rest up to your team to use their best judgement.
Get customer feedback and act on it
It’s one thing asking for customer feedback but unless you act on it, it’s pointless.
Communication shouldn’t be a one way street, so make sure you’re keeping your customers in the loop. Show your guests that you’re taking their feedback on board and implementing requested changes and improvements to enhance their overall experience.
Two way communication is something that has become even more important for some businesses, as a result of COVID-19. We recently spoke with the CEO of The Hotel Folk, David Scott, who explained how important communication has been in helping customers feel safe during the pandemic:
Of course there are the changes we’ve had to make in order to help people feel safe; fewer seats in restaurants, face masks and social distancing. We tackled all of those things last summer and executed them really well. We also established that honesty and transparency helps our customers feel safe. So, I’ve made sure that I’ve communicated with them frequently and kept them updated with our plans, which I hope has helped them feel more comfortable about visiting us.David Scott, CEO at The Hotel Folk
You can read the full interview here.
Every day is different. Whether it’s increased room bookings in the summer months or more people eating in your hotel restaurant due to bad weather; there are a number of things that could affect how busy each area of your business is. Make sure you’re aware of everything that could impact how busy you are in advance.
Making sure you have the right level of staff to meet demand is a key player in the level of customer experience you can provide your guests with. Too few staff will leave your customers impatient and frustrated. Whereas scheduling too many staff to work will be overwhelming and leave you unnecessarily out of pocket. Make the most of the technology available to help you predict future footfall based on past trends, upcoming events and weather forecasts.
Find out more about our demand forecasting feature