How Good Is Your Hospitality Customer Experience?
How good is your guest experience?
It is well known that happy guests are good for your bottom line. They can come back time and again (unless they were on a once in a lifetime trip) and they can be amazing advocates for your business. They can write recommendations that you can use in your marketing. They can tell friends, family and colleagues about how good you are. They can recommend that friends, family and colleagues also come and visit you. And they will be more inclined to do all of this, simply because you provided them with a great guest experience. There is no getting away from it, happy guests are good for your business.
Having looked at the positive impact of a great guest experience on the bottom line it follows that every single business in hospitality should be pulling out all the stops to deliver exceptional service. However, that is not always the case. Just make sure that your business is not one that forgets about the importance of service.
What can you do to improve your guest experience? Here are our 5 simple tips to help:
1. Walk in their shoes
Walk in the shoes of the customer. In fact you may need to walk in different shoes as you will have different customers coming to you. But in essence what you want to find out is what your guest experience is really like for your customer(s). Is it smooth or is it clunky? Where can you make improvements? Every time a customer comes into contact with your organisation they will be making assessments (whether consciously or sub-consciously) about how well they are being treated. For example, your website and online booking forms play a part in a customer’s experience. Do they work? Are there broken web-links that need fixing? Does the contact phone number still exist and is there a happy staff member waiting to answer it at the other end? Make sure that your technology enhances their experience.
2. Understand what the testimonials mean
Testimonials and recommendations flow more easily when a business has delivered great service. They are important and can be included on your website and in your marketing collateral. However, it is worth understanding and drilling into your customer testimonials for further insights. Find out, what it is that people like and find out if it can be improved further? Discover, if your business has a dependency on a particular staff member that all customers love. What happens to your business if that person was to leave your business, what impact would that have?
Make sure that all your staff are knowledgeable and have experience of your products and services. And beyond that, test their knowledge of the local area. Can they make recommendations that would help your guests have an even better experience? After all many guests want to explore as much as they can and many love the history of a new location. If your staff have extra information you can be sure it will improve their experience.
3. Ask for just enough
When was the last time you updated and improved your booking or checking-in form? Can the forms be improved? Of course they can. Let’s not forget that filling in a form is all part of the guest experience and will impact on the way customers feel about you. For example, ask why you are requesting an email address? Who does it benefit? Is it really just for your marketing department or does it actually help your customer? Following the Privacy by Design Principle of the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) if you don’t need information then don’t ask for it. You can use GDPR as a catalyst for revising your forms and enhancing the customer experience. Only ask for just enough information.
4. Make your directions simple
How easy are you making it for people to find you? It’s amazing how challenging it can be to find directions on websites. Yes, you know where you are, but your customer doesn’t. Why make it difficult for them? Once they find the postal code of your location and plug it in to their Sat Nav or Google Maps (or similar) will it actually take them to your doorstop? Or will then end up close but not close enough? If you know that the postal code doesn’t lead directly to you then take the time and add extra information on your website to help people find you. After all, getting to you is all part of the guest experience. Make sure directions are straightforward.
5. Go on the customer journey
Go through every single aspect of the customer journey and find out what can be improved? Find out what is known to you but not known to the customer. For example, you know how the hotel shower works in each of the guest bedrooms. But, your shower may be an incredible work of engineering and the customer has no clue how to operate it without being scalded or frozen. A simple instruction sheet is all that is needed to enhance their experience.
What other little touches can you make? Turning the lights off in a hotel room should be simple. But sometimes it takes forever to find the right combination.
The golden rule is not to make life difficult for your guests. They will not thank you for it.
Personal attention to detail makes all the difference. Think of the last time you received exceptional service and why it was so good. Is there anything that you can bring from that experience into your business?
If you want to stand out from your competition and win more business, providing exceptional service in the world of hospitality just makes sense, doesn’t it.
Learn Train Recruit offers online training in Customer Service and GDPR. Get you and your team up to speed in your own time, without having to leave your venue.