A recent report by Deloitte emphasizes that a remarkable 29% of hotel guests who receive exemplary attention are inclined to leave positive reviews. Moreover, resolving complaints promptly is found to significantly enhance the overall guest experience, with 40% of guests whose issues are resolved quickly more likely to share positive feedback. Recognizing and acknowledging the loyalty of repeat guests also plays a pivotal role in fostering their satisfaction and increasing the likelihood of their return visits. Thus, it is imperative for hoteliers to understand the importance of exceptional customer service in the hotel industry and providing their guests with unforgettable experiences.
WHAT IS HOTEL CUSTOMER SERVICE AND EXPERIENCE?
Providing guests with expectational customer service and a rememberable experience is key to operating a successful hotel. Hotel customer service refers to the care and attention provided to guests throughout their stay. The quality of customer service shapes guests’ overall experience with the hotel, from when they make reservations until they check out.
Some customer service skills hotels need to equip their staff with are effective communication, friendliness, attention to detail, organization, complaint resolution, and flexibility. Other ways of enhancing positive customer experiences may include discounts, sending thank you notes to past guests, solving guests’ queries promptly, and asking for feedback.
IMPORTANCE OF CUSTOMER SERVICE AND EXPERIENCE IN THE HOTEL INDUSTRY
The level of customer service a guest experiences significantly influences their decision to visit a hotel again. A guest who has a negative experience at a facility is not only unlikely to return, but they can give negative reviews and discourage others from visiting the hotel.
According to statistics, most travelers read reviews when booking accommodations, and more than 70% admit that online reputation influences their decision on where to stay. In other words, the importance of improving your customer service and experience in the hotel industry cannot be overemphasized.
Let’s look at some reasons why excellent hotel customer service and experience are crucial.
1. Increased Sales
Satisfied customers spend more. Clients who are happy with their experience in your hotel will likely return and spend more during each visit. According to Deloitte, customer-centered brands that focus on improving their service make more profits.
2. Higher Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty
Exceptional customer service leads to higher satisfaction and fosters customer loyalty. As earlier mentioned, customers who are satisfied with their experience are more likely to become repeat clients, which boosts hotel’s occupancy rates. Customer loyalty is also a key driver of reputation, as the clients are more likely to recommend the brand to others.
3. Satisfies Customer Expectations
Customers visiting your hotel expect to have a pleasant experience and create good memories. Dedicating to offering superior service meets customer’s already set expectations.
4. Builds Customer Trust
Excellent customer service and experience show your commitment to meeting guests’ needs. This builds customer trust and earns you more business. The guests have confidence in your business and are more likely to nurture long-term relationships.
5. Earns Referrals
Remomorable customer service boosts guest satisfaction. When satisfied with your hotel’s customer service and experience, clients are more willing to share the experience with others, earning you more referrals.
6. Boosts Your Competitiveness
Noteworthy customer service and experience boost your hotel’s reputation and enhance brand perception. This increases your competitiveness by giving you an edge over similar hotel businesses.
7. Improves Your Online Reputation
Guests who are impressed with your hotel’s customer service and experience are more likely to leave reviews online on Google, TripAdvisor, and other review sites. Positive reviews on your customer service reflect well on your business and boost your reputation.
8. Better Complaint Resolution
Committing to offering excellent customer service empowers you to address guest complaints quickly, which is essential in fostering positive experiences. As statistics reveal, for every complainant, 26 other unhappy customers do not express their dissatisfaction. Instead of complaining, they are more inclined to try out competitors. Resolving complaints quickly not only reflects well on your customer service but it keeps you from losing more guests.
Examples of Hotel Brands with Superior Customer Service and Experience
There are several notable hotels acclaimed for exceptional customer service and the impact it has on their booking rates, including:
● The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company – The more than century-old luxury hotel chain has continued its unwavering commitment to service, focusing on prioritizing client comfort.
● Hilton – This well-known hotel brand has amazing programs and services for its guests, including a loyalty program (Hilton Honors) that gives members exclusive offers and experiences.
● Marriot – Another luxury hotel chain with hundreds of hotels across the globe, Marriot remains committed to its guest-centric approach despite its vast network.
● Even – The hotel is famous for its commitment to health and wellness. Their customer service is centered around promoting guests’ health and wellness.
● Hyatt – An exceptional hotel brand that focuses on boosting customer service through personalized experiences.
How to Improve Your Hotel Customer Service and Experience
While luxury hotels provide experiences that surpass guest expectations, you do not have to be a 5-star hotel to offer outstanding customer service. Below are best practices that can help improve your customer experience.
● Know who your customers are – Keep track of your guests to understand their preferences to personalize your offerings and experiences.
● Create great first experiences – Make the guest feel welcome and at home the moment they enter the hotel. E.g., by creating a positive vibe and aura or personalizing the interactions.
● Survey the guests – Send short surveys to guests at different stages of their journey (after making reservations, checking in, and checking out) to learn about their experiences.
● Train employees – Effective communication, empathy, attention to detail, organization, handling complaints, and friendliness are some of the essential qualities for success in the hotel industry. Train your staff on these and other required customer service skills to offer exceptional service.
● Respond to guest queries and feedback – Whether guests raise a complaint, ask a question, or leave a review, respond promptly and empathetically. Pay attention to negative reviews, respond, and commit to improvement.
If you were wondering about the importance of customer service and experience in the hotel industry, we hope we have answered your question. Meanwhile, if you’re in the process of acquiring a new hotel or selling an existing facility, we can help. Contact us and inform us where you need assistance.