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keeping your guests happy: 5 tips for great customer service

by Alan Bates, Chief ALIV Partner

  • customer service

Customer satisfaction has always been a priority for business owners, but it's especially crucial now, given the influence of reviews and personal recommendations. In fact, 92% of people are more likely to trust a recommendation from a peer over traditional advertising. The happiness of your customers can make or break a venture in the hospitality industry, so read below for five tips that I have found, that will keep your customers smiling.

 

  • The importance of a warm welcome should never be underrated. Your first impression will set the tone of your guest's visit, so it's important to come across as confident and friendly, without being overbearing. Remember, your guest may be tired from travelling, so I feel it's best to tailor your approach to each guest, and their individual needs. Some will love a friendly welcome with a full tour of your premises, while others may prefer to be escorted to their room right away – reading these queues will come with expertise, but in my experience, paying close attention to your customers and their behaviours is the key.
     
  • Always deliver what was promised to ensure your guests want to return! For example, be sure to regularly review your offering on your website or brochure, and make sure it's always up to date. In my experience, giving your customers realistic expectations of what you can deliver will avoid any disappointments, so always rate your accommodation appropriately to manage expectations.
     
  • When possible, I always try to go the extra mile. This doesn't have to be over the top – in fact, I find small gestures often go the furthest in hospitality. If you notice a long line at check-in, be sure to offer your guests a seat or refreshment. Remember their names and check in with them regularly; these cost-free gestures will add a personal touch to your establishment and make your guests feel special.
     
  • In this customer-facing industry, it's important that we, as business owners, keep our staff happy so that they are enthusiastic about their place of work. I find hosting team-building activities every couple of months helps to boost morale and builds a solid team. Remember that a great work environment will keep your staff smiling, and create a happy atmosphere that your guests will be sure to pick up on.
     
  • One major factor in my personal and professional success, has always been understanding the importance of customer feedback – good or bad! It can be easy to take negative feedback to heart when reading an upset customer's review, but consider taking this as an opportunity to improve your business, where it needs it most. Reply to all online reviews as best you can, and regularly review problems so you can note any consistencies. This way you'll be sure to continuously improve your offering and deliver the best customer service to your guests.

 

Sources: http://ehotelier.com/insights/2014/07/23/5-best-practices-in-hospitality-customer-service/

http://www.northwestbusinesslife.co.uk/news-item/the-importance-of-customer-service-in-the-hospitality-industry/
 
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/who-do-you-trust-92-consumers-peer-recommendations-over-joey-little