While travellers rely on technological devices to make choices and find the best holiday trips, they still want to feel that their needs and preferences are understood once they arrive at their destination.
The ultimate in modern luxury is to put the human touch, that very first point of contact between guest and hotel or restaurant staff, at the forefront of creating strong human bonds that enhance guest’s incredible experiences.
In hospitality customers aren’t just paying for room, board, or food. They are paying for the atmosphere, the experience – and the customer service which ensures a steady flow of loyal patrons.
When a guest has a bad experience with their food or room, they will likely complain to the hotel or restaurant management. But when a customer has a problem with the staff, they will go to the internet. Review sites online are littered with poor reviews of “that standoffish waiter” or “this ignorant concierge.”
While there is no pleasing everyone, one negative review can turn away multiple future guests. Unfortunately, people are far more likely to voice their outrage at poor service than they are to commend pleasant experiences.
Here’s how you can provide patrons with a positive and memorable service:
Fulfill customer expectations
Guests are looking for a memorable experience and energetic service, where it matters the most. It is becoming ever more popular for guests to leave a review of their experience on a number of feedback sites, whether their experience was a good or bad one. The management needs to me mindful of this as bad feedback can be extremely damaging.
Deliver on your promise
It is vital to keep guests engaged in order for repeat business to occur and for referral purposes. For the guest to return all you need to do is deliver what was promised, if you can exceed expectation where possible this is always a good tool to help gain referrals.
Remember to be realistic, don’t oversell as this elevates customer expectations and excites them, only to be disappointed when their expectations fall short.
Reward customer loyalty
Remember happy guests are loyal customers, go the extra mile to provide additional items where possible, this always tends to impress. Just remember, without guests there is no business so focus on them at all times – and they will be happy.
Feedback is critical
If a customer is unfortunate enough to have a bad experience, for any reason, you need to make sure that they are able to tell you about it so they’re not inclined to tell someone else. Try hard to fix the problem, here communication is key. Keep calm and try to resolve the situation so the consumer ultimately leaves content.
Building a culture of service excellence
While service excellence is essential, a superior service culture requires deliberate design, development and sustenance. A proven combination of superior service, education, leadership, training, development and support can be applied to successfully bring about a culture of service excellence throughout your organisation. The hotel or restaurant management should keep in mind that building a superior and sustainable service culture is the key to deliver positive social consequences and long-lasting commercial results.
The right attitude
Great people are the backbone of a great hotel, and you can only get those great people if you hire for what’s inside them, the right attitude that makes them able to be pleasant, enthusiastic, and thoughtful, day in and day out, while on their feet and serving guests.
Attention to standards
To deliver service with any level of consistency requires much more than warmth. It requires you to build and maintain standards and systems that allow the business to create a repeatable result for regulars across a wide variety of situations and with a changing cast of employees.
Entrenching the “yes” culture
One reason the service you receive at a great hotel is so positive is that people are essentially conspiring there to give you a good time. Hotel leaders do their best to make certain that the message of “always try to find a way to say ‘yes’ to a guest, even when I’m not there to approve it” gets through to their frontline employees.
Luxury hotels don’t want even a moment’s hesitation when employees are asked to fix something for a patron. You can only achieve this seamless problem resolution and wish fulfilment if you completely empower your employees to take care of guest issues without having to go off and find a manager.
A great hotel is a 24/7 proposition, requiring constant and sustained customer focus which is reinforced and re-energised daily at the start of every shift to keeping the pro-customer culture alive.
Travellers are seeking travel memories drawn from transforming moments, immersive experiences instead of a specific destination.
So don’t underestimate the power of good service these days. If I travel back to a destination that I have visited before and I had a great experience, I will not look any further and will book it again, and again. It is easiest to trust your own experience and judgment, so make sure you don’t drop the ball on providing excellence in service, all day and every day.