Customer standards within the hospitality industry have risen exponentially over the last few years, which, combined with the advent of an ‘online-review culture’ as a result of websites such as Tripadvisor, means hotels and B&Bs are constantly having to up their game.
One of the most important ways to encourage complimentary reviews and repeat custom is to create positive first impressions. You’d be surprised at the ways you can achieve this, often before you’ve even welcomed your guests through the door, not to mention how you can impact on your guests’ experience once they’re inside.
Here are our top 10 tips to make your guests feel special:
If you provide your customers with a choice of complimentary products, tell them! If your bedrooms have hairdryers and ironing boards, mention it. Customers want to know everything before they even think about booking – just missing that little detail can lead some customers to look elsewhere.
Poor quality photos and vague descriptions do your business a disservice and, equally, clever photography and a state-of-the-art website need to be backed up by top-quality accommodation and service. It’s important that your website accurately reflects your accommodation and sets your customers expectations accordingly.
Okay, so we have just mentioned photography, however, now we are talking quantity! People want to see every little detail of their up-and-coming holiday, so they can imagine themselves in the room, show their friends and visualise the luxury they can expect when they arrive.
So you have arrived from a long and tiresome journey full of traffic and stress and you are met with a pile of cigarette butts sandwiched between pots of overgrown weeds, walls full of peeling paint and grimy windows! No, you can’t always give a red carpet entrance, but you can ensure that your external grounds are well presented and welcoming for guests.
There is nothing more off-putting than scruffy signage or lack of it. The last thing you want is Mr Smith turning up at reception, red faced after a tour round the entirety of your county’s single-track roads. Ensure you are well signposted, with quality signs and that the entrance to your car park and reception area is clearly marked.
As the first room your guests see, it should set the tone for the rest of the accommodation. Fresh flowers are a welcome addition on any reception desk as is a plush guest information folder which not only gives your guests something to read if they have to wait but also offers additional value to their stay.
Of course the reception is equally about the welcome you give your guests. A personal, warm welcome is something you can’t buy but will calm even the most ‘het up’ guests after having sat in traffic for the past two hours.
So you’ve arrived and realised that you haven’t brought your hairdryer… that’s fine, there is one just here. Maybe you’ve left your toothbrush at home? We have one of those too. Point being, your guests may desire luxury, but there’s nothing worse than forgetting the necessities. Stocking up on a selection of the basics works perfectly for those absent-minded guests and shows you’re willing to go the extra mile.
We all know that guests get just as excited about the contents of a bathroom as they do about the contents of the hospitality tray so don’t just scrimp on the basics. Providing your guests with a range of complimentary toiletries will add that touch of luxury and is guaranteed to make a huge difference to their experience.
From breakfast, lunch and dinner to a bar snack or a nightcap, sticky tables and chipped crockery will stay in the minds of your guests and can leave a nasty taste in the mouth. So get cleaned up, serve your guests like royalty and you will soon reap the rewards.
Rooms should be clean with no hint whatsoever of previous occupants. Your guests want a good night’s sleep, and so a good quality bed with comfortable bedding and pillows will not only make your room look luxurious but will ensure your guests’ comfort throughout their stay – nothing else will make them happier!
Of course guests are looking for their most basic expectations to be met, to find the room clean and to have the comfort that allows for a restful night.
However, it really is the little things that count and are guaranteed to get them to boast about your accommodation, make a return and recommend your establishment to others.
Should you need any help with providing great guest experiences, call our friendly team on 01768 372 939 or browse our website for the latest range of hospitality products.