As a resort manager or hotelier, you must ensure that your guests have a great time as soon as they arrive or interact with personnel. It’s easy to think that the front desk is where first impressions are made. But in doing so, managers overlook other guest service touchpoints like room service ordering and request fulfilment.
Running a flawless hospitality business is challenging. Even when you try to foresee issues and put precautions in place, something always transpires that converts a potentially perfect vacation into a bad online review. No matter how well things are going, managers know that someday something will go wrong.
In a recent article, Thomas Zarikian, CEO of EB Hotels, argues that not all managers understand how a problem is handled and fixed is more important to the visitor than how impeccable the experience is.
Zarikian believes that the sooner management can fix the issue, the more likely the resort or hotel will receive favourable feedback instead of nothing at all. Connecting with visitors via the resort’s web-based Guest App while they are still on-site and before they publish online reviews is one of the best methods to achieve high customer satisfaction.
Wait until after the guest has left to ask for feedback and comments; it could be too late to make up for any mistakes. Gaging guest satisfaction from the day of arrival provides management with crucial information they can use to transform a potentially terrible circumstance into a favourable online review.
Zarikian recommends that resorts and hotels set the tone for the remainder of the vacation with proactive guest communications. When management fails to address issues, they frequently result in negative reviews read by thousands of potential guests.
“If you can capture feedback before guests leave, make amends, and then invite them to come back, they will oblige simply because you showed that you care.”
Property managers can no longer view visitors as just heads in beds if they wish to receive great online reviews. Instead, every guest should be cherished and treated as though they were staying at our homes.
Digital communication is key to achieving this, and using a Guest App is a great way to build customer loyalty and provide the best customer experience. Ask:
- Do you need anything in particular?
- Can I suggest a restaurant for dinner?
- Would you like your favorite bottle of wine to be delivered to your apartment this evening?
Each interaction helps staff members give even better service and build a thorough client history.
Conversations can continue even after your guests leave. Send visitors a personalized email one or two days after check-out asking them to score their entire experience and if they would recommend the property to others. As Zarikian points out, this data must be collected for your net promoter scores. Then, request that visitors describe their experience to you in their own words.
Zarikian recommends that hotels and resorts take the initiative and contact individuals if you want them to interact with you.
This is especially appreciated when visitors skip the front desk during check-in using mobile keys. Even if they don’t want to talk to you directly, it’s still vital to know someone is there. Even for the most socially awkward tourist, the Guest App offers a personal connection.
When visitors have the choice to return to a city or location, they will always pick a property where they feel appreciated. Utilizing the Guest App for two-way communication is a great approach to differentiate your services and increase engagement.
Great engagement and higher online ratings depend on the Guest App being task-based. For instance, Zarikian believes that a guest won’t strike up a random conversation with the front desk. But when they need or want something, the discussion will begin.
Guests should be able to communicate with hotel staff by using a text-based, task-focused Guest App to place meal orders, ask for the Wi-Fi password, or request additional towels or a forgotten amenity, for example. When the interaction is included in the Guest App, it generates a ticket system for employees and a paper trail for management to examine should inquiries about how requests were handled in the future come up.
The right Guest App can enhance every aspect of the service you provide. It can be an extension of the hotel’s guest services staff, like a personal concierge. Guests can easily connect with individuals and get information when they need it. Issues can be quickly fixed, and guests feel at ease knowing that a real person is there to attend to their every need.
Staff members can use Guest Apps to report equipment or furniture problems, mitigate problems and stop complaints from happening. This is a simple approach to bringing concerns to the attention of the appropriate parties before a visitor complains.
When you provide staff with the resources they need to do their duties more quickly and effectively, it’s remarkable how empowered they feel. Making employees feel like a part of the team is essential in a time when customer loyalty and employee retention are crucial to keeping the doors open. A simple strategy to raise morale and improve client service is to use the Guest App to offer staff members a voice.
Are you interested in implementing a Guest App at your property? Check out the On-Site Service Request tool from the team at CustomerCount, which provides you with real-time alerts to meet your guests’ needs anywhere and at any time.
With the On-Site Service Request tool, you have immediate access to guest concerns and the opportunity to handle service issues quickly – turning a potential problem into an avenue for improved satisfaction and a more positive image for your property.
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Source: Thomas Zarikian is CEO of EB Hotels, part of the Eurobuilding Hotels Group, and served on the Board of Governors for the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce.