Making memories for hotel guests is all about delivering exceptional customer service. The profitability of a hotel is directly related to the satisfaction of its guests. Making memories for guests by delivering exceptional service should not be seen as an overhead cost, but a revenue stream. Exceptional customer service will increase revenue.
Unlike your location, building style, or amenities, providing the best customer service is something completely in your control. Hotels are a people industry, which means to deliver on customer service and your bottom line, you need the right people, in the right place, with the right skills at the right time. Give customers a great experience and they’ll buy more, be more loyal and share their experience with friends.
Delivering exceptional customer experience
Guests experience exceptional customer service, rather than see it. As a result, making memories can be defined by the following characteristics
Attention to detail
True attention to detail isn’t found in the hotel manual. However, it is inspired by great working conditions, working ethics and training. Embedding a culture that includes a genuine desire to help guests by your staff.
Being aware and acting on guest knowledge such as birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions are a great way to personalise. As a guest checks in, you notice their date of birth, realise it’s a their birthday when its not been flagged, and then act – thats part of making memories! There are plenty of ways to personalise a guest’s visit.
Creativity and thoughtfulness
Customers have expectations around what hotels will and won’t do. Recognise them, make a habit to go above and beyond in interesting and delightful ways. Being thoughtful, recognising guest behaviour, remembering their names, drink preferences, along with small tokens of kindness.
What all of these have in common, is your people. Building an emotional connection with guests, to make those memories for guests is delivered by your people. Enable your people through training, systems, processes and technology. Let the technology and processes do the heavy lifting, so that your people can delight guests, deliver exceptional service and that will increase margins.
Humans at the heart – empower to wow
A key component of delivering high quality service is your people and human resource management systems. In a service industry, its HR that helps create the organisations competitive advantage.
Some of the greatest ‘wow’ moments for guests aren’t easy to plan, instead its your staff who will, proactively spot and address opportunities on a day-to-day basis. Which means you need to create a culture and develop these skills and competencies:
- Proactive – seeking out opportunities to delight guests
- Enable – providing support systems and processes that enable staff to act and be proactive
- Training – go beyond customer service, into forward thinking and improvisation
- Protocols – a great starting point to support improvisation and creativity and the ability to think on their feet
- Take a customer first approach – instil a culture and attitude that puts the customer first
Research by PWC showed that 86% of guests are ready to pay more for great customer experience, that’s good news for hotels who can deliver. Get it right and guests will come back, and tell their friends.
The employee experience is the cornerstone of enabling them to deliver exceptional service. Great employee experience can be enabled with the right technology, to support human interaction that are seamless and unobtrusive.
The formula for getting it right
Empowered staff are the key to unlocking revenue opportunities through exceptional service. With the right talent, culture, and training, new ways of working supported by the right technology, increased margins, making memories for guests and delivering exceptional customer service becomes easy.
Technology alone won’t cure what ails customer experience. Done right, technology can help hotels create phenomenal customer experiences and reap the resulting benefits. Top performing hotels pay close attention to the human experience around digital and tech – for both staff and guest. By relieving staff of time consuming and mundane tasks, they are free to focus on delivering that all important customer service.
Increased margins through exceptional service
Technology is the enabler, not the enemy, delivering improvements to processes, speed, convenience and instant access. Guests generate revenue, your staff will add an emotional connection, helping guests create lasting memories that delight them and make their stay memorable. You’ll increase your revenue per guest and revenue per room (RevPAR, RevPOR, RevPAG).
Add more focus to your employee experience with the use of HR technology and you’ll release them of other burdens, and enable them to delight guests. Great employee experience brings stronger, smarter, more innovative ideas, which will drive future business and superb customer experience. The digital formula delivers benefits such as easier staff scheduling which is complex and time consuming. Hotels need staff with a mix of experience and skills and operate a wide mix of contracts. Getting salaries 100% right can be a minefield, but you can remove errors and support calls with a digital approach.
The human touch remains essential when it comes to making memories for hotel guests. But human and machine (digital) working together will deliver value, revenue and increased margins.