Service in hospitality industry is the level of assistance provided by staff to facilitate the purchase by the client. It also encompasses all efforts hotels make to achieve pleasant customer experience for guests. Nowadays it is absolutely imperative to invest in customer services at the highest of levels, follow the set of binding guidelines and build a customer service system that can become a competitive advantage.
How to Evaluate Customer Service Experience
33% of clients say they’ll consider switching suppliers after just a single instance of poor customer service. This is why it`s so important to constantly monitor the level of guest service and work on its improvement. But how can you evaluate customers` satisfaction?
These are the main instruments to understand if service standards meet customers` expectations:
- Survey. People like sharing their opinions – this is how your guests will know you want to serve them better. You can use social media, printed comment cards, questionnaires.
- Follow-up emails – after clients book their rooms, when they check in, and after they’ve returned home.
- Customer retention. It means a hotel’s ability to keep a paying customer over a set period of time. You might attract a lot of visitors and convert them into paying customers, but can you hold on to them over a long period? The number of returning guests is one of the key indexes of success.
Hospitality Customer Service Habits
In the world where fierce competition is the norm and guest comfort, pleasure, and contentment are key, there is no other way than to walk the extra mile. Do you want to show your guests you really care? Let`s discuss customer service habits that can help:
- Positive first impression. There is only one chance to make it so you must not fail – and the clients are sure to come back! They could even overlook or forgive small issues if you make an amazing first impression.
Friendly welcome, eye contact and smile – these are absolutely must-do`s. Be presentable, make eye contact, let the guests know you are happy to see them. Simple smiles and friendly greetings by each hotel staff member can make the guest service truly unforgettable.
- Words are powerful tools. Having a habit of using the right words to communicate with our guests is very important. Here are some RIGHT vs. WRONG words in hospitality:
|Please allow me to find a solution||We can’t do that.|
|Tonight our hotel is fully booked, let me help you find another accommodation nearby||We’re sold out|
|Good Morning/Afternoon, How may I assist you?||Checking out/in?|
|Please allow me to find out this for you||I don’t know|
|I’m happy to help you find the right person to better answer your question||I don’t work in that department|
|Let me see how I can help you with this||It’s our policy|
|Here are some alternative suggestions for you to…||You can’t do that|
|It’s my pleasure||No Problem|
|On behalf of my colleague and our hotel, I sincerely apologize….||It’s not my fault|
Remember – NO is not the answer. The message that comes out of our mouths makes a huge impact on how the clients feel about us. Empower yourself to make decisions, take corrective actions for the good of hotel, show the guests you want to help, that you care.
- Offer more than expected. Go above and beyond the job – anticipate the guests’ needs with questions, give directions, offer free drinks or fruits, tell about local restaurants, ATM, attractions nearby. Don’t forget about birthday cards or cakes, complimentary upgrades when possible – all these could be a game-changer for your business and bring more loyal clients.
- Ask questions and be empathetic. Learning more about your guests will definitely make an impression on them. It will show that you care and will help you to anticipate their needs.
- Reward loyalty. Customers, especially the frequent ones, would rather book hotels that offer some reward and loyalty programs. Such programs are generally used to attract customers and entice business travelers or other frequent guests to favor the particular brand or hotel chain over others. Don`t miss this opportunity to retain the loyal client.
- Use social media. Platforms like Instagram, Facebook allow you to reach the widest range of customers, to know their thoughts and concerns and to raise the standards of guest service.