A great guest experience is one where your guest enjoys their stay and, ideally, returns next year. That’s it. While the bells, whistles, and wellness packages are nice, they aren’t absolutely necessary. You don’t have to worry if you’re not an all inclusive resort in Dubai. The key is friendly staff, ongoing guest communication, and proactive service.
Encourage staff to be themselves; they don’t all have to keep a stiff upper lip like Carson from Downton Abbey. What guests really need after a tiring flight is empathy at the front desk and a speedy check-in. A smile never hurts.
In a recent PwC survey, 66 percent of respondents claimed the ability to be themselves was an important factor in deciding whether or not to change jobs. This means that letting your staff’s personalities shine through will not only benefit guests, it will help retain workers.
The latest travel zeitgeist is looking for local experiences and interactions, venturing off the beaten path and away from crowded tourist spots. Your staff can help provide that by being themselves and sharing their area knowledge and tips.
All departments should undergo customer service training, not only your clerks. A guest may stop one of your housekeeping or back-office employees with a request, even if it isn’t strictly their job. They should know how to say “no problem” and quickly contact the person whose job it is.
Invest in and reward your staff by providing professional opportunities, a team culture, positive feedback, and quality tools to make their job easier. The current labor shortage means it isn’t the employer’s market it used to be. People are more likely to show up to work with smiles on their faces and ready to do their best if they feel they’re treated fairly. Remember, happy staff means happy guests!
Touch base with guests throughout their stay to ensure they have everything they need. Checking in with guests via email or text message is an unobtrusive way to ask if they have any requests or issues. Such messages can be automated by your property management or CRM system and triggered a set amount of time after check-in. Stick to the basics; marketing messages generally aren’t a good idea while they’re trying to relax by your pool.
In addition, make it clear where guests can reach you if they have a problem. Put that information in emails, online channels, and signage. Resolve problems as quickly as possible and follow up with guests to ensure they are happy—that way, you can turn a negative experience into a positive one.
It’s a good idea to contact guests before and after their stay as well as during. Sending an email or two prior lets them know what to expect and any guidelines you may have, like what the check-in time is. Pre-arrival communications are perfect for upsell offers that can enhance their experience too.
After guests leave, send a follow-up thank you email and a request to leave a review. You can also let them know about the benefits of booking directly with you next time, i.e., loyalty points and special offers.
With a quality property management system and strong guest data, you can anticipate guest needs. Record special requests and preferences in your system’s guest profiles so that you have those details when they return. If your guest asked for extra towels last time, you can have their room ready with extra towels when they arrive next time. Returning guests get the VIP treatment they deserve without having to ask.
You can collect the data for your system through face to face interaction and casual conversation, and through your booking engine and pre-arrival emails. This way, even first-time guests receive a tailored experience.
Be careful not to bog down your booking engine with too many unnecessary fields, otherwise your guests won’t book at all. However, you can and should gather essential information. Start with contact details and go from there. Ask for basic information you need to know to provide a comfortable stay, like allergies or special requests. That way, you can make sure you don’t put that guest who’s allergic to dogs in a pet-friendly room.
Your pre-arrival emails are a good place to ask more questions and offer relevant upsells that can help enhance their stay. If a guest does share helpful information or select an upgrade, make note of it in their guest profile. (Make notes about everything!)
Providing a memorable guest experience doesn’t have to be complicated. It all comes down to friendly faces, good communication, and knowing what your guests really need. A modern property management system like WebRezPro has you covered on all counts. Contact us for a free, no-obligation demo.