How often do you think about how to “WOW Your Customers”?
If you have customers say WOW about your property and its service every day, then you are the right track and you don’t need to read this post. If not, then I have 14 Ways to WOW Your Customers so they want to return.
The essence of being a great host is showing your guests you care, great customer service and that they are your number one concern.
I have heard that if you use common sense and some key phrases with guests that this should be enough to make them want to come back.
Smile … and I don’t just mean in person, smile when talking on the phone. You might have heard you can hear a smile, well, you can also hear a frown.
Ask questions during the check-in such as:
How was your trip?
Did you have a good flight? Anything to show personal interest.
During their stay:
How is your stay?
What are your plans and may I suggest …
Oh, it was so quick; we are sorry see you go.
How was your stay?
Look forward to seeing you when you come back.
These are all wonderful suggestions but should be automatic, and if it is not happening now at your property, you might be in the wrong business.
Unfortunately, I have been too many properties where these basics are not common practice and even these basics might not be enough to make your guests say WOW?
What are some ways you can use to WOW Your Customers?
- Have the Appropriate Software System
Ensure your guests 2nd, 3rd or 100th visit is as good as their first. To accomplish this you have to have great customer service.
Have systems in place to guarantee you are able to offer the same degree of service on a consistent basis. A quality check-in system should enable you to build a profile for your quests that you can use for every visit. The upfront cost for such a system may be high but if used properly you should recoup your investment with return guests in no time.
- Hire the Right Staff
Emotional skill cannot be taught, you can’t give staff the desire to bend over backwards for customers. Hire hotel staff that can be empathetic with you guests. Have the appropriate systems and tools in place in order for them to deliver first class service. Make sure you offer Customer Service Training and empower your employees with the confidence and authority to deal with complaints promptly.
- Ask the right questions
During the check-in, in your restaurant; at the bar ask the right questions and listen to the answers; but don’t make it obvious.
- Have newspapers available at the front desk and ask what paper your guest likes to read.
- Keep track of the drink they have if in your restaurant or bar.
- Ask if they have a favourite coffee or tea.
These are questions or observations that can be made during casual conversation and without being obvious. Why?
All these answers can be recorded in your guest’s profile to be used later.
- During turn-down service, leave their drink of choice in their room as a nightcap.
- If possible, have their favourite newspaper delivered to their room five minutes after their wake up call; just a light knock at the door and leave it.
- If possible, have their favourite coffee or tea for them for the next morning and the coffee machine time to start brewing the same time as their wake up call.
Now, you might not be able to fulfill all these wishes and that is alright because the guest would not know it was happening, but imagine their surprise if you can do one or any of these.
- After the Check-in
Once you have given decent time for your guests to settle in their room, the front desk should phone the guests or leave a note by the door to make sure everything is in order and acceptable. You’ll be able to ask if there are any additional requests that may have been forgotten during check-in.
- Know your Guests
If possible, learn your guest’s names and use them. Also, teach your staff to recognize and remember your loyal guests. This will form an immediate sense of hospitality that they’ll certainly find flattering.
- Leave notes
During turn-down service leave simple hand written notes on the pillow such as “Sleep Tight” or “Sweet Dreams”.
- Be Available
Be on hand in your hotel, and have personal contact with your guests to build rapport and confidence. Get to know and listen to your guests. They’re far more likely to tell you what they want if they know you and what would encourage them to come back.
If you know your guests, it’s easier for you to anticipate their needs and deliver it on a consistent basis to keep them satisfied.
- Ask your guests for feedback
Don’t assume your guests are completely satisfied – Ask. Rectifying a problem might give you an opportunity to shine and leave a favourable imprint if addressed positively.
This is an opportunity to exceed expectations. Personal feedback will always win over a comments form or questionnaire. Inquire about how the felt about your customer service, what they liked and what disappointed them; you can always learn and continue to improve.
You could also ask them if they have any new ideas or for their recommendations on how things could be better. Clients will be flattered if you ask for their thoughts and ways to improve customer service.
- Be flexible!
Don’t be so constrained by your own rules that you can’t extend breakfast for a guest who may wish to sleep in or to extend a check out if someone has a late flight. Is this actually that big a problem if it means your guest enjoyed their stay and they tell others?
- Walk them outside
When your guests have checked out, walk them out the door, like you would do with close friends when they are leaving your home. A warm smile and a handshake can go a long way to encourage guests to return.
- Add value to your guest stay
Think of the things that are of high value to your guests but affordable to you so you can give added value. Always look at a problem or complaint as an opportunity to go that extra mile to WOW your customers. Make it difficult for them to ever think about not coming back to you. It’s all about affording guests a reason to return.
- Follow up
Send a simple personalised handwritten thank you note tailored to them a few days later. This is something that can be scheduled into your daily routine and will not only show your appreciation, but it will give them something to remember you.
- Keep in touch
Stay in touch with them so that when they come to book again you are firmly fixed in their minds. As a function of your outreach, let them know what other activities you have going on or what is happening in your area. Utilize an email list as well as social media. Do your homework first and find out the best options to suit your guests.
- Reward their loyalty with exclusive bargains
Make your faithful guests feel special by setting up exclusive packages or deals. Once again this will show your appreciation of their business, as well as possibly inspiring other bookings. As a loyal guest, the last thing you want to hear about is offers only targeting ‘new’ customers.
We’d love to hear your thoughts.
If you have any stories about successful ways you hire hotel staff, great customer service or how you WOW Your Customers and would like to share, or have questions or feedback you can leave them in the comments section or visit our website
Lets work together to put heads in your beds.
Until next time, have a fun day.
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