How can you earn non-stop referrals from your guests?  By Wowing your guests.

Welcome to another addition of hospitality property school.

Today, I’m going to talk about how to get non-stop referrals.



As an independent hotel, resort, inn or bed and breakfast, a very effective way to grow your business is to referrals. Unfortunately, referrals do not happen effortlessly. Yes, you might get the odd referral, but if you want your business to grow you have to both earn and ask for referrals.


So let’s begin by talking about how you can earn referrals from your guests. By giving them an experience they will remember, you want to WOW your guests.


In past sessions, I talked about ways to do this and I’m going to remind you of 10 ways you can do this.


  1. Show your interest by really listening to them

Ask the right questions during the check-in, in your restaurant; at the bar and listen to the answers but don’t make it obvious.

For example:

  • 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 turndown service, leave their drink of choice in their room as a nightcap.


If possible, have their favourite coffee or tea for them for the next morning and the coffee machine timed to start brewing the same time as their wake up call; 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.


Now, you might not be able to fulfil all these wishes and that is alright because the guest would not know it was happening but imagine the surprise if you can do one or any of these. 



  1. Have the Appropriate Software System

Ensure your guests 2nd, 3rd or 100th visit is as good as their first. Have systems in place to guarantee you are able to have 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 will recoup your investment with returning guests in no time.



  1. Hire the Right Employees

As I had mentioned in the past, compassion cannot be taught, you can’t give employees the desire to bend over backwards for customers. Hire employees that can show compassion to your guests. Have the appropriate systems and tools in place in order for them to deliver first class service. Empower them with confidence and authority to deal with complaints promptly.



  1. Know your Guests

Learn your guest’s names and use them. Also, teach your staff to recognise and remember loyal guests. This will form an immediate sense of hospitality that they’ll certainly find flattering



  1. 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 to make sure everything is in order and acceptable. During this call, you will be able to ask if there are any additional requests that may have been forgotten during check-in.



  1. Be Available

Be on hand at your property 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 that 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.



  1. 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? 



  1. During turn-down service

Leave simple handwritten notes on the pillow such as “Sleep Tight” or “Sweet Dreams”. 



  1. Leave Them With a Last Impression.

Make certain they realise that you appreciate their business. An earnest “thank you” from you can go a long way. 

Give them a little memento from your property or region to take home with them as a lasting reminder. 



  1. 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.



Alright, you have earned the right to ASK for non-stop referrals by WOWING your guests. 



In Conclusion

If you are serious about wanting positive non-stop referrals, and improving your hospitality properties ranking, making your guest visit memorable is a necessary step.


The next step is “To Ask for Non-Stop Referrals” and this I will talk about in the next session.


If you have any interesting stories about making your guests experience memorable and would like to share or have any questions or feedback you can leave them in the comments section of the show notes at.


That’s it for this session of hospitality property school.

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So, as always, let’s work together to put heads in your beds.

Until next time, have a fun day.




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