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Do you think the quality of your customer service is important for your hospitality property? Your hotel, resort, inn or bed and breakfast.

Any business can offer good or basic customer service but what do your guests expect and how can you fulfil their expectations?

Give me a few minutes – and I’ll share with you wonderful tips for great customer service.

Welcome to another edition of hospitality property school.

I’m your instructor, Gerry MacPherson.

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If you have been an owner/operator of a hospitality property for a while, then you might have seen the average hotel occupancy rate fluctuated dramatically over the past couple of years.

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There has been no guarantee of consistent repeat business.

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You may have welcomed new customers, hoped they would enjoy their stay and maybe someday return but have you been asking yourself these questions.

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How can I get them to return?

And if your customers don’t return …Why?

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You want to ensure that your customers have a wonderful experience at your property and avoid disappointing them by only fulfilling the basics.

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Here are some of the reasons guests might not return, according to a study conducted by the Research Institute for Leisure and Tourism.

  • 1 % because of death
  • 3 % because of move
  • 5 % because of change of habits
  • 9% because of the wrong price policy
  • 14% because of lack of product quality
  • 68 % because of lack of service quality

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Well, if you can say …

“We only offer quality service, none of these other factors applies and our occupancy rate is always 90% or better” 

…then your business is in perfect shape and you need not read any further.   

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If this is not the case…

Then you might be interested in how both unhappy and happy customers might describe their experience at your property.

  • 1 unsatisfied guest tells 10 other persons about it
  • 1 satisfied guest brings 3 new guests
  • Delighted guests spend 5 times more money

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“I know my guests and if they were unsatisfied with their experience, they would complain.”

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WRONG!

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Statistically, only 4 out of every 100 guests complain and up to 75 % will choose your competition for their next stay.

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Only 8-20 % stays loyal despite their dissatisfaction.

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So what does this all mean?

Well simply…

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Unsatisfied guests do not complain, they just do not come again.

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But not all is lost:

About 85 % of unsatisfied guests whose complaints were handled appropriately, will remain as loyal guests.

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There are many factors that you can control by ensuring that you are consistent with your Chain of Service.

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“What does Chain of Service mean?”

 .You focus on the care of your customer from the first contact until after they arrive back home.

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Taking a Reservation (Guidelines for reservation staff)

  • Have a standardized script for all phone reservations and follow the same procedure every call.

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  • A list of the required information you need as well as a section for special requests.

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  • Eliminate any distractions or disturbing noises at reservations desk e.g radio or TV

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  • Answer the phone no later than the 4th ring, avoid long waiting

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  • Do not keep the client on hold longer than 1 minute, otherwise, promise to call back.

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  • Greet the guests with the hotel‘s name, employee name and/or a salutation like: “How can I help you” or a typical regional greeting.

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  • Have a pad of paper and pen to write down the guest‘s name and use it as often as possible. This creates a personal atmosphere and guests a feeling of being paid attention.

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  • Be clear and enunciate.

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  • Your employee should convey friendliness and reliability while on the phone; smile because the guest can hear you smiling. Have a stimulus such as a happy face or humorous picture hanging by the phone. It may sound corny but it works.

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  • To avoid mistakes, ask for the spelling of important facts (e.g. names, reservation data, account details) and repeat them to confirm.

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  • Offer extras if applicable e.g. restaurant reservations, shuttle service.

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  • Please, Thank You and With Pleasure are phrases which can never be used too

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  • Clearly verbalized payment practice

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After the call:

  • If necessary complete your notes immediately while the conversation is still fresh.

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  • Sent booking confirmation, brochures etc. immediately (within 24hrs or the next day)

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  • Prepare the realization of the guest‘s wishes

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  • Begin file on each guest.

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Have your registration employees sign the checklist once it is complete. This is for both the guest‘s benefit and for the success of our company.

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Reservation via the Internet

  • Ensure all instructions are easy to find, this means clear and easy enough for a young child to understand (I am serious about this).

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  • The website is easy to navigate.

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  • A FAQ page and/or reliable contact resource.

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Is this making sense? Let me know by leaving a short comment.

 

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Mail via Post

  • Answer all questions as well as the most commonly asked questions by other guests.

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  • Respond quickly

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  • Be proactive and include significant, relevant and appealing material with every post.

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To find out more about customer service training, check out our training tutorials.

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Visit KeystoneHospitalityDevelopment.com

and click tutorials in the menu bar.

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Now I would like to go into a little more detail about the customer service for when your guests arrive, during their stay and when they depart.

First impressions are crucial.

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When your guests arrive for Checkin

  • Have well-lit parking and entrance for guests

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  • Special service for arrival during bad weather

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  • When greeting, use guest‘s name for welcome

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  • Offer an uncomplicated, fast check-In

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  • Short info-briefing (where, what, when?)

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  • Luggage service (if applicable)

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  • Wish a nice stay

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  • Glasses cleaning cloth, tissues at the reception counter

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  • Welcome drink

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  • Corner with information about the region and small snacks (local favourites such as in-season fruit, if possible)

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The Lobby

 

  • Warm, comfortable ambience; welcoming impression with a light pleasant fragrance (one of the best memory triggers is smell)

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  • Tidy reception

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  • Helpful signage

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The Room

  • Tidy & sanitized

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  • Reasonable room temperature

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  • Comfortable mattress

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  • Hot water

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  • Calmness, no disturbing noise

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  • Fresh air, non-smoking

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  • Briefing pack for guests

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During Your Guests Stay these are extras you could consider

  • Personal wake-up service with up-to-date newsletter or information about the weather

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  • Pillow- bar: choice of various pillows

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  • Reading corner: choice of different books with comfortable seating and tea corner

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  • Free internet or Wi-Fi service

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  • Lending service (hiking map, umbrella, reading glasses, power plugs…)

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Employees Participation

You want to hire employees that can show real (authentic) kindness

  • Competent and qualified for their position

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  • Trustworthy and can keep promises

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  • Empathetic can listen attentively

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  • Management of complaints is focused on customer

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  • Are able to remember the customer might not always be right but try to make them feel as if they are.

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Guests Departure

  • Friendly and fast check-out

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  • Thank you & Goodbye

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  • Never let you guest leave empty handed

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  • Wish them a nice homeward journey and look forward to seeing them when they return

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Down the Road

  • Follow up on any problems or issues that your guest may have had. To recognize problems is the right step to find a solution

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  • Send information about new offers by email and post

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Have you heard about our “6 Day Challenge”?

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If you are interested to learn more tips & techniques for operating a hospitality property and I highly recommend you join and it’s 100% Free.

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In this series we cover:

  • Determining What Type of Owner/Manager You Are
  • How to Set Up an Organisational Structure
  • Secrets to Great Customer Service
  • How to Market Effectively
  • How to Benefit From Social Media
  • How to Make Your Guests Want to Return

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It is important as a hospitality property owner or manager that you never stop learning so sign up below.

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If you like this video, let me know your thoughts in the comment section below and if you know someone who might benefit from the video, please feel free to share it.

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You can support this free podcast by leaving us a review and giving us a 5-star rating on Apple podcasts or wherever you happen to be listening to it.

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Every review helps more people find the podcast at no cost to you.

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Make sure you hit that like button. I appreciate the feedback. And don’t forget to subscribe and then hit the little bell to be notified when I upload a new video.

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Thank you so much for your interest and let’s continue to work together to put heads in your beds.

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Until next time, have a fun day.

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⇒ TO READ OR LISTEN TO THIS EPISODE ON KEYSTONE HOSPITALITY PROPERTY CONSULTING:

https://keystonehospitalitydevelopment.com/khdc116

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⇒ And don’t forget to join the “6 Day Challenge” here:

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RESOURCES & LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

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The Keystone HDC Training Tutorials

https://courses.keystonehospitalitydevelopment.com/

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Customer Service Guideline download

https://keystonehospitalitydevelopment.com/customer-service-guidelines-download

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Join our community in “The Hospitality Property School Group” –Check it Out for One Full Week for Only $1

https://keystonehospitalitydevelopment.com/membership-site

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TWEET THIS VIDEO:

Customer Service Values for Your Hospitality Property @KeystoneHDC

https://youtu.be/yCFHtOt2aXE

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Say hi on social:

Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/KeystoneHDC

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Twitter: https://twitter.com/KeystoneHDC

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Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/keystone-hospitality-development/

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Listen to The Hospitality Property School Podcast here:

https://keystonehospitalitydevelopment.com/itunes-podcast

https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/hospitality-property-school

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YouTube

https://youtu.be/yCFHtOt2aXE

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