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In our last episode, I asked “Do you think the quality of your customer service is important for your hospitality property? Your hotel, resort, inn or bed and breakfast.”

Today my question is “How do you know if your customer service is working”

I am going to explain how you can find out.

Welcome to another edition of hospitality property school.

I’m your instructor Gerry MacPherson.

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So How do you know if your customer service is working?

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Ask!

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You need to get honest feedback from your guests and you can do this by

  • being available to talk with your guests

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  • use guest surveys or questionnaires

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  • online reviews

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  • feedback from your employees, to name a few

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When looking at reviews, surveys and feedback from your guests and employees, look at any complaint or criticism as a chance to improve.

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Let’s look at this a little closer

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Take every opportunity to Ask Questions

  • During breakfast or dinner (“I hope you find everything to your satisfaction?”)

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  • During check-out (“Did you enjoy your stay?”)

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  • When using questionnaires offer a small reward (a small upsell during their next stay or possibly something unique like a rubber ducky with your properties name)

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Basic questionnaire guidelines you should follow

  • The questionnaire should not be too long, only a few minutes necessary to fill it out very easy to fill out, e.g. with check marks.

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  • Make sure your guest knows that their opinion is important. You could say, please help us, to make your break as relaxing and enjoyable as possible.

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  • Anonymous questionnaires are more honest but if an address is given, you have the opportunity for further enquiries
    • Increase rate of questionnaires returned by:
    • Asking early in your guest stay for them to fill it out. (it‘s too late after check-out)
    • A small reward for it returned, an easy hand-over

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  • Allow space for your guest to add more information

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  • Ask for date and duration of stay. This could influence any source of irritation e.g. noise, not enough variety of meals

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  • A more detailed questioning is possible with regular guests

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This is an example of the type of questionnaire I would give a guest.

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Dear Valued Guest,

We are delighted you choose the “Your Property Name” for your stay and trust that you enjoyed your time with us We are always looking for ways to improve our service quality so, in order to maintain the highest possible standards, we would be grateful if you could fill in the questionnaire below and return it to us.

Thank you very much!

Hotel Managers Name Signature

PS: Please drop the questionnaire at the reception for your free gift or just hand it to one of our employees.

You can also leave it on the desk in your room.

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When reviewing evaluations remember

  • A good questionnaire can show a very authentic and realizable picture of strengths and shortcomings in service quality.

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  • Don’t be afraid of honest and critical self-assessment

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  • Accept complaint in a positive and professional way

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  • Handle complaints fast, be uncomplicated and obliging

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  • Provide employees with extensive efficiency in providing solutions.

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[bctt tweet=”Look at any complaint as a chance to improve and if your guest sees you are taking them seriously!” username=”KeystoneHDC”]

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  • The guest‘s contentment rises

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  • Customer loyalty is advanced; customers, who complain still want to stay at your property

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  • Impressive complaint management is often the topic of conversations between customers, that means promotion

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Tweet

Customer loyalty is always cheaper than to find new customers!

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Set up the occasional Mystery Check. Similar to mystery shoppers, this is when you have guests check in and assess every aspect of your services.

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This hidden test can help find out about your properties service qualities.

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Remember

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A minimized error rate in service quality is unavoidable… Dissatisfied guest – not!

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Creativity and motivation produce not only a satisfied but also an enthusiastic and loyal guest, willing to recommend you!

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Other tips that can improve a guests experience.

  • provide music with announcements, and offers for when guests are on telephone hold

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  • Include an automated email response “Thank you for your message; you will receive a response within…!”

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  • a small gift as a thank you for trust in debit or fast bank transfer

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Afterwards, you could try one or more of these ideas.

(This is why building an email or address list is important).

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  • Don’t let the guest leave empty handed – a small souvenir, favourite recipe, typical regional products (e.g.. seeds of flowers…) or pictures of stay or the regional landscape during different seasons

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  • Postcard “Welcome back home” (send 2 days before guest‘s check out)

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  • Call guest to inquire if he arrived safely

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  • Extraordinary end of letter e.g. season’s greetings, Christmas greetings

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Your customers return visit

  • Keep a file of each guest with their likes and wishes. With the proper checks and balances in place, this information can be gathered by employee questions, without the guest realising and then without the guest asking you can provide, for example, their favourite coffee, drink, newspaper etc.

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To find out more about customer service training, check out our training tutorials. Visit KeystoneHospitalityDevelopment.com and click tutorials in the menu bar.

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If you operate any type of hospitality property, your number one priority for success is great customer service.

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Great customer service is an essential aspect of the hospitality industry. The level of service you offer can make or break your hotel, resort, inn or bed & breakfast, so it is imperative that you fine-tune your policies until you hit near-perfection.

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If you don’t, you will lose potential and repeat guests.

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

 

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Social media raises the stakes for customer service

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In the old days, if a guest or customer was happy with your service they would tell 3 people. If not, they would tell eleven people. Today, with the advent of social media. If someone is not happy with an aspect of your service, within day tens or even hundreds of thousands could see this on their timeline.

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Hospitality property owner/managers need to instil best practices for their employees to follow.

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By understanding the following best practices, you and your employees will ensure your customer service reaches a standard that’s not only acceptable to the general public but will also confirm your status of a quality establishment.

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Begin with a warm welcome

First impressions are everything.

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The first step you need to master and to teach your employees is the appropriate customer greeting. This will be your guest’s first face-to-face contact and could set the tone for their overall experience. A good welcome needs to be warm, polite and informed but not fake. If the greeting is overbearing or suffocating it could make a guest feel uncomfortable. It is really important to find a healthy balance, so your guests walk away from the check-in more content and happier than when they arrived.

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In a past episode, I talk about the importance of finding and hiring the right staff. If you would like to refresh your mind then visit

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Great Employees – How to Find and Keep Them

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Keep your employees happy

I have seen way too often hospitality property owners/managers focus on the little things and disregard their staff. A guest can easily determine if your staff are not happy and this will most often reflect on their desire to return. By keeping your staff happy, it will help generate a better atmosphere make them feel more at ease and at home, thereby giving them a better experience.

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Ways this can be accomplished is by ongoing training, rewarding great work and empowering them to make frontline decisions.

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Surpass your guest’s wants and expectations

We all know that the hospitality property industry can be very competitive and by meeting your guest’s needs is not always enough. In order to stay ahead of your competition, you must strive to give your guests the WOW factor.

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You must exceed their expectations with little touches that will elevate you to a higher level of customer service

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Constantly take feedback

A hospitality property that is willing to accept feedback & criticism and then use these remarks to improve is definitely serious about maintaining great customer satisfaction. This to work, you have to make available ways for your guests to speak to you either through, online reviews, surveys or questionnaires. You have to be able to look at any criticism objectively and be willing to implement changes as necessary.

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Conclude your guest’s stay with a warm send-off

‘All good things must come to the end’ – that is what your guest to be thinking when it comes to leaving. And what better way to say goodbye is than with a fond farewell? A sincere goodbye will last in the minds of your departing guests and if done right, will only leave a positive impression of your property. Use your guest name, offered in your hand and treat them as if it was your family that was leaving.

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Undoubtedly, customer service is of fundamental importance to the hospitality industry and should be specific to your hospitality property.

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The level of service your guests receive could make or break your business and cannot be ignored.

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To find out more about customer service, check out our training tutorials. Visit keystonehospitalitydevelopment.com and click tutorials in the menu bar.

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I would like to hear about your customer service. Let me know in the comment section what training process works for you.

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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

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  • How to Set Up an Organisational Structure

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  • Secrets to Great Customer Service

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  • How to Market Effectively

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  • How to Benefit From Social Media

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  • 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/KHDC117

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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:

The Keystone HDC Training Tutorials

https://courses.keystonehospitalitydevelopment.com/

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Customer Service Guideline download

https://keystonehospitalitydevelopment.com/customer-service-tips-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 Tips for Hospitality Properties @KeystoneHDC

https://youtu.be/b72df-xB2MU

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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/b72df-xB2MU

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