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We have all visited properties that have friendly staff, nice rooms, a good view, and an enjoyable breakfast. There is nothing wrong with these hospitality properties and you feel satisfied paying.

You get what you paid for.

Does this make for a memorable experience?

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Nope!

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Today, I’m going to give you ways to make your property memorable.

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Welcome to another edition of hospitality property school.

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I am your instructor, Gerry MacPherson.

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Now, what I have just stated should be the minimum standards every property would strive for, understanding the fact that sometimes a good view might not be possible.

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What can you do to go the extra step, to make your hospitality property memorable?

The possibilities are endless but let’s look at few.

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Start from when your guests arrive – make sure your hospitality property is inviting and to do this you need to look at your property from your guest’s perspective:

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  1. Is your entrance is well lit; with a welcoming, attractive company sign is posted.

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  1. Is it easy for your guests to park and get to the front door without getting soaked if it’s raining?

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  1. Is it easy to get luggage through the front door?

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  1. Are your guests welcomed with a smiling face and help if necessary?

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  1. Are your guests treated the way you would want your parents or grandparents to be treated?

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  1. Are there specialities in your region that could be unique to your hotel that guests can take home or share with others? e.g. fruits, maple sugar, woodcarvings, wine glasses with the properties name etched into them. These are items could be available to sample or buy?

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  1. Ensure you have a simple and seamless registration system.

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  1. Tell an interesting story. What makes your hospitality property unique? Is there a historical or family store you can share? This can be done in the form of a small booklet or a postcard your guests can take with them.

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  1. Encourage your guests to send your photographs they have taken during their stay and if suitable, post them on your website’s gallery.

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  1. Send a personalized follow-up thank you cards a few days after your guest’s departure. I know this may seem like a lot of work but if you calculate the revenue from return business against the time it takes to write the cards, you will soon find that is more than worth it.

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  1. Develop systems to collect your guest’s emails through surveys, contests, or by just asking.

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Stay in touch with information, offers and incentives. Share knowledge of your area and let your guests know what’s going on in your region or send them a copy of your great aunt’s favourite cookie recipe.

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  1. Know where you can see reviews for your property, for example, your website or property booking engines and review them frequently.

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Don’t be afraid of reviews and deal with any negative – quickly. It is much easier and less expensive to regain the customer you had and lost than to gain a new customer.

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  1. Recruit the right people. You can’t do it alone so choose your team wisely. Be clear about what you are looking for. As I said in an earlier podcast you want to choose staff that can show empathy. People can be taught how to clean a room, take a reservation, to serve wine, but it is far more difficult to teach someone how to be welcoming, stay calm under pressure or to use their initiative. You want to be able to install your values on your team and be sure they understand.

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  1. This isn’t only important for your front-line staff but also the back of house staff. Everyone’s attitude towards customer service, as a unit, will have a great effect on your client’s experience, their likelihood of coming back and referring other people. Your kitchen staff’s openness to guest’s tastes, your maintenance staffs appearance, and your housekeeper’s discretion all have an impact on your guest’s impression.

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  1. Encourage your team to see everything from a customer’s perspective. The more of your services and products your staff are able to experience first-hand the better. Allow staff to be waited on in the restaurant, stay a night as a guest, and sample the any of the extras you offer. Encourage them to make recommendations and suggestions to improve the products and service.

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This gives your team confidence – which will be apparent to your customers – and provides consistency.

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  1. Empower employees to make immediate decisions and then take action will quickly resolve most problems to the satisfaction of your guests. There is nothing worse than having to tell a guest that you are not able to help them and that you will have to call the Supervisor to resolve their issue? Any problems that may arise during a guest’s stay should be able to be handled by the front desk and the hotel staff.

This can be done by having a well-trained staff.

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  1. Ensure any promotional material is visible and eye-catching. No point having it tucked away out of view! Put them in high traffic areas – by a reception, entrance to the restaurant, in elevators?

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  1. Collaborate with competitors. When you are full, you can refer people to other properties that you have a good working relationship and vice versa. Recognise that your guests won’t necessarily want to eat with you every night, so where do you recommend? A competitor’s restaurant can offer a discount for your guests, and in return, you give a preferential rate to their customers?

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  1. Be visible in your hotel, and talk to your guests. Strike a balance between being friendly and not over intrusive. When you get to know your customers personally, you get to know their likes and dislikes; you hear their suggestions and get their feedback. This all this builds rapport and trust. Make sure to reward customers who give you contact details of others. The more referrals you have the greater the likelihood of gaining new customers.

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  1. If your hospitality property has Green Programs and Policies, promote them. Travellers are becoming more concerned than ever with protecting the environment. Companies that practice and promote themselves as being green have an advantage over their competition that has not kept up with the population’s changing views..

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Although the best way to be environmentally friendly is to start with the design and construction of a new property, existing hotels can also do a lot to become greener.

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If you are looking for a quick, visible and inexpensive program to start becoming greener, add recycle baskets in the rooms for paper and bottles.

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  1. Make every guest room inviting and comfortable. When people are travelling, their room could be very important to them. Whether your guests are vacationers or business travellers, many would like to be able to relax or need a space to work. For this reason, each room should have the basics. A good size, flat-screen TV to keep them entertained; free wireless internet connection is a must; a coffee machine; an upgraded shower head; a mini-fridge and possibly a microwave will be appreciated by all your clients.

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  1. Promote upcoming events in either your property or in the surrounding area so guests see what you’ve got coming up in the future. This may prompt a return visit or guest to pass the details onto friends or colleagues. Use flyers or leaflets, which people can take away as a reminder, or to pass on to others.

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  1. Do something exceptional that could be of high value to your customers but low cost to you so you can give added value. Give people a real reason to talk about you. For example a DVD with beautiful pictures of your property and area that can be used as a screensaver.

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  1. Have a customized aroma created for your property. This can extinguish objectionable odours and freshen the properties internal atmosphere.

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  1. I know I have mentioned this before but it is imperative you talk with your guests. If customers aren’t complaining, it does not mean they are happy. The truth is it’s easier for most customers to walk than talk. In other words, they would rather just give their business to one of your rivals than spend time complaining and hoping for a resolution. Occasionally, when a client complains, you might feel like saying “Let them walk. It’s just one customer.” The thing is that it isn’t just one client.

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Is it making sense? Let me know by leaving a short comment below

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I am going to share with you 15 more ways you can make your hospitality property memorable.

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  • Call before check in

It’s 6:00 pm and you still have a number of your arrivals due to come in.

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Spend a few minutes and call all of your arrivals and let them know you are expecting them.

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·        Welcome local artists to display their work in your lobby

People are naturally charmed to pleasing things, this is why art is a good way of making your property more memorable among travellers, especially if it’s interesting, inviting, and creates a visually stimulating experience for your guests. You can encourage them to take pictures together with the art you display so they can share these photos on social media.

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  • Welcome Returning Guest Back

Everyone likes to feel special so when you have returning guests, use their name. You want them to recognize that they are returning, so give them what they want.

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.Novelty Offerings

Not everything in life should have a logical explanation behind it.

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Creating a few novelty offerings for your guests is a great way to redefine the experience that they get while staying at your property. It does not have to be extravagant. As long as it’s something out of the ordinary and creates a spectacle, then you’re good to go. For example a drink in affordable glass containers or clear vases and serve your own version of enormous drinks. A simple spectacle that days after travellers have left your hotel, they would still be talking about it and sharing their stories with their friends.

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  • Arranging Dinner Plans

Everyone has to eat. Asking a guest “Do you have dinner plans?” is an easy topic of conversation. Offering to give recommendations will be much appreciated to the traveller that has not had time to even think about it.  You should ask them “What are you in the mood for?” If you have a restaurant on site you could recommend a menu option. If the request is not available on your menu then identify a local landmark.

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  • Upgrade

If you are sitting at around 50% occupancy for the night, does it really cost you more money to give an upgrade? Can you remember the last time you received an upgrade? I bet you do.

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  • Fold Towels in shape of an animal

Yes, I know the cruise lines do this, but it rarely fails to get at least a smile. It is still a welcome surprise to walk into a room with something that shows a little extra care and attention.

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  • Call after problem

A guest calls the front desk with a problem, send someone over to fix the problem.  When the job is finished?  Call the guest right back and ask if everything was fixed to their satisfaction.

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  • Weather Forecast during the wake-up call

Don’t just call and say here is your wake up call. Make the first conversation your guests will have that day be better than expected. Suggest “bundling up” because it’s cold outside or asks if they will need an umbrella because it should be raining all day.

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  • “Yes, I cleaned here”sign

How clean is my room?  It may look clean just like any other room, but what about the things I don’t see.  Hide a note underneath the bed stating the housekeeper’s name and today’s date. You could also offer a free beverage if they bring the sign to the desk or restaurant.

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·        Provide Bikes to Borrow

If beneficial, implement a bike lending program. This is extremely effective especially if your hotel’s location is near points of interest and scenic tourism spots. Make sure that you prepare the necessary documents and agreements before starting this project.

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·        Brand name shampoos, soaps and lotions

It may cost you a little more per room to have brand name shampoos, soaps and lotions sitting on the bathroom counter, but they do induce a positive response from your guests. Everyone knows that these small items get taken as little souvenirs. Consider the extra costs for upgraded bath products an investment in marketing and happiness.

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·        Don’t let them go hungry

People often associate eating with happiness. You can also trigger those emotions by offering free cookies or snacks at the front desk, having an informal evening wine and cheese party or serving hot cocoa during the winter months.

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·        Families like to travel

When families travel with young children, they always appreciate it when you go beyond the expected and make it a priority to focus on the young ones. Having baby cribs, games and colouring books, and maybe even handing out little-stuffed animals to small children when a family arrives, makes it obvious that your hotel is a good place for families to stay.

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·        Take a creative approach to room service

If you do not have an onsite restaurant or a kitchen that can prepare meals, you can still offer the convenience of room service by thinking a little creatively. Forge a relationship with several of the local restaurants that offer delivery service. They can prepare meals off-site and deliver them to hungry people who do not feel like going out for dinner. The restaurants will love getting additional business and you will take another step toward making your new friends happier.

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I would like to leave you with this thought:

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The man who will use his skill and constructive imagination to see how much he can give for a dollar, instead of how little he can give for a dollar, is bound to succeed.

Henry Ford

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In Conclusion

Keep in mind that cheap room rates aren’t always enough to win over customers. The truth is customers are willing to pay more for better quality and part of that can come with great customer service.

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You might have heard that if someone does not like something they will tell a dozen friends.

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That’s no longer the case.

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With the popularity of social media, an unhappy customer can tell thousands about their bad experience with your hospitality property.

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So, don’t be so quick to let them walk away angry. Be willing to do everything in your power and be willing to bend your own rules if it keeps you from irreparably damaging a relationship with a guest.

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Have you heard about our

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“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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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:

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https://keystonehospitalitydevelopment.com/KHDC123

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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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How Do I Create an Operations Manual?

http://keystonehospitalitydevelopment.com/khdc113

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“Property Inspection Evaluation Form” download

https://keystonehospitalitydevelopment.com/property-inspection-evaluation-form-download

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The Keystone HDC Training Tutorials

https://courses.keystonehospitalitydevelopment.com

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

http://keystonehospitalitydevelopment.com/membership-site

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TWEET THIS VIDEO:

Memorable Experience for Hotel Guests @KeystoneHDC

https://youtu.be/pMUWRd7HTBA

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Say hi on social:

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KeystoneHDC

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

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YouTube

https://youtu.be/pMUWRd7HTBA

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