Doing less, better
We’ve all heard the adage, “do more with less.” With stretched hotel budgets and staff, there’s really no other choice. But what if we told you that you could elevate your customer experience by doing less? Sounds crazy? Not if you can better focus your team’s efforts. Implement the essential activities most important to the customer and perform those activities better than the competition. Do less but do it the best.
Here are three purposeful activities that can yield powerful results.
1. OVERCOMMUNICATE ON MULTIPLE PLATFORMS
It’s critical to provide details and stay connected with guests throughout their stay. Face-to-face communication is no longer the main way to connect with our guests. Text and email are more commonly guests’ preferred methods of communication. If you aren’t communicating with guests repeatedly through multiple channels, you may be underwhelming them.
Getting Specific: Try This! Simplify and streamline communication by programming electronic communication to send pre-arrival, post-check-in, during the stay, pre-departure and post-departure communication via email and text. Keep in mind that to supplement touchless e-communications, your in-house signage and in-room materials will need to work even harder. Spend time creating and updating a hotel highlights document. This resource gives your guests all the information they need on available amenities, exclusive hotel happenings, and nearby opportunities. Highlight the best local eateries, attractions, and events. Provide recommendations along with helpful details such as hours of operation, age requirements, dress code, etc.
2. PROVIDE BASIC AMENITIES IN OPT-IN WAYS
With prices rising and budgets pinched, travel has become more purposeful. We’re all seeing more business and leisure combination trips, new market segments booking, and increasingly varied expectations about product and service standards. To exceed customer expectations, consider offering your “standards” in several ways to appeal to varying preferences.
Getting Specific: Try This! Most hotels now offer different food-and-beverage options that can be enjoyed in-house or on-the-go. Another opportunity exists with housekeeping choices. Many of your guests may not want housekeeping staff in their rooms but do want cleaning supplies and services. What if there was a QR code with a housekeeping menu and the option to text the front desk with a request? A drop-off or delivery service of cleaning supplies – just like Instacart or DoorDash.
3. ADD VALUE AND STAND OUT
Anticipate and recognize guests’ challenges, needs, and opportunities to exceed expectations. The key is providing the right products and services in the right way at the right time. When creating value adds, determine what’s most important to your guests and tailor these to their specific needs. These ideas cost almost nothing and are incredibly impactful, yet few people will make the effort. Those who do will truly stand out.
Getting Specific: Try This! Is your fitness center always busy? Wow your guests with a small display of extras in the fitness center like a pre-workout shake mix, towel, and access to a playlist filled with the hotel’s favorite jams. After they wrap up their work out and make their way past the front desk, an attentive team member offers a bottle of water and a thumbs up. “Yay, you did it!” from a hotel team member creates a memorable experience!
Everyone on your team should have their eyes and ears open for the unexpected challenges a guest may encounter and know just what to do. Consider creating a list of challenges and solutions for your team to role play and practice so they’re comfortable delivering exceptional customer service.
Focusing on critical areas like the three above can help you save time and money by not offering a multitude of things that have little to no impact. Exceed where it matters most to your guests, and they will leave with an unforgettable, stand-out customer experience.