Every reputable establishment should be constantly on the lookout for innovative ways to improve hotel guest satisfaction. Creating a uniquely amazing guest experience is essential to the success of your business. What's more, you can bet that your competitors will be trying their hardest to siphon away your potential repeat guests.
If you want to exceed guest expectations and stay at least one step ahead of the competition, keep reading. Our expert knowledge of the hospitality industry will help you earn the positive reviews that you and your staff deserve.
Defining Hotel Guest Satisfaction
The term guest satisfaction refers to the personalized experiences you create for your customers. It's measured by the services you offer, balanced against the wishes and expectations of your guests. This can be a delicate metric, but one that it's essential to master.
When guests aren't satisfied, they tend to be exceptionally vocal about it. They might bash your establishment on social media, leave poor online reviews, or make life difficult for your hotel staff. As you can imagine, this can spell doom for your reputation.
The good news? By taking a few simple measures, you can improve hotel guest experiences and earn repeat business from your newly dedicated regulars. Satisfied guests are more likely to share their positive experiences and recommend your establishment to their friends and family, giving you even more opportunities to hone your technique.
Improving the Hotel Guest Experience, One Key at a Time
Ready to get started? Let's explore some of the expert-approved ways to improve hotel guest satisfaction.
Resist the Urge to Make False Promises
There's a fine line between impressive marketing and outright falsehood. While you certainly want to draw in potential guests with gorgeous photos and polished copy, it's important to keep your advertising in line with reality.
Be honest when describing what your establishment has to offer. Otherwise, you'll risk disappointing your guests when they arrive and see that the hotel isn't what they expected. That can be worse than failing to draw in the guests in the first place because now they'll be left with a negative impression.
Make Booking Easier
People are more likely to stay at your hotel if the booking process is fast, simple, and reliable. Don't forget that up to 40 percent of online travel sales will occur on the customer's mobile device. By giving your website design a "mobile-first" makeover, you'll simplify things for your potential guests.
Also, social media platforms are there to help you make important connections. Make it easier to engage with guests by linking your social media account to your booking engine. When people see enticing photos of your property on Instagram and Facebook, they'll be eager to book their next stay.
Keep the Lines of Communication Open
You'll need to communicate with guests across a variety of channels. They may make contact initially via email, then move on to live chat or text messages and finish with a final phone conversation to iron everything out.
With this in mind, create marketing strategies that will work across all of these channels. You should also make sure that all the members of your guest-facing hotel staff have access to guest data when needed. Keep all the guest information in one accessible and well-managed space, and see that all the pertinent staff members know where to find it.
If you're having a hard time keeping qualified workers on staff, take a look at these hospitality employee turnover tools to help you get things back on track.
Build a Relationship Prior to Check-In
Sure, the front desk experience is a crucial aspect of any hotel stay. But you can put your guests in a positive frame of mind before they've even set foot through the door.
Start sending pre-stay emails or check-in forms to tell you more about each guest before their arrival. Ask them what brings them to the area, when they expect to arrive, and when they plan to depart. You might also provide them with information such as the WiFi password, valet or shuttle protocols, or restaurant recommendations. By taking this small step, you're already creating a next-level hotel experience for your guests.
Cultivate Personalized Experiences
It's one thing to give guests a seamless and hassle-free experience. When you make them feel like family, you've taken things to the next level.
Your guests aren't just numbers on a chart. They're human beings with names and lives, jobs, families, and pets. While the prospect of tracking these details might seem overwhelming, modern technology makes it easier than it's ever been before.
Encourage your guests to share the pertinent aspects of their travel plans—why they're in the area, whether it's their first time, and how long they'll stay. Keep track of what you find and keep it in the guest's profile for future reference. For example, if they're celebrating a birthday or an anniversary, you'll have that date on record and can refer to it during future correspondences.
Address Guest Concerns in a Timely Manner
Every proprietor would prefer to hear positive feedback from their clients. That's no reason to duck and hide when you hear a legitimate complaint.
Responding to guest concerns is an important aspect of hotel management. The longer you delay, the more frustrated the guest will become. Conversely, if you address the problem immediately, the issue might even work out in your favor.
Studies have shown that guests are more likely to report a positive experience if the hotel manager steps up to fix any problems right away. You can employ AI-powered text messaging software to alert front desk staff whenever a guest has a question or concern. That way, you won't have to wait until morning if the issue arises in the middle of the night.
Use Feedback to Your Advantage
If you're truly invested in increasing guest satisfaction, use reputation management software to collect surveys. While it might seem intrusive to pester guests during and after their stay, most of them won't offer this valuable feedback unless you ask them directly.
Mid-stay surveys can help you head off any potential roadblocks and address complaints before the guest has even left the property. They'll also give you valuable insight into what you're doing well, so you can continue along those same paths.
Asking guests to complete post-stay evaluations shows them that you value their business. Even though it may be too late to correct certain problems, you'll give them a chance to make their voice heard. Again, this will also allow you to detect any areas that need improvement while shining a light on everything you and your staff are doing right.
Implement a Rapid Response Policy
Did you know that 4 out of 5 travelers read guest reviews before they make their booking selection? According to a study conducted by TripAdvisor, this is indeed the case, which means that it's in your best interests to make your voice heard.
Whenever a guest takes the time to review your establishment, add a personalized note of your own as soon as you can. It's best to respond within a day, although two or three days might be acceptable.
Whether the review is positive or negative, keep your tone courteous and polite when responding. Thank the guest for offering you the opportunity to improve guest satisfaction, and stress that you hope they'll return for a future stay.
It can be tempting to ignore the negative reviews, especially if you don't feel that the complaints are fair. However, if you do this, potential guests will assume that you don't care what your former customers have to say now that you have their money. This could be disastrous in the long run.
Earlier, we touched on the importance of keeping a database with any important information that you were able to glean from the guests during their stay. That's one of the personalized touches that will set your hotel apart.
Similarly, you should keep in touch with your guests with email newsletters and promotions throughout the year. There are email marketing tools that can help you with this process, customizing your offers based on the data you've collected. For instance, if the guests visit during the holiday season, contact them with information about any promotions or specials you might be offering the following year.
Set Up a Rewards Program
The hotel industry is highly competitive, as you have good reason to know. But frequent travelers are more likely to return to the places that have treated them well in the past. You can jump-start these long-term relationships by offering a loyalty rewards program to repeat guests.
By using a technology platform such as Zoox Smart Data, you can track which of your guests visit your property most often—and how much time they spend there. That should give you a solid foundation from which to build.
However, it's not as simple as recognizing and rewarding these loyal individuals. You should customize the rewards by offering perks that they'll appreciate, such as meal credits for guests who spend a great deal of money in your on-site restaurant. This will make them feel even more valued, which means they'll be more likely to extol the virtues of your hotel far and wide.
Now that you've learned a few creative ways to improve hotel guest satisfaction, it's time to make them a part of your routine. Remember that when it comes to the hotel industry, the little things can mean a lot.
Don't forget to check out our list of hotel revenue management solutions to boost your customer satisfaction level even higher.