Being active in the hospitality domain is challenging. Your success is measured depending on how many customers you have. And also, on how content they are with the services you provide.
There are a lot of hotels, so the competition is fierce. You need to stand out from the crowd and offer impeccable services.
However, because you have a lot of things to manage and handle, you are prone to some mistakes.
There is nothing wrong with making mistakes, we are humans and it is in our way of being to make mistakes. More important is how we cope with them, how we fix them and what we learn from them.
We have compiled a list of 13 essential hospitality business mistakes you should avoid to increase your customers’ happiness and experience with your brand. Avoiding these can bring you more customers and more success.
Most hotel managers want to create an incredible and eye-candy website for their hotel. In this quest of finding the best theme and website format, the importance of some information is neglected.
Yes, it is important to have a great website to promote the hotel, but you also need to provide contact information for your future customers.
Usually, the contact information is hidden somewhere in the footer and people need to search for it. This is a mistake you should avoid.
You need to find a way to include a contact tab or section on your website to ease the search of your future clients.
Keep in mind that people have all sorts of questions and they often need clarifications, so the contact information needs to be visible and easy to find.
Auto Play Music on Your Website
This is one of the key hospitality business mistakes to avoid on the website.
Even though it is Christmas time and people are listening to carols, avoid putting auto play music or videos on your hotel’s website. It is great you want to let customers know that you love the holiday spirit, but you should do it otherwise.
Keep in mind that most people book their room during their working hours, so they surely want to avoid websites with auto play music.
However, if you want to let your future customers know that you are a good choice, you can add some holiday season banners on your website.
The website of your hotel is the first thing people see about your hospitality business. Based on the information and photos you provide, they make a choice. This choice can be to your advantage or not.
One of the things that can make someone choose other hotels over yours is the low quality of your photos.
You want to attract more and more customers, so you should aim for high quality for everything. Especially when talking about the room photos, the most viewed by guests.
This would increase hotel direct bookings and enhance the brand value of the hotel.
One of the biggest mistakes hospitality businesses do is not presenting the entire information on the website. Instead, they provide a link to download the files to see more information about the rooms or the prices.
Well, this is wrong. People do not have so much time available and it is better to share all the information they need in one place. Present it simply and clearly, without download links.
Who wants to download a file to see the room prices?
Promote the Local Area Activities
Guests are choosing your hotel not only for your offer but also for the destination. Most guests will spend only the night in their room. During the day, they will visit the surroundings and the most important attraction points.
This means that they choose the hotel for the experience, so why not aim at improving it?
You can partner with local organizations to promote activities and events in the area through brochures, promotional packages or discounts.
Not Listening to Guests’ Feedback
One of the most important aspects of a business is the feedback from customers. In this case, from guests.
There are details that you may overlook, so the feedback from guests can help you solve some problems. Although some of them might be minor, they are those tiny details that make the difference.
It is important to make your hotel the best and you can do this by implementing the guests’ feedback. They are the ones that will return or not to your hotel.
They are the ones that will rate your hotel and offer reviews. And we all know that these rates and reviews influence other people to choose or not your hospitality business.
Usually, most complaints are about dirty rooms and the general mess and uncleanliness of the hotel. As a manager, you cannot check all the rooms every day.
Instead, you should train your personnel to be as efficient as they can, while not leaving dirtiness behind. Guests pay attention to details, so you should do this too.
Your housekeepers should be aware of the dangers of dirtiness. They have consequences not only on the health of guests but also on theirs.
They work in that environment, so keeping it clean should be a priority. Nevertheless, they should be aware of the negative consequences on the hotel’s image. If guests have dirty rooms, for sure they won’t come back.
Not Considering Seasonality
Depending on the season, the number of guests is different. This means that you can create some attractive packages to encourage them to stay at your hotel. Depending on the positioning of your hotel and the demand, prices change during seasons.
That’s why you need to analyze the market and the demand every month to adjust the rates. These rates reflect the buying behavior as well as the current market conditions.
You can release the promotional packages early to attract more guests.
Not Putting Yourself in Customer Shoes
One of the mistakes hospitality businesses make is not putting in customer shoes. As a hospitality business, you offer a lot of services. Guests benefit from them, but are they enough? Are the services you offer the best you can offer? Are customers content?
A good example would be the breakfast. Most guests have also breakfast included, but do they go to breakfast? Maybe some of them do not manage to reach it because the hours are inaccessible.
Keep in mind that you should provide top-notch services designed for your guests’ wishes. Putting yourself in customer shoes is important and this experience can provide useful insights.
Not Taking Care of Previous Guests
One of the mistakes you should avoid is to ignore previous guests. Usually, if somebody returns to your hotel, it means that you are doing great.
It means that you have the opportunity to make them even more loyal and more satisfied.
But how do you make them return? You can send them periodic newsletters to present the new offers you have.
If they return, it means that your hospitality business has a lot of potential and you should use this to your advantage.
Be careful not to spam them when sending emails with new offers.
Not Having a Brand
Well, it is not enough to have some promotions, to keep your hotel clean and offer top-notch services. To inspire loyalty among guests, you need to establish a strong brand identity. This makes you become known for the services you offer.
Having a strong brand identity makes you be the first choice for guests. To build it, you need to think which is the difference between you and other competitors.
You need to creatively think about your hospitality business and what makes it awesome. Then these differences can be creatively illustrated in your brand identity.
Not Allocating a Budget for Refurbishments
It depends on when you have bought all the furniture for your hotel business. The thing is, times change and so do the trends. People will search for a modern but cozy hotel. What you can be sure of is that most customers avoid obsolete and out-of-date hotels.
This means that now and then you can have a budget for remodeling or refurbishments. It is not necessary to change everything, but small pieces that can make the difference. Pay attention to details.
Not Using a Software
Hospitality businesses use hospitality management software that can ease their work. Most of the bookings happen online so it is important to be synced with the availability of the hotel.
Also, if you are using the correct software you can program the working hours of your employees and see in real-time the situation of your rooms.
The software can store all the information you need. And the best thing is that you can easily access it.
Having a hospitality business comes with challenges. You need to maintain the cleanliness of your hotel and your rooms.
The personnel needs to be trained to create a cozy atmosphere among the guests and also to keep the rooms clean.
Your hospitality business also needs a strong brand identity that will make your guests more loyal. Always maintain the connection with past guests by sending them newsletters.
Adapt the prices on the season and always be open to offer discounts or packages.
There are a lot of challenges to face, but if you take one at a time you can solve all the problems with calm. Pay attention to details and do not forget to put yourself in your customers’ shoes.
About the Author
Tobias Foster is a journalist and editor with more than 5 years’ work experience at a resume writing service and big ambitions. Philosophy, marketing, and business are his passion, and he has a wealth of knowledge in that field. He is a master of his craft and loves sharing his knowledge. He loves traveling and meeting new cultures.