Customer service is the backbone of the hospitality industry. It is the service that makes or breaks a hospitality business. The expectations of consumers of service are changing. In this article, we bring to you 9 crucial tips for excellent customer service in the hospitality industry.
We will also be including a few useful tips to delight your customers during hotel stays.
Most hotel managers are already aware of the importance of service in the hospitality industry.
The expectations are changing now. As Hospitality managers, you are expected to create delight at every customer touch point.
We will present a few of the important tips here that will help hospitality businesses offer excellent customer service.
Tips for Excellent Customer Service in Hospitality
Various sectors of the hospitality industry can be connected by a single factor- providing excellent service to customers.
Top technology trends in the hospitality industry are redefining the way service was being delivered earlier.
The thought process and strategies for delivering service has to be reevaluated for a competitive advantage.
So, ladies and gentlemen, here we present 9 excellent customer service tips in the hospitality industry.
1. Creating Emotional Triggers for Customer delight
For excellent customer service in the hospitality industry, it is important to create emotional triggers.
It is important to create wonderful memories.
Trust-based customer service and conveying a sense of belonging can do wonders.
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2. Consistency in the service
It is extremely important for all hospitality businesses to be consistent.
Customers attach to the brand and customer service should be able to do justice to the brand every single time.
As an example, regular customers of top hotel chains are more attached to the brand and consistency of service.
May it be the warm cookie during check-in, the favourite coconut welcome drink, items in the menu or drinks in the mini-bar. Consistency is the key to customer loyalty.
3. Embrace Technology
Technology is helping in redefining customer service experience in the hospitality industry.
Introduction of Artificial Intelligence in the hospitality industry promises so many exciting things from smart rooms to an enhanced customer service experience. The opportunities are limitless.
Use of Chatbots for exquisite customer service is one of the examples of how the landscape of hospitality is being changed by technology.
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4. Listen to the Customers
It is important to listen to customers at all times.
It is often said that if you listen to customer complaints empathetically, they are more receptive to the solution offered.
Moreover, active listening helps to avoid any miscommunication.
Active listening also ensures that the expectations of the customers are clearly understood.
Listening to the customers also helps hospitality businesses in providing a more robust and innovative customer experience.
5. Create a Great First Impression
Creating a great first experience is crucial for excellent customer service.
It’s the first impression that counts. It creates a momentum that ensures the customer take all services positively.
If the first impression in the minds of customers is positive, they often complain less.
20 ultimate tips of excellent customer service are provided by an article in the Forbes Magazine. Creating a great first expression gets the top priority in the article. And, we completely agree.
There are a few things to take care to ensure a great impression is created at the time of the first meeting with the customer.
- Making Eye contact
- Having a positive body language
- A welcoming smile can do wonders
- The right selection of words
- Active listening
- Right decor
- A gift or a welcome drink
And so on. There are many ways to create the first expression. This is crucial.
6. Take regular Feedback and Act on it to Build Relations
This point can be tied to our earlier point of consistency. It is extremely important to know how the customers feel and if they are going to come back or not.
The feedback is extremely important and it is equally important to move out from the same old feedback forms.
It is actually possible to take feedback without actively making customer write notes. Technology helps us to connect comfortably with a customer at every possible touch point.
As stressed upon in an article by The Balance, feedback is extremely crucial to building long terms relationship with customers.
7. Make the Customers Feel special.
This point is so very important in the hospitality industry.
Hospitality businesses are selling service most of the times. Customers are sure to carry experiences and memories rather than physical products back home.
Thus it is important to make customers feel special. They will remember every time they were made to feel special and they will come back searching for the same memory.
Image by Melina Abbott
8. Benchmarking Method to improve Customer service
Customer Service benchmarking is extremely important.
The process involves studying competition and the environment to establish the best practices and improvement opportunities.
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Visiting various hospitality organisations, assessing competition, integrating customer feedback into the model and acting on the revelations can do wonders to the customer service.
Benchmarking can help immensely in raising the bar and moving the curve of innovation.
9. Stay flexible and be innovative in creating delight for Customers
It is important to be extremely flexible in order to serve customers.
Lots of hospitality organisations become rigid to ensure orderliness in service patterns.
However, flexibility holds the key to ensure excellent customer service in the hospitality industry. Not every customer is the same and thus there can’t be standard practice.
Thus, training and empowering employees is important as that helps develop a more flexible and innovative workforce.
In the era of Airbnb and other travel market disruptors, delighting your hotel guests is no walk in the park. You need to work harder and serve better to wow today’s guests. In this section, we now present 7 ways to delight your guests during hotel stays.
Wouldn’t be nice if there were industry tips to help you delight your guests during hotel stays? Well, there are numerous gurus and experts talking on the subject but we are yet to explore the consumer’s mind.
We have rounded up seven nifty ways to wow today’s demanding and tech-savvy guests.
Ways to Delight your Guests during Hotel Stays
Exceed Guests Expectations- Promise less, deliver more
It pays to do a little more for your hotel guests. After all, they are the reason you’re still in business.
You see, today’s guests are no longer impressed by the old tricks; they are often on the lookout for dynamic services and memorable stays.
That’s why it’s essential that you go above and beyond to exceed guests expectations.
Little things like surprise discounts, small gifts or extended check-outs can do wonders for your guest satisfaction.
Also, Hotel chains need to come up with some intangibles. Tajness by Taj Hotels & Resorts is one such example.
Exceeding Customer Expectations and impressing them at every customer touch point is sure to yield great returns for the business.
Listen to your Guests
Concise and clear communication is crucial for improving customer service.
Make your guests feel important by listening to their concerns no matter how small they are. Respond to complaints on time.
Follow up via social media, emails and other channels to ensure that your guests are delighted.
When the customer know that you are listening compassionately, their expectations lower and delight increases.
Social hospitality in its article on listening to customers lists the importance of doing the same for delighting the customers.
Take Advantage of Technology
With constant upgrades in hotel tech, there’s a huge incentive to leverage technology.
Automate most hotel processes to give your staff time to offer personalised services, and delight your guests.
Don’t forget to incorporate a robust quality management system, hotel software, check-in app, menu app, and so on to enhance guest-facing tech.
Taking advantage of technology is going to be one of the Key Success Factors in the Hospitality industry.
Leverage Social Media – Know your guests
The rise of social media platforms has made communication quite easy.
Take advantage of social media to entice and engage your guests before, during, and after their stays. It’s also a fabulous way to know your guests.
This way, you can offer tailored services.
Using Best Marketing Practices help in gaining a competitive edge over competitors.
Always Keep Your Promises
Go on a limb to keep your word. Hospitality is mostly about keeping your promises. Deliver in excess of that is promised.
Guests get riled up when they don’t receive special services they were promised when they made their reservations.
If at all, avoid making promises that you cannot fulfil.
Keep Your Staff in the Loop
Your hotel is as good as your staff.
It’s crucial that you train, motivate, and track your team.
Ensure that your guest-facing staff does a bang-up job – they should be courteous, prompt, and professional.
Service in the Hospitality Industry is and will stay the main tool to delight your guests during hotel stays.
Here’s a quick video interview on how Ritz Carlton WOWs its guests through superior service.
Offer Personalised Experience
The best way to delight your guests is to offer tailored services.
You are going up against cookie-cutter AirBnBs, so pull all the strings to ensure that your guests enjoy a personalised experience.
It is the personalised experience that has given an edge to Top Hotel Chains like Hyatt, Marriott, Waldorf Astoria (Part of Hilton Worldwide) etc.
Customer service is the most significant component of any client interaction type of business like hospitality.
Since quality is the most important factor when it comes to hotel services, here are some tips recapped from the post that will keep you on top!
- Communicate with guests at all the times
- It is important to use power words like Thankyou, apologies, appreciated etc.
- Respond quickly to guests with prompt services
- Always make the customers feel appreciated
- Listen to the feedback and strive to improve the next time
It is often said that the organisations should take care of employees and employees will take care of the customers.
It is through empowering employees that all the above tips can be executed in the most effective manner.
Improving customer service effectively must be a part of your revenue management strategy for a better hospitality business.
It is only through high-quality customer service that someone can build a successful and sustainable business.
And, this is even more important for the hospitality industry.
Hope you liked our tips for providing excellent customer service in the hospitality industry. Use these with your existing recipe of customer success for a sustainable business.
Caring for the customers and building a customer-centric brand is the only tested model to sustained success in this knowledge economy.