The Hospitality industry is all about customer service. After all, it’s all about delighting the customer that carries the essence of hospitality. This article focuses on 6 customer service mistakes that all hospitality professionals must avoid at any cost.
Customer service mistakes can cause hospitality business not only lose an existing customer but even the referrals.
The lifetime value of a customer can be at risk by making these customer service mistakes. Eliminating these mistakes, on the other hand, will help the brand of all hospitality organisations while delighting the customers.
So, without any further ado, let’s dive directly to the mistakes in customer service that all hotel and hospitality organisation must never make.
Overcommitting and under-delivering
Promises once made must be respected at all cost. Overcommitting a service and under-delivering can hamper reputation big times.
A lot of hotels make tall promises at the time of promoting their rooms and food and beverage services but fail to deliver or under deliver.
At times the under-delivery is due to the fine prints that a lot of hotels and hospitality organisations have in the form of stars or *.
Customers come with huge expectations and when hotels fail to live up to them, the customers end up with poor experience.
Let’s have a look at the below infographic, courtesy- Pinterest, on what can happen after a poor experience of a customer.
Key points to see here:
- Over 50% of customers never return back.
- Over 20% would post their negative experience online.
- Over 50% would tell their friends and family members about their experience.
This customer service mistake has to be avoided for sure. Grabbing a customer once by these means can only lead to bigger losses in the future.
Try the reverse instead for customer delight- Under-commit and Over deliver.
This might seem like a bad sales idea at first but will lead to much better sales growth over time due to positive comments and word of mouth.
2. Not focusing on all Customer Touchpoints
At times hotels and other hospitality organisations fail to focus on one or more of customer touch points.
There are multiple touch points through which hospitality organisations and make an impact in terms of customer experience.
These cover a lot of things a few of which are mentioned below.
- SMS, email and WhatsApp notifications
- During check-in/checkout
- Promotional events
and there are few other touch points as well.
Lots of hospitality organisations fail to recognise that it is important to cover all these touch points to ensure a customer has a smooth overall experience.
Follow up and feedback are an extremely crucial part of touching customers and trying to enhance the lifetime value of their customer base.
3. Lack of Continuous Employee Training
Not keeping the staff well trained is another mistake which can be avoided at all costs.
Hospitality organisations are at times short of manpower due to which continuous training is not provided to the staff.
Lots of top hotel chains provide optional training options which the employees skip due to their busy schedule.
Technology is changing the way customer service was perceived and it is crucial not to make the customer service mistake of not training the employees on a regular basis.
4. Delayed Response to Time sensitive Requests
With a new iPhone in the market every now and then, 5G mobile network and hi-speed internet; the customer is used to getting an immediate response.
A slow-loading website, slow chat sessions, delayed email response are few of the things which can easily hand your lead to your biggest competitor.
An article by Ehotelier claims this to be one of the 4 biggest customer services mistakes in the hospitality industry.
Things like room service and on-demand services can be at times be time-sensitive. It is thus important to ensure that customer requests are categorised in terms of importance with time-sensitive requests being given top priority.
5. Not following best practices and innovation in service by other industries
Not keeping employee up to date with the tips and best practices of customer service in hospitality can be a mistake that can cost these organisations dearly.
- Does your organisation use chatbots?
- Do you have ‘Stay well rooms’ in your hotel?
- What about smart keys and keyless entries?
- Real-time service apps and customer feedback apps are a great addition for a better customer service experience.
- Blockchain for seamless integration of reward points with other services can help your organisation gain business plus enhance the security of payments.
and there is numerous other hospitality industry innovation that your organisation can benefit from.
Virtual reality in rooms is one such innovation for hotels and there are many more.
It is important to avoid the mistake of not keeping up in the race of modernisation, best practices and technological advancement.
If your organisation has not been following top trends of the industry, its time for some revamping in how you deal with your customers.
You will be glad you did the same as the results would soon follow in terms of a much-improved brand and a bigger customer base with decreased overall cost.
6. Not listening to customer demands
Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon, gives the credit of his success in understanding customers. By focusing on customers to improve and become one of the most customer-centric companies has helped Amazon compete with the retain and online giants.
Not listening to customers is thus a key mistake to avoid in the hospitality industry.
Check the below image from one of the articles of Inc which states customer service tips from top leaders in the world.
All the leaders put listening to customers at the core of any improvement in service leading to improved profits.
So, if you are looking to build a brand within the hospitality industry, use positive reviews and repeat customers plus referrals as stepping stones for the same. And to do this all effectively, the key thing would be listening and understanding your customers.
Profitability is directly linked to customer delight.
It is thus important to ensure that customer service is given utmost importance.
This is even of greater importance in the hospitality industry which is all about service and experience.
Thus, in this article, we have outlined a few customer service mistakes that must be avoided at all cost.
With technology being a great help now, there is no excuse of avoiding the process of continuous learning and training.
Avoiding these mistakes can unlock the potential of superior customer service for hospitality organisations leading to competitive advantages and more profitable business.