15 Ways to Make Hotel Guests Feel Special
Whether guests have booked your hotel for a relaxing break or for a business trip, they expect a high standard of customer service as well as a high level of comfort. Every guest in your hotel should feel special and that they’re important to your business. Continuously looking for different ways to make your hotel guests feel special will encourage repeat business and also have a positive impact on your brand.
Just like restaurants receive reviews on sites like Yelp, hotel review sites like TripAdvisor are a go-to source to find out about different aspects of your hotel. Social media provides a platform for news to travel fast, so you should be doing all that you can to leave a positive impression on your guests.
What makes hotel guests feel special?
It is important that you and your hotel employees focus on some of the following tips aimed at making your guests feel special. The culture of your hotel should be one where the needs of your guests are always prioritized.
Here are some tips to grow a profitable hotel business.
1. Offer the little extras
Some of the extra touches include:
- A friendly, welcoming smile when your guests check-in.
- Linen quality that provides the feeling of luxury.
- Lighting to create a calm ambiance.
One way to understand your guests’ experience is to assess your hotel based on the small touches that can make the difference.
Ask yourself the following questions during the review of your hotel:
- Are the beds comfortable with soft and clean sheets?
- Are there enough pillows?
- Are the mattresses firm?
- Is there a good supply of washcloths and hand towels?
- Are the rooms kept at a comfortable temperature?
- Is all the hotel information, such as the remote instructions and service guide, easily accessible?
If the answer to any of the above questions is no, it’s time to train your hotel staff to make adjustments as quickly as possible.
2. Offer some amenities free of charge
The key to offering amenities is their value to your guests. If you do not offer many free amenities at this time, make the effort to research what your guests would want. When guests check in, they may have questions, such as whether your hotel serves breakfast or whether free Wi-Fi is available. These perks normally come as standard in many hotels, irrespective of the rates that are charged.
One example of a hotel offering perks free of charge is the Cala del Mar Resort Luxury Resort in Mexico. This hotel stocks juice, soda and water bottles in the rooms’ refrigerators. Additionally, it provides fluffy robes in the bathrooms.
You have to review your budget and other financial statements to decide whether your hotel can afford to consistently provide similar perks to the Cala de Mar Resort. If you decide to provide free amenities, you could raise your room rates so that the costs are included in the room charge.
3. Always be fully-staffed
Most people book a hotel for a stress-free getaway. An efficient service can make the difference between a relaxing stay and a stay that makes your guests feel anxious. One of the most common complaints of hotel guests is issues with staff. It is likely that your hotel staff will become irritated or annoyed with guests if you are understaffed. Where staff feel like they have too much to do while working long shifts, this frustration may be taken out on guests.
Ensure that you are scheduling the right amount of staff to deal with busy periods at your hotel by using Deputy as a scheduling tool. Features, like auto-scheduling takes account of different factors to predict the amount of staff you will need at different times.
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4. Show you care by listening and responding to your guests
The hospitality industry centers on your relationship with your guests. If your guests express a concern regarding their stay, let them know that you not only heard them, but you and your hotel staff will act quickly to make things right. Irrespective of the length of your guests’ stay at your hotel, your goal should be to make their stay as comfortable as possible and communicate politely in the event that things go wrong.
5. Make all guests feel that your hotel is concerned about their special needs
You will have guests with different needs, for example, people with young children, elderly people with mobility limitations and disabled people. Ideally, you should implement a diversity policy to cover both employees and your guests.
Providing the following resources can make your hotel guests feel special:
- Information about local child-friendly activities.
- Assistance accessing wheelchair-friendly taxi services.
- Information about walking distances and times involved when visiting local attractions.
- Hotel staff members who are fluent in more than one language.
The Woodloch Pines Resort Pennsylvania demonstrates how hotels can cater to guests with different needs. The hotel is planning a special family experience for the summer of 2019 by providing child-centered activities. One of the resort’s highest values is “togetherness”. In keeping with this value, the resort management has come up with a family-friendly idea, which is resurrecting the spirit of the Woodstock Music Festival that took place in 1969.
6. Train your staff
All of your staff should be trained in customer service best practices. Whether your staff are front of house or back of house, they should be aware of how every interaction with guests will impact on your hotel. You can use gamification to train your staff to find out how they will respond to different scenarios. Additionally, you can also train your reception staff to provide useful information to guests. For example, details about what makes your city special. Your hotel staff can also offer guests directions to little-known restaurants, shops or cultural events that showcase the best parts of your community.
7. Offer complimentary items
You can go a step further than stocking room refrigerators with free beverages by greeting your hotel guests with a cold drink (or a hot drink in cold climates) when they arrive. Most hotels offer complimentary toiletries, like shampoo and conditioner. However, you can make your guests feel special by providing luxury toiletries. This could give your hotel a luxurious feel even if it is not rated a four or five star.
If you’re operating a boutique hotel, you should consider sourcing toiletries and other complimentary items from local vendors. Your guests will be interested to know how you support local businesses. Stocking items from local vendors also has the additional benefit of providing you with the opportunity of cross-promoting your business. For example, a vendor can advertise your hotel for free in exchange for using their products.
8. Cancel extra charges occasionally
If your hotel charges a resort fee for amenities, like Wi-Fi fees, gym fees, or tennis court fees, give some of your guests a surprise by removing the fee from their final hotel bill when they checkout. This gesture will leave your guests with a final good impression of your hotel and may increase the likelihood that they’ll want to return.
9. Provide random upgrades
Give your guests that visit your hotel on a regular basis an occasional surprise by upgrading their accommodation to the next level up free of charge. The Wyndham Kingsgate in Williamsburg, Virginia earned praise on TripAdvisor by providing a family with a surprise upgrade from a one-bedroom to a two-bedroom suite.
10. Offer personalized gifts
You should avoid treating your return guests like any other customer. The following idea can make your repeat guests feel like they’re appreciated. Keep some candy bars at your hotel and when you’re expecting a loyal guest, create a personalized wrapper for them. You can write a special message on the wrapper such as “Thank You” with the name of your guest. Special computer software can be used to design personalized wrappers. This idea is an inexpensive way to make hotel guests feel special.
11. Anticipate your guests’ needs
Do you know your guests’ plans for their visit? Maybe they’re planning a long hike, so leave packages of trail mix in the room for each guest you are expecting to be in that party. You can also offer packages for birthday celebrations and other special occasions.
12. Send your guests a handwritten note or postcard
As sending emails have continued to grow in popularity, personal mail appears to be on the decline. A handwritten note or postcard thanking your guests for their stay at your hotel will be a welcome surprise. This simple gesture goes a long way in showing your guests how much you value their business.
13. Include loyal guests in a special product rollout
If you are preparing to present something new to the public, such as remodeled rooms or a hotel expansion opening, invite your regular guests to a special event where they can get the first chance to see your improvements.
14. Give special offers
Offer your most frequent guests special online coupons or discounts that can be used on a future hotel stay.
For instance, the Hilton Honors program features a website where you can enter some basic information about your travel plans, and the hotel chain will provide you with information on the best deals available. This example applies to a hotel chain. However, when you’re operating a smaller hotel, consider using email to send your repeat guests special coupons for their next stay.
15. Send holiday greetings
Another way to make your regular hotel guests feel special is to send greetings during recognized holidays. However, if you are unaware of your guests’ religious preferences, it’s recommended to send a “Happy Holidays” card. This is because the traditional holiday season in the U.S covers different special holidays that are observed based on individuals’ personal background, including Christmas, Hanukah or Kwanza.
There are many tips you can implement to make your hotel guests feel special. One of the best ways of ensuring your hotel will be chosen for repeat stays is to ensure you’re fully-staffed.
Guests rightfully expect a high level of service. This can only be provided when your hotel has an adequate amount of staff.
If you want to greatly decrease the time you spend scheduling your employees so you can instead use that time to implement strategies to make your guests feel special, click on the link below to start your free trial of Deputy and find out why we’re trusted by more than 90,000 businesses to efficiently and quickly schedule their staff!