What is it that makes you step out of a hotel and think ‘Wow! I’ll definitely be back…’?
Was it the chocolate you found under your pillow? Or the small bouquet sitting in the corner of the window? Or the fast Wi-Fi, or the super comfy bean bag, or the 47″ screen, or receptionist’s smile, or the scent of the hand cream, or the practical desk with a power point right next to it?
Even though all you really came for was a bed and food, the small gestures, options and actions to wow you, the customer, are what you remember. And it doesn’t always take 5 star facility to wow the customer. You may argue with that, but you don’t have to have 1000 thread counts, brocade curtains or gold taps. Here are some of the simplest ways to wow the customer:
Where practical take a little extra care to personalise the customer’s stay. If possible, find out the purpose of their travels: Are they on business? Offer them your executive suite with a spacious desk. On holiday? Offer them your room nearest the pool. Bringing kids? Create a mini toy box.
Some might call this discrimination, but really its customer appreciation! Class your guests according to regularity of stays. Select the top 20% of returning clients and learn about them. Learn their names, where they are from and even check out their online profiles. This way you can systemise the personalisation process and wow your most important clients not just once but every time.
Do something unexpected.
Like completely extra. Something that was never a part of the package. Something above the expected accommodation standards. A compact coffee machine, a voucher to the local movies, or maybe a shoe polishing service.
Train your staff to recognise cues from their guests. They should be encouraged and empowered to have the liberty to offer different options and provide solutions according to the needs of the guest. A family with three kids will love to know where the best playground in town is. A business man arriving at eight pm and leaving at five am will probably appreciate a waiting cab. An elderly couple will appreciate a ground floor room.
Leave a good aftertaste with your guest. Whether you email them a 10% voucher for their next stay, or send them away with smile, it pays to have a returning guest.