Ultimately every hotel manager wants to provide the best in guest satisfaction. In today’s world, hotel guest satisfaction is based on customer service and it extends beyond check out. One guest who experiences a short tempered front desk clerk, a towel requested but not sent to the room or a doorman busy with his cell phone can seem insignificant on their own. But collectively and consistently, these situations will find their way to a reputation of bad customer service on review sites, spilling over to social media outlets and become detrimental to a hotel’s bottom line.
“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” –Warren Buffett
Consistent poor customer service can create a variety of negative and costly impacts on your hotel. But if actions are quickly taken to correct them, a hotel manager can avoid any long-term effects on their hotel’s reputation and profitability.
Keeping Current, Potential and Future Guests
Build loyalty by building relationships. Guests are more likely to book their stay and speak well of your hotel within their circle of friends and family if they are given the attention they feel they deserve. Then good customer service and positive reviews provide the fuel for invaluable word-of-mouth advertising. Instead of costing your business, your guests could become hotel influencers in social media.
Holding Onto Your Hotel Reputation
No guest wants to be ignored and no hotel manager wants to lose bookings because of poor customer service. Guests would be quick to post negative reviews and vent their frustrations to their immediate social circles and beyond. It’s all in your control so make sure you have a key representative reaching out right away to address the issue. Accept responsibility and make amends. This shows good faith and leaves a guest or prospective guest with the knowledge that your hotel hears every voice and cares. Set a customer service standard that will become routine in your hotel operations.
Keeping Your Best Employees
Keep an eye out for low performers who leave your best employees to pick up the slack. If the situation goes on without correction for too long, it will eventually make your best employees grow weary, dissatisfied and even consider resigning their position. Recruiting and training new staff is a costly venture. So incentivize your staff to deliver the best customer service. Promote or spotlight your best staff performers that go above and beyond to please your guests. Their efforts toward providing great customer service should set the standard that makes up your hotel’s culture and they will become your staff advocates.
Reaching Conversions and Profits
You don’t want to have guests lose interest in the hotel because of poor customer service. Lower sales and profits start a cycle of reducing costs and staff as well as plunging service levels even further. Regularly monitor and address customer service issues early and often. The best solution to bad customer service is to prevent it but the second best way is to fix the problem before it creates bigger issues that will affect your bottom line.
Having good customer service is not just about attracting new guests but guest retention as well as incentivizing your best employees. It sets the groundwork for a profitable, reputable and exceptional hotel. Don’t make the mistake of putting customer service second on your list in operations. It is the groundwork that will create revenue opportunities your hotel will not want to miss.