As a hotel owner or staff member, your first and foremost job is ensuring that your customers are satisfied. But so what does hospitality mean in a world where customers can get what they need at their fingertips? In the digital age, what does hospitality actually mean?
There are a few things that we think are more important than ever and can set your property apart from your competitors.
Be prompt, responsive, and specific with feedback
The digital age means that consumers are always looking for reviews and information about hotels and properties. Good hospitality – and frankly good business – means you need to be as prompt as possible when responding to both positive and negative feedback from guests.
When you are prompt with guest feedback, be responsive and specific as well. This means answering that feedback directly. If a consumer complain comes in, a simple, “apologies for the inconvenience” won’t cut it. Finding ways to earn trust back can mean the world to a customer. Even if feedback is negative, many consumers will respond that management was sympathetic to their plight and attempted to solve the problem.
The same goes for your online presence. If a customer leavse a negative online review, take the time to respond promptly.
Positive feedback provides a sales opportunity
What does hospitality mean if the customer has a positive experience? That means you’ve done your job!
The internet is full of deals, coupons, and opportunities for consumers. What sets a property apart from others is that positive feedback and nothing is worth more to your business. However, don’t miss the opportunity to get it.
In the digital age, you must take every opportunity to differentiate yourself and your hospitality from others. When you receive positive feedback, thank the customer and then insert a statement about another area where you are looking to improve or are trying to emphasize. Someone taking the time out of their day to give you a positive review is more likely to come back to your property. They’ll view your response as an example of showing digital hospitality.
Tell customers what you’re going to do, what you are doing, and what you did
Providing solid customer service encapsulates a big portion of hospitality. And the best way to manage customer expectations is to be clear in the message. Tell them what you’re going to do, what you’re doing while you’re doing it, and then tell them you’ve done it.
Oftentimes, customer frustrations arise when they feel they aren’t being heard. What does hospitality mean in this situation? It means keeping customers informed every step of the way, digitally especially, to show they’re heard.
On the flip side, the digital age has increased the number of distractions and the things competing for customer’s attention. In order to keep your hospitality in the top tier of your visitor’s minds, you have to stay top of mind. Are you getting a brand new lobby bar? Start a marketing campaign keeping customers informed about the process. Then, when it’s complete, tell them about the grand opening celebration. Showing customers that they’re part of the process is a unique way to show hospitality.
Add a touch of personalization
More and more, customers are expecting their visits to be customized to them. Keeping up with hospitality means doing as much as you can to meet this desire.
Amazon Echo or other digital assistants inside guest rooms is a great way to add personalization without putting personal information at risk. If the guest visits your property often, keep a file on the different activities they’ve participated in or restaurants they’ve dined in. The next time they arrive, offer coupons or discounts for the same or similar experiences. Additionally, in between visits, send your guests emails about experiences they’ve participated in when they’ve stayed with you.
How about showing personalization in smaller steps? Instead of your generic email, ensure you use the customer’s first name in the subject line and salutation. Ensure that your employees greet and interact with the guest by name as much as possible. And, customize check-in folders, and guest key card envelopes.
The digital age places a larger emphasis on hospitality. Ensuring that your visitors feel that their stay is special, the better you’ll be able to differentiate yourself from your competitors.
What does hospitality mean for your property? Let us know how you show it in the digital age in the comments below or join us on Twitter.