Sincerely, BLLA

The Importance of Service & How to Boost Your Approach to Guest Relationships

In today's competitive hospitality landscape, providing exceptional service to guests is not only important, but it's also essential to the success o...

In today’s competitive hospitality landscape, providing exceptional service to guests is not only important, but it’s also essential to the success of the property. The level of service provided will often make or break a hotel’s reputation, guiding the decisions of guests’ future choice of whether or not to return or recommend. So, it’s crucial to go above and beyond to create a positive experience. One major step in creating and implementing an effective approach to daily tactics and ongoing goals is to first understand the importance of service and the various components that encompass it.

Service is key

Service is not just about meeting each guest’s basic needs. It’s also about exceeding their expectations and creating a memorable experience, which ultimately boosts the property’s credibility and distinguishes it from competitors. This in turn builds a loyal guest book who will likely return or, even better, influence others to book a stay as well. There are a few cornerstones of service that are key and require leadership to continually evaluate, improve and uphold them. 

Guest satisfaction should always remain a top priority. Happy guests are more likely to return to a property and recommend it to others. They also tend to spend more, which can positively impact revenue, and tip more, which can boost employee satisfaction too. Constantly examining brand reputation is also important. A hotel’s name and standing in the eyes of the public is crucial to longevity in the hospitality industry. Positive word-of-mouth, online reviews, social media engagement and more can all greatly influence potential guests’ decisions and perception.

Repeat bookings is another cornerstone that can be a clear sign of well-executed service. One of the results of having an excellent brand reputation is receiving bookings from past guests, which often plays a large role in the ongoing success of a hotel as it generates consistent revenue for the property. This leads to another key point, which is increased revenue. Satisfied guests are more likely to engage with additional services or products, such as room packages, onsite dining or spa amenities. While this may seem obvious, it’s a great reminder to share with guest-facing staff members who may not always think to upsell or make revenue-boosting recommendations. 

Practical tips to enhance guest relationships

Boosting each guest relationship takes time, effort and genuine care. Whether a guest is only onsite for a short time or they plan to stay for multiple days, it’s important for team members to be prepared to meet any need or answer any question they may have throughout their visit. That starts internally with training staff, who play a critical role in how the guest feels about their stay and the hotel in general. This includes training on communication, problem-solving, conflict resolution, and customer service etiquette. Team members who feel valued, appreciated, invested in, and empowered are more likely to help create a positive work culture, while also treating the hotel and its guests with the utmost care.

Not only does leadership need to invest in the education and professional development of the hotel staff and management team, it should also invest in technology. The digital age is obviously here to stay, and guests have come to expect that their hotel rooms are properly equipped to what are often now considered basic necessities. Those include in-room entertainment, reliable WiFi, customization features and more. The capabilities that come with enhanced technology are great for the guest experience, but they are also incredible for visibility and efficiency from a team member standpoint. Regularly reviewing the systems in place allows for the hotel as a whole to consistently meet the growing expectations of guests and employees alike.

Moreover, anticipating guest needs, requests and desires is another tactic that can be learned through experience and promotes the feeling of reliability and thoughtfulness from the guest perspective. This can leave a lasting impression. Two key tools to having this ability are communication and proactiveness. Guests want to be heard and understood, while feeling like their opinions matter.  By actively listening to them and communicating clearly and effectively, employees can build trust and assist in effectively being proactive in meeting their needs. Offering recommendations, providing timely information, and immediately addressing potential issues make a big impact.

Above all, service is the key to building strong relationships with guests. By providing excellent service, creating a welcoming environment, actively listening to guests, going above and beyond, following up with guests, and being consistent, hotel owners and their onsite team members can boost their approach to a number of key tactics and win the loyalty of guests. Remember, the customer is always right, and by putting their needs first through enhanced service, growth and profitability are sure to come.

World Cinema is a premier-plus partner member of BLLA – view their listing here!

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