Imagine you’ve spent several hours in the car or on a plane traveling to a destination for work or vacation. You’re looking forward to arriving at your hotel, where you can finally settle in, catch up on rest and begin your trip.
Now, imagine arriving at your hotel and finding that accommodations aren’t so...well, accommodating. This scenario is certainly not ideal for guests, but it’s also bad news for the hotel.
There are many things that can make a guest experience less than stellar, and with more than 21 million hotel guests exchanging customer support messages with hotels through Zingle per year, we have unique insight into some of the issues guests report the most.
Here are the top 5 hotel guest complaints that we’ve seen.
There might be nothing worse than entering your hotel room only to find that it’s dirty. Things like stained linens, dusty tabletops, grimy bathroom counters and tile, and unswept corners all indicate to a guest that cleanliness is not considered close to Godliness at your hotel.
Guests notice everything and share it online. (Via TripAdvisor)
Naturally, this makes guests uncomfortable and all but kills their experience from the very beginning.
When guests visit hotels, they can often tell immediately if they’re somewhere “nice.” They take note of whether the furniture is new and in good shape, whether the food provided in room service and in the hotel restaurant is tasty, and even whether your staff is knowledgeable, helpful, and courteous. Guests are looking for good quality when they travel, as 55% of consumers are willing to pay more for a guaranteed good experience. This means that details matter.
Travel can be a big expense, and because of that, guests expect to receive good value for what they’re spending on a hotel room. Guests obviously expect certain things like a bed and bathroom, but they’re looking for more than just the basics.
They want to know that their dollar has been well spent by booking at your hotel - and that means they expect some extra amenities like a fully stocked mini bar, complimentary breakfast, and even over the top amenities like laundry service and even a private tour guide.
There’s probably a reason that your guests booked your hotel - and convenience often plays a big part in that. However, if it’s difficult to find transit to/from your hotel, or if it’s even difficult to navigate within your hotel, guests will only wind up frustrated rather than satisfied.
Make it easy for your guests to find what they need by displaying signs throughout the property and make sure your staff has maps on hand if guests ask for them.
A hotel is not merely a home away from home for guests. It’s supposed to be a better version of their home - and that means they don’t have to think about things like cleaning up, arranging transportation, or finding food.
Even more, they also don’t want to deal with a staff that is difficult to work with or that seems uninterested in helping them or solving their problems as they come up. Staying at a hotel should be fun, and service plays a big part in that.
Your hotel may have experienced some of the above-mentioned issues, but fear not, there are steps you can take to mitigate these problems and ensure that your guests have only the best experience at your hotel.
Here are some ways to prevent and fix potential guest issues.
Manage expectations from the get-go
Not every hotel is a five-star resort, and that’s fine. However, make sure that your website, marketing materials, and other collateral don’t misrepresent what you have to offer.
Think about what you’re promising to guests and make sure you’re only offering what you are actually able to deliver (and deliver well). Guests will only be disappointed if the pictures and amenities listed don’t match up to what they see when they arrive.
Be deliberate in training and choosing your staff members
You should be training your staff to be thoughtful, empathetic, and perceptive. Teach them how to anticipate guests’ needs. Reward staff members who think of the details, like handwritten notes.
High-quality customer service can make a huge difference in a guest’s experience and give the feel of a much more luxurious hotel, even if you’re offering them something more budget-friendly.
“Check in” to your own hotel
If your day is spent standing behind a desk, shut away in an office, or focusing on only one particular part of the hotel, then chances are, you might not be entirely aware of exactly what your guests are experiencing.
Make sure things work, are clean and convenient, that amenities are functioning, and that guests have what they need. Make these “check-ins” a regular task on your to-do list. When you’re proactive about checking on potential problems, you can prevent them from happening.
Listen to feedback and identify patterns
You should always be asking for feedback and taking it seriously, but it’s also good to identify patterns so that you can recognize where you might need to work towards improving. Constant complaints about the same thing mean you should be trying a different strategy to improve your outcomes.
For example, if it’s a trend that guests are requesting additional towels, it may be a good idea to stock rooms with additional towels to anticipate guest needs and have it ready before they even have to ask for it.
Technology can be a huge advantage when it comes to meeting the expectations of today’s guests. From collecting feedback, opening lines of communications for requests, and collecting online reviews, things like chatbots and text messaging technology can allow you to provide an overall better guest experience, and even improve your bottom-line in the process.
Hotels need to look for technologies that help enhance communication between guests and staff as well as ways to streamline requests for faster and more efficient service that delights guests.
Though there will always be things that pop up or cannot be anticipated, a hotel and their customer service teams can be proactive and avoid some of these frequent issues. When a hotel makes guests’ experience the focal point of their duties, then they’ll likely start seeing happier guests, better reviews, and as an added bonus, a bigger profit.
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