If you’re any kind of hotelier, you’ve probably heard the phrase ‘Guest is King.’ It’s not a new saying, and it rings true in hotels. That said, it can be hard to live up to on a regular basis. Keeping guests happy and satisfied is one of the most important things to look at every day. Think about it: if they loved their experience with your hotel, they would come back again and again.
But how do you keep them coming back? There are many little things that can make an important difference for your repeat visitors. Here are some great ways to make sure your guests feel welcome in your hotel every time they visit:
Nurture your repeat guests
It can be easy to get into a rut at your hotel. It’s hard to stay on your toes every day. You get used to the routine and forget what makes your hotel unique. This happens to even the best hotels. What can you do to get back on track? First, make sure you continue to cultivate your repeat guests. What will keep them coming back?
What did they love about their last visit? How can you incorporate some of those things into their next visit? Be open to new ideas and suggestions from your guests. It’s ok if you disagree with them. Just make sure you listen to their ideas and keep the conversation going.
Welcome with a drink
In the hospitality industry, we often talk about a ‘welcome drink’ as being a good thing to do for your repeat guests. What does this mean, exactly? Well, it’s a small thing, but it can have a huge impact on your guests. When your guests arrive at the hotel, offer them a glass of something.
Be it a beverage, appetizer, specialty coffee, or something else, make sure it’s something they can enjoy while they wait for their room to be ready. This small gesture can make a big difference. It shows your guests that you’re happy to see them. It says, “Welcome to our hotel and we want you to have a great experience here with us.”
Provide a warm check-in experience
Your check-in process is an important part of welcoming your guests. Make it as simple and painless as possible. Too often, we see hotels that have check-in that is incredibly long and frustrating for guests. And it’s not just the guests who are frustrated – it’s the hotel staff too. Why does it happen? It’s a combination of things. Often, the hotel is trying to process a lot of people at once.
They may also be trying to make sure a certain number of rooms are booked for a certain rate. Whatever the reason is, it’s not good for anyone. Make sure your check-in process is as easy and efficient as possible. If you need to add staff, do it. If you’re not checking enough rooms, do something about it.
Surprise with extra touches
You might be surprised to learn this, but guests want to be surprised! It’s human nature. Yes, hotels are places where you expect the unexpected. But that doesn’t mean your guests don’t want little surprises. Try to find little ways to surprise your guests. It doesn’t have to be expensive – sometimes it’s as simple as bringing some flowers into the hotel.
Another idea is to leave a Happy Birthday card in their room with a little note inside. These little gestures can make a big difference. It shows your guests that you care about them and their experience with you. You’ll have repeat guests who will appreciate the extra touches, and you’ll get some new guests as well.
Don’t make assumptions
Before you serve your guests anything or have them sign anything, make sure you understand what they want. Too many hotels make assumptions about what their guests want and don’t offer that. For example, many hotels assume their guests want a full breakfast. This is a huge mistake. Many guests don’t want a full breakfast. They want something that’s light and filling but doesn’t take up too much room in their stomachs.
There are many other assumptions that hotels make that they should stop making. This is especially true for smaller hotels that don’t have a lot of resources to spend on guests. One of the most important ways to make guests feel welcome in a hotel is to understand what they want and need.
Offer an ongoing service improvement program
As a hotelier, you have the opportunity to make improvements to your hotel every single day. That’s a great thing. The best thing you can do is try to improve your hotel every single day. It doesn’t have to be huge improvements either. It could be something as simple as getting the shutters done or fixing a light that isn’t working.
Whatever the change, it should be an improvement. Make it an ongoing effort to improve your hotel. This will show your guests that you care and that you value them. They will become repeat guests because they will feel welcomed in their hotel each time they visit.
As a hotelier, you have a great privilege. You get to welcome guests into your hotel and make their stay comfortable and enjoyable. This is a wonderful opportunity, but it also comes with great responsibility. You need to be aware of, and consider all aspects of what makes a guest feel welcome.