What Guests Want to Know
By definition, customer expectations are any set of behaviours or actions that individuals anticipate when interacting with a company.
In a hotel, guests expect a comfortable bed, a good shower, clean rooms and corridors, a reliable Wi-Fi connection and complimentary toiletries.
Price, facilities, brand image and recommendations all play a role when choosing a hotel. But the most important factor of all, not surprisingly, is still location. Location still reigns as the primary factor that determines hotel choice. Location generally matters more to leisure guests.
Meeting customers’ expectations
To provide good customer service, you need to understand who your customers are and what they want.
Know your customers
Gather information about as many of your customers as possible. Try to find out what your customers are buying, why they are buying and the frequency of their purchases.
When trying to understand their needs, it may be useful to know details such as their lifestyle, occupation and interests. Include any potential customers who have made enquiries about your goods or service. Find out more about researching customers.
Understand your customers’ needs
Each customer will have a different perception of what customer service means to them. If you want to provide good customer service, you should know the needs of the customer and how to fulfil those needs.
Find out how your customers expect you to meet their needs. The expected level of service varies from marketplace to marketplace, industry to industry and, to some extent, from consumer group to consumer group. Research your marketplace and your target markets to find out what your customers expect of your business in your location.
Meet your customers’ needs
Tailor your level of service to suit your customers’ needs. Some businesses work well providing a ‘no frills’ basic level of service while others go beyond customer expectations to achieve a level of service to make their customers say ‘wow’.
Some ways to go beyond customer expectations are:
introducing initiatives – for example, customer focus groups, customer survey cards or a suggestion box. These initiatives send a clear message to customers that you are interested in their input
suggesting add-ons – for example, ‘Would you like batteries as well?’
Failing to meet expectations
When a business fails to meet customer expectations, customers do business elsewhere. Poor customer service and the perceived indifference of staff and management account for about 68% of customers who don’t return to a business.
Customer complaints can alert you if your business is failing to meet customer expectations. Learn more about managing customer complaints.
Some actions you can take to improve customer service are:
- investigate the areas of issue
- train staff in customer service and sales skills
- rotate staff so they can increase their knowledge of other areas
- encourage and support teamwork
- review recruitment and selection procedures.
- Find out about market research.
- Learn about collecting and storing customer information.
- Watch recorded webinars to learn how to attract new customers to your business and retain your profitable customers.
- Use our customer profile chart to better understand customers’ needs.
- Conduct online research using our market research kit.
A Few Things Guests want to know About the Hotel (Ways to Make Hotel Guests Feel Special)
Whether guests have booked your hotel for a relaxing break or for a business trip, they expect a high standard of customer service as well as a high level of comfort. Every guest in your hotel should feel special and that they’re important to your business. Continuously looking for different ways to make your hotel guests feel special will encourage repeat business and also have a positive impact on your brand.
- Offer the little extras
Some of the extra touches include:
- A friendly, welcoming smile when your guests check-in.
- Linen quality that provides the feeling of luxury.
- Lighting to create a calm ambiance.
One way to understand your guests’ experience is to assess your hotel based on the small touches that can make the difference.
- Offer some amenities free of charge
The key to offering amenities is their value to your guests. If you do not offer many free amenities at this time, make the effort to research what your guests would want. When guests check in, they may have questions, such as whether your hotel serves breakfast or whether free Wi-Fi is available. These perks normally come as standard in many hotels, irrespective of the rates that are charged.
- Always be fully-staffed
Most people book a hotel for a stress-free getaway. An efficient service can make the difference between a relaxing stay and a stay that makes your guests feel anxious. One of the most common complaints of hotel guests is issues with staff. It is likely that your hotel staff will become irritated or annoyed with guests if you are understaffed. Where staff feel like they have too much to do while working long shifts, this frustration may be taken out on guests.
- Show you care by listening and responding to your guests
The hospitality industry centres on your relationship with your guests. If your guests express a concern regarding their stay, let them know that you not only heard them, but you and your hotel staff will act quickly to make things right. Irrespective of the length of your guests’ stay at your hotel, your goal should be to make their stay as comfortable as possible and communicate politely in the event that things go wrong.
- Make all guests feel that your hotel is concerned about their special needs
You will have guests with different needs, for example, people with young children, elderly people with mobility limitations and disabled people. Ideally, you should implement a diversity policy to cover both employees and your guests.
Providing the following resources can make your hotel guests feel special:
- Information about local child-friendly activities.
- Assistance accessing wheelchair-friendly taxi services.
- Information about walking distances and times involved when visiting local attractions.
- Hotel staff members who are fluent in more than one language.
6.Offer complimentary items
You can go a step further than stocking room refrigerators with free beverages by greeting your hotel guests with a cold drink (or a hot drink in cold climates) when they arrive. Most hotels offer complimentary toiletries, like shampoo and conditioner. However, you can make your guests feel special by providing luxury toiletries. This could give your hotel a luxurious feel even if it is not rated a four or five star.
- Cancel extra charges occasionally
If your hotel charges a resort fee for amenities, like Wi-Fi fees, gym fees, or tennis court fees, give some of your guests a surprise by removing the fee from their final hotel bill when they checkout. This gesture will leave your guests with a final good impression of your hotel and may increase the likelihood that they’ll want to return.