Reviewer Romance Has Died & You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling
14 Ways to Make Guests Fall in Love All Over Again
It’s Valentine’s Day and love is in the air. The problem is you aren’t feeling the love you once did from your customers. The hotel has kept its rooms clean, amenities in line and service prompt. The love letters (in the form of glowing reviews) just aren’t there. Your relationship with your guests has past the “honeymoon phase.” Things are getting stale and it’s time to spruce it up a bit; make them remember why they fell in love in the first place. Make them want to sleep with you time and time again (in your hotel beds, of course). For hotels looking to rekindle the fire with guests this Valentine’s Day we’ve compiled a list of 14 ways to “wow” guests and win their hearts (and loyalty) all over again, based on reviews in our database, our staff input and stories across the internet. The last thing you want is a guest cheating on you with a competitor.
Toast their special occasions Personalize, personalize, personalize
When guests check in call them by name. Better yet, if your bellmen assist with luggage upon arrival, have them take a peek if there is a name tag on the bag and welcome the guest by name before they even get to the front desk. If they’ve stayed with you before, welcome them back. Make their stay all about them, and they will love you for it.
“It was my first time staying here, and I'm so surprised that the staff called me by name!”
Did your guests mention that they are celebrating an anniversary? Big birthday? Reunion? If so, help them celebrate; send a note, an amenity and let staff know who is celebrating so they can join the well wishes. It will make their special event even more special, and guests are sure to remember you for it.
“We were sent a bottle of champagne with fresh strawberries and chocolate dipping sauce as a gift to celebrate our anniversary. So nice!"
Write a handwritten letter
You know the happy feeling you get when you receive real mail (other than bills)? Give your guests that feeling when they check in. Leave a brief, handwritten, personalized welcome letter in the room. They will swoon over the attention to detail.
“Without having heard much about the hotel, I was a bit nervous about what to expect, but once my husband and I got to our room, there was a hand-written letter from the manager to welcome us to the hotel.”
Be prepared with local recommendations and assist with planning
Guests often want advice from a local – restaurants, local attractions, the best kept neighborhood gems. Arm your staff with answers to questions about the area and/or leave some suggestions in the room. If guests want to book a tour or make a reservation, offer to do it for them. They’ll appreciate the help.
“Extremely informative staff, ask them anything even in English about restaurants etc. They will answer you and even make a reservation!”
More than 70% of travelers update their social status while on vacation and nearly half are “checking in” to destinations. Are you acknowledging these influencers? You should. These are the guests who are giving your hotel love in the social media world. Reciprocate by rewarding those who check in.
Check out Starwood’s Foursquare promotion or the fair trade coffee and personalized note sent to a blogger who checked in to Hotel Berlin.
Give them an unbelievably comfy bed
A great night of sleep is key to a great stay. Make sure the mattress and linens impress. A great bed will keep guests coming back and is one of the top 10 things that they’ll rave about once back home.
“Wow! The best thing about this hotel was the bed! Egyptian cotton sheets and the most comfortable duvet I have ever wrapped around me.”
Offer turn down service
It just feels good to come back to a room and find the bed has been turned down. And who doesn’t love chocolates on the pillows? This is one small service that gives your hotel a chance to shine just before your guest calls it a day.
"The service was great. I loved the turn-down service with fresh towels, a filled ice bucket and of course chocolate."
Cut Internet costs
Internet prices aren’t always the final deciding factor when staying at a hotel, but having to pay for Wi-Fi annoys your guests. Consider free Wi-Fi or reward your loyal guests with free internet like Fairmont does for its President’s Club members. They’ll appreciate the perk, and they will be able to talk about you via social media while staying at your hotel!
"I always stay here, and every time I enjoy my stay even more! This time I got wireless internet free of charge!"
Develop a unique feature or service to improve the guest’s stay
Personal twitter assistants, wine tastings, new spa fads and pillow menus. Sound frivolous? Maybe, but hotels that embrace these extra services are setting themselves apart, and guests are taking notice. Just ask The Benjamin in NYC, home of the first Sleep Concierge and 12-choice pillow menu.
“We always travel with our own pillows but next time I stay at this hotel we will leave ours at home because they have an extensive pillow menu. Wow!”
Give them a place to plug in
Research shows that 85% of leisure travelers use their smart phones while traveling. These guests need an outlet! Make sure that there are outlets available, particularly near the bed (many guests use their phone as an alarm).
“The biggest negative though is a total lack of accessible plug sockets in the room! Struggled to find a single one.”
Include coffee in the room
Not everyone is a morning person. Between jetlag and the stress of travel, some guests need to start the day off with a hot cup of java. Having coffee available in the room lets them start the day off right.
“Much needed complimentary teas and coffees in the room and bottles of water in the minibar.”
Refresh your breakfast menu
Breakfast is the way to a guest’s heart. Seriously. A great breakfast is one of the top five things they rave about. To get guests gushing, stock your breakfast menu with high quality, fresh food and plenty of options.
“The breakfast buffet is one of the most lavish I've ever experienced, spread over several rooms. Full range of fruits, juices, sausages, hams, bacons and every kind of cold cut and imaginable. Another room is like a mini bakery with all imaginable variations of bread.”
Show your appreciation at checkout
Most guests want a quick, simple checkout. Give them what they want, but don’t forget to ask how their stay was and thank them for their business. Really want to impress? Give them a parting gift or offer them a small bottle of water for the road.
“After a wonderful stay, the front desk gave us a jar of the homemade jam that is served at breakfast. It was the perfect souvenir.”
Respond to their feedback
We’ve talked about this time and again – become a lovable hotel by responding to reviews. Your response will make them remember why they wanted to stay with you in the first place.
These are some of our favorite ways to win guests’ hearts on Valentine’s day. What are yours?