3 Ways Better Communication Leads to Happier Guests
At the start of the pandemic, the phrase “we’re all in this together” rang loud and true. The entire world worked together to process, understand, and conform to a new normal. For the hospitality industry, these early days were difficult, but there was a mutual understanding among hotels and guests that things were going to be different for a while.
Now, as travel starts to pick up again, so are guests’ expectations. More and more people are looking forward to the future and going back to the way things used to be. However, it will take time for hotels to be able to offer a safe travel experience the way they used to do pre-pandemic.
For example, European travelers are especially missing the daily breakfast buffet, originally included in a hotel’s daily rate. This, unfortunately, can lead to poor guest satisfaction and negative online reviews. But, all is not lost. Hoteliers have an opportunity to prevent negative feedback with better guest communication.
Here are three ways hotels can make that happen.
1 - Be proactive
Even before the pandemic, managing guests’ expectations was a great way for hotels to prevent issues before they occurred. Guests don’t like to be surprised about or not know if certain amenities are closed or unavailable to them during their stay. This can often be solved with an informative hotel website. Using this space to proactively communicate important updates for travelers is the best way to get bookings, and ultimately, happy guests.
Hotels can also use guest communication tools like Live Messaging to keep guests informed after their booking occurs. As long as a guest opts-in to receive messages from the hotel, you can keep guests informed of any changes that are happening between their booking and when they arrive on-site. Proactively communicating these changes can help set expectations, provide a necessary service to your guests, and help prevent negative feedback in the future.
2 - Be one step ahead
Another way hotels can further their proactive approach is by finding out what the guests want before they arrive. Hotel surveys can be sent to guests prior to their arrival in the form of a pre-stay survey. This is a great way to ask guests what is important to them during their stay. Having this knowledge provides your hotel with the information you need to make an average experience into an excellent one.
Perhaps after communicating that the hotel spa is still closed, you can ask the guest if they are interested in any other services or amenities while they are on-site. You might find out that they simply need suggestions for nearby attractions or would like to reserve a spot by the pool so they don’t have to worry about capacity limits. Having this information on hand can help your hotel provide a 5-star service experience that can lead to better reviews.
3 - Be kind
Communicating through guest communication tools like Live Messaging or via online surveys can easily seem cold and distant. But, if you communicate the same way you would with one of your best friends or family members, you’ll remember that a little kindness goes a long way. Starting a message with sentiments like “I understand that this is frustrating…” helps to convey your empathy towards guests. While adding text in your surveys such as “We’re so happy to host your stay…” provides a sincere and earnest way of welcoming a guest to your property.
Overall, a little bit of kindness in your communication can go a long way. Work together with your staff to come up with communication styles and phrases that are known to put guests at ease, and then save those as template responses for your guests. This will ensure your entire staff is talking with one, impactful voice, that will leave guests feeling great about your service.
If there’s anything we learned over the past year, it’s that no matter how bad it gets, we can find the silver lining in almost every situation. While not being able to offer a breakfast buffet to your guests may seem like the end of the world, we all know that we’ve survived much worse!
These changes can also provide new opportunities for hotels as well. Finding an alternative to breakfast buffets that still fits a guests’ needs is the innovative quality that will get hotels the attention (and ultimately, reputation) they deserve! Review data is a great place to start finding new ideas that will impress your guests. Let’s look at your data and figure out together how you can achieve the best possible hotel reputation!
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