Engage Your Guest: The Best Practice in Guest Services

By Tom Conran Principal, Greenwood Hospitality Group | July 27, 2014

The word "engage" has several definitions. However the one that best fits our objective as hotel owners is ""to get and keep someone's attention or interest." In order to do this we must create experiences that first gain our guests' attention. We then must also implement them successfully. If we do these things effectively we draw our guests back time and again. At the same time, we can build a network of advocates. These supporters can become our fans and will attest to the fact that our hotel is much more than a merely a place to stay.

This all starts with the execution of the basics. As hotel owners and operators we acknowledge that an efficient check-in process, a clean room and a quality staff are "must haves". They are the things a guest expects to experience when they walk through the front door. Without them the chances of a return visit are greatly diminished. Social media is also becoming a crucial factor in guest interaction and I will address that later in the article.

In order to successfully engage the guest once he or she is there, we must move beyond the basis. Beyond the fundamental guest deliverables there remain a number of service and property related offerings that can distinguish your hotel. The collective nature of these can and will enhance the guest experience and increase the likelihood that your hotel is the preferred choice for their next trip to town.

A number of these actions are not deemed to be complicated. They are a multitude of small activities that add up to a lot. They do however require a strict focus and consistent execution.

A key part of this plan must focus on personally interacting with the guest. A recent study conducted by J.D. Power found that the number of times a hotel staff member interacts with guests has a significant impact on guest satisfaction. Overall satisfaction is highest among guests who interact with four or more staff associates.

This means that you should start by thinking of each member of your visible staff as a point of interaction with the chance to promote positive or negative changes in a customer's state of mind. Put yourself in a guest's shoes and look at all the instances where errors might arise.

Choose a Social Network!

The social network you are looking for is not available.


Hotel Newswire Headlines Feed  

Mark Johnson
Shannon Dooley
Tema Frank
Kathleen Pohlid
Juston Parker
Jesse Boles
Sherry Heyl
Shujaat Khan
Arthur Weissman
Donald R. Smith
Coming up in May 2019...

Eco-Friendly Practices: Corporate Social Responsibility

The hotel industry has undertaken a long-term effort to build more responsible and socially conscious businesses. What began with small efforts to reduce waste - such as paperless checkouts and refillable soap dispensers - has evolved into an international movement toward implementing sustainable development practices. In addition to establishing themselves as good corporate citizens, adopting eco-friendly practices is sound business for hotels. According to a recent report from Deloitte, 95% of business travelers believe the hotel industry should be undertaking “green” initiatives, and Millennials are twice as likely to support brands with strong management of environmental and social issues. Given these conclusions, hotels are continuing to innovate in the areas of environmental sustainability. For example, one leading hotel chain has designed special elevators that collect kinetic energy from the moving lift and in the process, they have reduced their energy consumption by 50%  over conventional elevators. Also, they installed an advanced air conditioning system which employs a magnetic mechanical system that makes them more energy efficient. Other hotels are installing Intelligent Building Systems which monitor and control temperatures in rooms, common areas and swimming pools, as well as ventilation and cold water systems. Some hotels are installing Electric Vehicle charging stations, planting rooftop gardens, implementing stringent recycling programs, and insisting on the use of biodegradable materials. Another trend is the creation of Green Teams within a hotel's operation that are tasked to implement earth-friendly practices and manage budgets for green projects. Some hotels have even gone so far as to curtail or eliminate room service, believing that keeping the kitchen open 24/7 isn't terribly sustainable. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.