As a hotelier, you’ll know that a vital part of ensuring every guest has the best possible experience is ensuring your communication processes and systems are the best they can be.
Your guests should be able to contact you via multiple channels and expect a speedy response. Similarly, your staff needs to contact your visitors at crucial points during the guest journey - starting well before arriving at your front desk for the first time.
Wondering how to achieve this quickly and easily? Keep reading to find out!
The primary reason to start engaging with your guests as soon as they make a reservation is to begin the process of relationship building. This is a two-way street: connecting with your guests as early as possible helps you get to know each other so your prospective guest feels confident and relaxed, and you have the opportunity to tailor their stay and offer services and upgrades based on the information they’ve provided.
A centralized communications hub incorporating a guest messaging platform is the best way to go about this: you’ll be able to send, track and manage all incoming messages across all channels, meaning that nothing slips through the cracks!
You can use your communication hub to engage with your guests before they arrive, automating the system to send a ‘see you soon’ message, including details such as public transportation options, parking facilities, and local attractions.
Resolving Issues Quickly
If your communications processes are firing on all cylinders, then you’ll be much more likely to know about a problem and, therefore, to resolve it speedily - rather than only finding out about it from a bad review on TripAdvisor.
Use feedback forms, short surveys, and friendly check-ins at key points throughout your guests’ stay to ensure that everything is meeting their expectations and they’re not experiencing any problems.
And talking about feedback received online: always try to respond to it, whether positive, negative, or neutral. Past guests who have left you a rave review will appreciate your taking the time to thank them. And those guests who may have been not so complementary? Responding to their online reviews and making contact with them to apologize for any issues they faced during their stay - and perhaps offering them a discount on a future booking in recognition of this fact - could just win them back around.
The Personal Touch
And - of course - the most important thing about making sure your comms are tip-top is that this adds the personal touch that makes a huge difference to your guests’ perception of your establishment.
Addressing guests by their names (rather than as ‘Sir’ or ‘Madam’) on the front desk and in messages is a simple but really effective way for guests to feel appreciated and ‘seen.’
Similarly, tailoring each stay to individual guests’ needs will help ensure every visitor feels valued and cared for, exponentially increasing the chance that they’ll return for another stay and recommend you to family and friends. Plus, remembering that on their last stay, a guest booked the spa facilities for early the morning after their arrival and offering if they’d like to do so again when they make another reservation is gold dust in terms of creating a positive impression. Not to mention that it also offers the opportunity for some effective upselling!
Deploy a Chatbot
But how to improve comms when your front desk isn’t open 24/7? This is a problem for many smaller hotels whose reception isn’t staffed around the clock.
A chatbot could be the answer! This solution means your guests can get the answers they need or leave a message for a staff member to pick up first thing in the morning. Chatbots are now highly intuitive and sophisticated, and you’re likely to find that, if one’s available, many guests or prospective visitors will use it even during the time your front desk is staffed to access the information they need quickly and conveniently.
Excellent communication benefits both your hotel and your guests. As well as for all the reasons outlined above, it can also result in a smoother workflow, as your guests will have been given all the information they need before arrival, so front desk staff won’t have to spend as much time answering phone and in-person inquiries on how to check in or where the nearest station is, for example.
To improve communication, map out the guest journey to determine at which points it would be most valuable to provide information, check-in, or ask for feedback. The other side of the coin is ensuring guests can communicate with you as easily as possible - and ensuring they get a speedy response.
To this end, consider a centralized communication hub to manage all incoming and outgoing communications so there’s no chance of a message getting missed, and guests can contact you either before, during, or after their stay on multiple channels.