Business travel season is upon us and an opportunity of referral is high. How do you get their referral and loyalty? By finding ways to add nice finishing touches for guests that will leave them feeling welcome and glad they chose your hotel in the first place.
Hospitality Designs is built on a foundation of staff with hospitality experience, as well as design and manufacturing experience, so we decided to sit down to interview a few of our staff for their thoughts.
Here are 8 ways you can increase guest experience and attract more business without putting a dent in your wallet:
1. Have a Concierge on Social Media – Fast, effective replies
Before your guests even stay at your hotel, expect questions. The great thing about this is business travelers tend to be heavily active on social media and will ask those questions. Give them the answer before they find another hotel that does. Designate the task to one or more of your staff to receive notifications on social media. Email notifications could be limited to comments only to avoid consistent emails but will let you know when someone has a question or left you a review you might need to respond to. Twitter and other sites acts as your customer care channel so make the most of it. Quickly and professionally answer any questions that are tweeted your way, just as a concierge, and its’ an easy way to secure their next booking.
2. “It is a pleasure to see you again Ms. Robinson” – Review names of guests checking in each day
One staff member fondly remembered a time when they returned to the same hotel, a year later in Asia, and the staff remembered their names as they walked in. Our colleague was so impressed with the staff remembered their names, that the hotel secured our business for any future stays in the area. Throughout the day, try to take the time to read and remember the names of guests checking in. It’s a simple gesture that costs nothing, but adds a lot of value for your guest.
3. Show off your City – Be an expert on your local area
Amidst the chaos of all of the conferences and meetings, business travelers like to explore the city in their down time. This is a great opportunity for hotel staff to recommend hot spots in the areas for their guests. Make sure your entire concierge staff knows the area well and provide guests a map, marking down great places to go. Regardless of whether their trip is for leisure or business, the gesture does not go unnoticed and they’ll likely come back to your hotel if they like the city you’re in.
4. Welcome treats and amenities
Sounds cliché right? There’s a reason hotels put small amenities on the top of your pillow. Don’t underestimate the impact that even these little touches have.
5. Give them a Garment Bag and they’ll give you a referral – Anticipate guest needs
One of the keys to securing guest loyalty is by anticipating their needs. The best example was with a suit holder. It’s almost guaranteed at some point during their stay that a business traveler will be using their suit. If you include one in their room closet with your logo on it, you’re bound to have made a great impression. If they choose to take the suit holder, great! That’s free advertising for your company. Making a guest feel at home is a great way to earn their repeat business.
6. Promote corporate events
A nice touch that’s become common practice in most hotels is acknowledging large groups and companies that stay at hotels. Usually this is done on a sign or TV Screen. These groups can represent huge portions of business for your hotel, so it’s extremely important that you impress them by going that extra mile. These small things could mean the difference between a company choosing to stay at your hotel next time they’re in town.
7. Have a personal conversation and have 7% more brand loyalty
If you want to make your guests feel at home, then a little personalization tends to go a long way. One of the keys to this is making your staff interactions with the guests genuine and thoughtful. According to hotelnewsnow.com, every positive interaction a guest has with staff member increases their brand loyalty by 7%. Many hotels tend to underestimate the impact that this has on their guests, but the smart ones now make it mandatory to strike up conversations with guests at every crossing.
8. Make the conversation worth it – Follow up with a note
We were given a great example of a fantastic follow up to our previous point about guest interactions. At one property, whenever staff struck up a conversation with a guest, they would later follow up with a note on the guests’ room notepad, following up with their previous conversation. As a previous VIP Amenities Coordinator, our colleague said guests felt acknowledged and cared for after seeing the note.
There you go. Take advantage of these 8 tips and turn those business travelers into returning travelers!
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