Expressions like 'communication is key' are said so often now they've lost all meaning, and can get lost amidst the dozens of messages thrown at you everyday, floating around us like dust particles.
But here's the thing - communication is key. It is everything. It's at the beginning, middle and end of your customer's journey. Great, efficient and smart communication - online and offline - is the backbone of a positive customer experience. There are so many moving parts to your business as a hotelier. Sometimes things can get lost or separated from each other, so everything doesn't link as harmoniously well as it should. We're bringing it back to basics and reminding you of the ingredients you need for optimal guest communication.
Equip your employees
In order to impress and satisfy your guests with your highly personable, consistent and warm communication style, you need to make sure your employees are trained and well versed in the art of communication. From your front-of-house to your Social Media Manager, everyone needs to trained sufficiently in customer service and know how to manage guest expectations no matter what the query.
Get personal and keep communication consistent
Personalising your communications with guests is crucially important and will really boost your relationship with them straight off the bat. It will also be somewhat expected.
Beginning a line of communication with your guests before they arrive with pre-stay emails is the smart thing to do. Can you check if they need anything specific like a cot in their room? Are they staying with you to celebrate something like an anniversary or birthday? Do they need transport booked to your hotel from wherever they are arriving from? These are small yet effective needs to meet, and will leave your guest feeling valued and more willing to strike up a loyal and ongoing relationship with your property.
When your guest leaves, don't end the contact there - send post-stay emails thanking them for their business and welcoming them back soon - perhaps with a discount code for their next trip.
Make sure your online and offline communications match up
Consistency across all of your platforms is very important - from email to social media to website content to newsletters. However, you need to make sure that the experience you're selling so well matches up to what your guest will receive in reality. If your staff and services are not up to scratch or aren't up to the same standard you're communicating them as, you'll only leave yourself open for negative reviews and unhappy guests. This is an important one - and easily done, but requires honesty, thoughtfulness and genuine investment into staff, services, and your communication strategy. The holy trinity.
Try to actively get more positive reviews
Online reviews from 'regular' people (in other words, our peers - not a famous person or an influencer), are typically uninfluenced by external factors and they tend to be totally genuine and give a real insight into the quality of a hotel. Typically, people tend to read 6-12 reviews online before making a booking.
From your front-of-house staff to your post-stay emails, there are plenty of ways to encourage people to leave you a good review - you're missing out if you don't. Firstly, remember how important personalisation on every level is - from emails to guest experience with your staff within the hotel. Developing a more personal relationship with guests will render them more likely to leave you a positive review because they will feel more connected to you and more satisfied with their experience. Online reviews let people to give an unfiltered account of their entire stay.
Consider sending a customer satisfaction survey in your post-stay email or remember to encourage guests to leave a review on Google. And reply, reply, reply!