There are countless ways to lose a guest. While you can’t fix them all, here are some of the most common ones to avoid.
1. Inflexible cancellation policy
Flexible bookings and having the ability to cancel a booking is critical to win the trust of your guests. In this environment where an accentuated Covid-19 outbreaks and lockdowns are unpredictable, guests need to know they can book advance and not lose their money if they can’t make it due to reasons beyond their control.
2. Not promoting your health & hygiene policy
Sticking with the pandemic theme, how you manage the health and hygiene practices on your property, if you are abiding by all required guidelines and making sure guests are aware of these updates is important. No one wants to stay in a hotel that doesn’t meet the minimum safety guidelines recommended by the government. Make sure your experience is as contactless as possible – from check-in to check-out.
3. Poor Customer Service by Staff
Over time staff can (understandably) grow tired and the demands of the industry make it difficult to smile every day. To top it off, there is a pandemic that is affecting the lives and livelihood of everyone – staff included. Sometimes these frustrations come out – unintentionally – on guests. However, they leave a lasting impression on the guest. Make sure you keep talking to your staff, motivating them and staying connected to avoid a bad guest experience.
4. Poor Wi-Fi and entertainment system
It’s a small thing, but in this digital-first world, nothing annoys a guest more than Wi-Fi that keeps dropping off. Worse still, Wi-Fi that never connects! Beef up your bandwidth and provide a seamless connection for your guests. A good entertainment is another winner with guests.
5. Lack of personalisation
Delivering a personalised guest experience is at the heart of winning them for life. Think about, as a hotelier you see a number of guests every day. However, for your guest your hotel is a totally new experience. They must be treated like they matter – like you know them. This is possible if you understand their interests and needs. Spend time in your channel manager, PMS and other tools with analytics to understand your guests and personalise their stay.
6. Not keeping track of your reviews
Guests want to be heard. If they’ve spent time to leave you a review, read it and respond. Good or bad, the feedback must be taken on board if you want to improve your experience.
You can monitor all your reviews from an online reputation management system like STAAH ReviewMinder. Find out more here
7. Poor bedding and pillows
A guest needs a good night’s sleep if you want them to return. This begins with comfortable pillows and bedding. Some smart hoteliers even offer pillow menus so guests can pick out one that is closest to their need.
8. Poor plumbing
An extension of the above really. Leaky taps that don’t let you sleep, showers with poor water pressure, blocked drains and toilets with questionable flushes … none of these should be things your guests discover. Do regular checks of your bathrooms to ensure all plumbing is working as expected.
9. Not showing sufficient love for the environment
Increasingly guests are conscious of the environmental cost of services a hotel provides. Over-laundering, not using sustainable or eco packaging and products, lack of recycling … all these are factors that leave modern guests a bit disappointed and seeking out another property with better environmental ethics.
Sustainability in hotels – Read the tips here
10. Exaggerating the experience
Marketer Seth Godin once said, “All marketers are storytellers; only the losers are liars”. Don’t exaggerate your property’s experience to attract guests. If the reality does not match, it leaves guests very disappointed.
What are the small mistakes you’ve made that have had a big impact on your guests? Negative or positive, we’d like to hear about it at marketing@ staah.com