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Improving the Guest Experience at Woman-Owned Hotels

Improving the Hotel Guest Experience

Hospitality businesses rise and fall on guest reviews. A bad experience can reverberate through social media for years. Improving the hotel guest experience is the best strategy for hoteliers and innkeepers to form lasting and loyal relationships with guests.

The Guest Experience Begins Pre-Arrival

Prospective guests begin forming their opinion about your accommodations long before they arrive. Your customer’s perspective should be top of mind when you design your website and develop your booking process. Ease and responsiveness of communication, a proactive and welcoming attitude toward special requests, and prompt follow-up make a difference before your guest arrives. A poor booking experience, a confusing or incomplete website, and unyielding policies will put guests off before they even select the dates of their stay.

High-Tech and No-Contact Accommodation

Guests expect their phones to function as keys and apps to be available to turn on lights, regulate the temperature in their rooms, and order room service. In the COVID-19 era, they want reassurance that surfaces are regularly disinfected, ventilation systems have been fitted with filters to minimize indoor transmission of germs, and public areas are closed or limiting capacity. Improved efficiency in hotel kitchens can make pivoting to no-contact room service easier. Guests should be able to schedule or decline housekeeping during their stay.

In smaller B&Bs and inns, where charm and the personal touch is so important, guests will need reassurance that despite its size, the property observes protocols to minimize the risk of transmission of disease. Until public health officials say otherwise, staff should wear masks and maintain social distance whenever possible. Provide guests with a list of the measures you are taking to sanitize rooms and public areas and maintain outdoor services for as long as the weather allows.

Anticipate Needs and Empower Staff to Go the Extra Mile

Greeting a returning guest by name and providing their favorite welcoming amenity goes a long way toward ensuring a good review and lasting satisfaction. Staff should be authorized to help guests who are confused, unhappy, or in need of extra attention, such as elderly guests or families with special needs. Anticipating what the guest will experience upon arrival, during their stay, and when they depart will help you remove obstacles and add special touches that delight guests. It’s not enough anymore to simply provide hotel services—guests must feel appreciated. Details like remembering names, providing little surprises like an unexpected upgrade or a discount on meals, or a suggested itinerary of local experiences help guests know you care about them individually.

Some guests clearly signal they’d rather be left alone. This may be the only rest and relaxation they’ve had for ages. Train staff to recognize when asking a guest if there is anything else they need is viewed as an interruption rather than an accommodation.

Guests Don’t Leave at Departure

Contactless check-in and check-out doesn’t mean the hotelier or innkeeper should remain invisible. Quite the contrary—even if it is done electronically, guests should receive personalized follow-up. Ask if there is anything you could have done to improve their stay and offer a special deal on a return booking.

Improving the hotel guest experience is the best way to stand out in the competitive hospitality industry. Emphasize and capitalize on what makes your property unique and make sure that a superior guest experience permeates every minute of their stay.