Without a doubt, hotels aim to impress their guests whichever way they can, from personalized embroidered pillowcases to Hermès toiletries. However, it takes a lot more than mere material gimmicks to make a truly lasting impression – but that’s not to say it can’t be achieved. Here are some steps you can take to get started in the right direction.
Speak the language
“They all speak English anyway!” I have heard this phrase all too often, and I’ve even been guilty of thinking it myself – but that was until I traveled to places where although they do indeed speak English, I couldn’t understand their particular version. Another scenario is when hotel staff have a certain accent that’s hard to understand, and guests are obliged to explain concepts as simple as “water” with a flurry of hand gestures.
How do we solve the language barrier between guests and the staff? Hire a native speaker of the language most of your guests use? Training, training, and more training? Or invest in technology like Portier, which not only comes with language translation features but can even tell you all about the preferences of different guests from different countries because as you know, no one guest is the same…
Become environmentally conscious
People today are far more aware of environmental issues than they used to be, and it has become the norm for every hotel to adopt green-focused CSR initiatives as part of their regular activities. We have seen a ban on single-use plastics in most hotels to the point where I’m now sucking on a soggy paper straw and wondering about the effects on paper production and all those poor trees. So if you haven’t thought of any CSR activity for your hotel next year, you can rest assured that planting trees will be the next big thing.
If you can’t plant trees, at least try to stop cutting them down. Saving paper is also a way to help the environment. Did you know that Banyan Tree Samui has made significant paper savings just from introducing Portier devices to replace in-room menus, tent cards, and a host of other easily replaceable printed material? Data suggest that printing costs can be cut by up to 90%, not to mention the time savings for staff whose printing activity is limited to just those essential difference-makers, like personal notes to guests.
Anticipate guests’ needs
Just as you would anticipate that guests finishing the main course will most likely follow up with dessert, hotel staff should be able to anticipate a guest’s every need. If a guest comes back from a long walk, offer them a cold drink. Or even better, anticipate the long walk ahead of time and offer them a chilled bottle of water to take along with them.
Learning to think one or two steps ahead of a guest requires information, and not every guest will tell you what they are about to do, or what they like and don’t like, so anticipating their needs can be tricky. With machine learning it becomes easier.
By giving your guests a Portier device during their stay, you will learn your guests’ behavior patterns in such a way that guests will receive offers that are actually appealing on an individual level, resulting in an industry-leading 7% conversion rate and far more satisfied customers.
Respond to guests’ needs
What’s the purpose of a telephone in a guestroom? And how long does it take for reception to pick up the phone, and how many more minutes does it take to transfer a simple phone call to another department. Hotel landlines simply no longer serve the purpose for which they were originally designed.
And given that the most common questions people ask are, “What’s the Wi-Fi password?” and “When is checkout time?” – that certainly doesn’t justify this considerably large investment.
Kevin Carl, Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Radisson Hotel Group, makes an even simpler statement about hotel telephones: “We have noticed a significant decline in guest room phone usage to make housekeeping requests, order room service, or get advice on local restaurants and attractions.”
Wouldn’t it be easier if these questions and requests could get an immediate response? With a Portier device, guests can connect directly and instantly with the departments they need, and all the hotel’s information is at their fingertips.
No matter how well-trained your staff might be in the intricacies of customer service, finesse falls by the wayside when the pressure is on and the customer demands are coming thick and fast. The great thing about Portier, however, is that it can take care of the routine and mundane tasks, which frees up staff to excel at what they do best – customer service with time for the human touch.
These simple steps can all assist in delivering an exceptional guest experience, and all can be achieved with the help of a Portier device, backed up by the specialist training provided by the Portier Technologies team. When it comes to hospitality, if you can’t stay a step ahead of your guests, you’re in danger of falling a step behind your competition.