Although most of us travel out of necessity, the choice of where is often driven by preference.
Traveling to Florida for my nephew’s baptism is out of necessity, but choosing to stay at an independent family-run hotel just because they’ll remember me, is out of preference.
Guests have many choices on the market, but there are many ways to get guests to prefer your hotel over the others. I’m not going to talk today about flashy, expensive websites or fancy booking engines, or even Google. I’m talking about simple inexpensive things you can do to give your guests a fabulous stay and help your hotel stand out among all the choices out there.
Here are some examples of very simple, easy to implement things that can make all the difference for your hotel, to make your hotel stand out.
Simple Things that Can Make Your Hotel Stand Out
- Weather Forecast during wake-up call – Don’t just call and say here is your wake up call. Make the first conversation your guests will have that day be better than expected. Suggest “bundling up” because its cold outside or ask if they will need an umbrella because it should be raining all day.
- “Yes, I cleaned here” sign – How clean is my room? It may look clean just like any other room, but what about the things I don’t see. Hide a note underneath the bed stating the housekeepers name and today’s date.
- Call before check in – Its 6:00pm and you still have 50% of your arrivals due to come in. Spend 20 minutes and call all of your arrivals and let them know you are expecting them.
- Call after problem – A guest calls the front desk and says that the toilet keeps running. You send someone over to fix the problem. All set? Call the guest right back and ask if everything was fixed to his / her satisfaction.
- Recognize a simple birthday month and send a token – (this one may have a small cost). You check IDs at Check-In don’t you? Train your staff to identify Birthday’s, Birthday Weeks, or even Birthday months. Proceed with check-in without commenting. Send a small piece of candy or a small token to their room and give your guests a pleasant surprise.
- Fold Towels in shape of animal – Alright, so not the most imaginative thing in the world. Who cares if you are stealing this idea from a cruise line. It is still a welcome surprise to walk into a room with something that shows a little extra care and attention.
- Upgrade – You are sitting at 47% occupancy for the night. Does it really cost you more money to give an upgrade? Can you remember the last time you received an upgrade? We all do.
- Welcome Back Mr… – Return guests want you to recognize that they are returning. So give them what they want.
- Dinner Plans – Everyone has to eat. Asking a guest “Do you have dinner plans?” is an easy topic of conversation. Offering to give recommendations will be much appreciated to the traveler that has not had time to even think about it. A word of caution to hotels with their own restaurants; there is a difference between pushing your restaurant and being truly helpful. If a guest asks you “Is there anything to eat around here?” you should ask them “What are you in the mood for?” and also identify a local landmark.
- TAXI – Another thing every guest must do is get from your hotel to wherever he or she is going. Asking “Would you like me to call you a TAXI?” not only can be helpful, but also demonstrates that you care about their travel experience. Having local taxi contacts not only extends your network, but it also can improve the entire travel experience of your guests.
As many of us know in hospitality, travelers can take out their travel frustrations on the hotel. Improving anything, no matter how small, will surely result in a great memory for your guests and a happier stay at your property.