The thing about the modern guest is, they have a very short attention span and are not excited easily by the prototypical “mint on the pillow” anymore. Don’t get me wrong, as someone who has worked in the hospitality industry for nearly twenty years, when I see a mint on my pillow it gives me a great sense of nostalgia and pride in the industry that choose me, but our guest today just is not as easily as impressed.
In today’s world, the hotel guest is fast paced. In a great, one page report by the U.S. Travel Association, you can see that Leisure Travel spending in the U.S. totaled $761.7 Billion in 2018. Business Travel spending in the U.S. totaled $327.3 Billion in 2018. Each segment and guest different have preferences. Each segment and guest have loyalty to certain brands or rewards programs. The point is, being a hotelier that has the capability to cater to each segment can be hard. If you are in market that has strong week day business, you try to cater to that traveler and in some cases can fall short in catering to the weekend traveler. You tend to focus on the efforts to make you the most return, correct? Well I believe you can do both. You can cater to your business and leisure travelers with certain tools that are already developed. Here are a few that have peaked our hotelier brains (if you agree, please feel free to share this article with your colleagues):
CHOCOLATE – Who doesn’t love chocolate? You can cater to both the business and leisure travel with a simple candy bar. There may be a small portion of the population that does not actually like chocolate, but the treat is probably one of the few things that MOST people enjoy. These CANDY BAR WRAPPER TEMPLATES are a simple way to personalize this treat and give your guest, business or leisure, a little pick me up!
Tip – If you are giving our candy bars to the leisure travel, I would try to ensure they get in the hands of the adult. Is there anything worse than the sugar-high, middle-school, baseball team in your pool room?
BOTTLED WATER – The global bottled water market has skyrocketed in the last ten years. According to the International Bottle Water Association, bottled water surpassed 13 billion gallons in 2017, up from 12 billion in 2016. That is crazy growth and it is just expected to keep growing. This is not really a “trend” that will go away in my eyes. As we see more and more people using reusable bottles there will still always be a need for bottled water in our hotels. So why are you not using them as a guest service and marketing tool? These awesome, fully customizable, WATER BOTTLE LABEL TEMPLATES are a great tool to turn those hundreds of water bottles walking out your door into a marketing tool and guest service tool.
TIP – If you do it correctly, you could use them on every bottle beverage walking out your door!
WIFI INFORMATION – How many calls a day, to the front desk, are somehow connected to the WiFi? The hospitality industry application ALICE, a Hotel Operations Platform, looked at their top ten most common guest complaints. Number two on that list involved not being able to connect to the WiFi or it being too slow. Let’s address them not being able to connect. Besides owning my own hotel management company, and offering Hotel Specific Daily Planners on this site, I am also own a Hotel/Consulting Feasibility Study Company. For this aspect of my career, I stay in more then one hundred hotel rooms a year. This helps me improve in all aspects and the companies I am a part of. I only bring this up because I have experienced it all. The “stamped” WiFi log-in on the key cards (where just one letter is off and you still must call to front desk), the hand written log-in (also hard to read) and so on. Get these fully customizable, HOTEL WIFI PASSWORD CARDS to make it easier on you, your staff and your guest.
TIP – I would step it up a notch and purchase these INTERNET PASSWORD CARDS. They are also customizable, but they offer some great review related graphics to help boost your online reputation.
QUIET PLEASE – When you are shifting your focus from one segment of the guest to both, you must think of things that can keep them both happy. That same information from ALICE pointed out that number three of our guest complaints is noise. In addition, another article, The 20 Most Common Hotel Guest Complaints boasted noise being the number one complaint of guests. Ever had a complaint from a business guest about doors slamming in the middle of the night? Or kids running up and down the halls screaming? Or the wonderful noise from the pool room? There are so many things that can be affected by noise. The Offering these customizable SLEEP EARPLUGS CARDS are great and you can even add the Earplug. One stop shopping is key in our crazy industry.
TIP: Regarding noise, I would also recommend this QUIET HOURS SIGN.
FEEDBACK – Our guest feedback is extremely important, and I hope you can grow and learn from constructive criticism. Gathering and learning from reviews is very important to future guest service. Some reviews are poor, and some are good. We all know that it is much harder to get a happy guest to take the time to give online feedback then the person that had a poor experience. Help those happy guests. Offer each guest these customizable, WE VALUE YOUR FEEDBACK CARDS. You know (or you should know by now) that poor reviews are bound to happen. Besides your response (that is a whole different article), the best way to battle the negative reviews is to get many more positive reviews. So, get every guest to review your hotel, gather those opinions and improve your future!
Is your brain asking, “What about technology”? As the industry and the technologies to improve it move forward, there is a lot of new tech that you can utilize to improve your guest experience. Some arrive with a nice sized invoice attached as well. The modern hotel guest is smart and expects great things from you and your hotel. The above tools are simple ways to improve their experience at your property and will not break your bank. As you move forward in your hotel career there will be many opportunities to invest in forward thinking, technology driven software, applications or devices (if you are in the position to do so now check out our article, HOTEL INDUSTRY TECHNOLOGY). Take every opportunity to do so but always remember, this is an industry full of touch points and opportunities to either be proactive or reactive when it comes to your guest’s experience. In some areas of our industry, technology only takes those touch-points away from the individual and you can miss out on many positive experiences. Catering to both the leisure and business traveler, using tangible tools like the ones listed above and the developing technologies out there, will help you offer a well rounded guest experience and keep your hotel at the top of everyone’s list!
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