Hotel guests` reviews and recommendations can make or break your hotel or guest house`s reputation.
Satisfying your guests might be a challenging task, especially when budgets are tight. But it`s doable and desirable if you want to be successful in the business.
We interviewed a number of regular hotel and guest house guests to learn what makes them return to and recommend a place. Here`re the top secrets to customer satisfaction (spoiler: money is not a big factor; it`s the small things that matter):
1. “The personal and friendly attitude shapes an atmosphere of comfort and ease.” – Eva (Bulgaria)
Attitude is vital for most hotel guests. When asked, almost all of the respondents, pointed it out. But what does attitude even mean?
Train your staff to be helpful and friendly without being intrusive on guests` privacy. If guests have a request or a problem, the personnel should be there for them – doing their best to solve the issue. For instance, Mark (the UK), gives an example of an issue well-solved while he was staying at a hotel in Rome:
“We forgot to print out our boarding passes. Short on time and in an awful hurry for our plane, we asked at the reception for help. Not only did they print our passes, but also firmly refused to take any money for the service.”
Any other tips? The guests we interviewed appreciate it when the members of the cleaning staff are nice and smiling, and respectful of their privacy, asking for permission to clean their rooms.
2. “Small details make a big difference.”, Tanya (Bulgaria)
Think guests are impressed only by big and expensive things? Our interviewees will prove you wrong.
You might be wondering: what`s important for them? Small things. Everything from soft bathroom mats to clean towels and spotlessly white linens that smell like tender blossoms.
“The aroma of the fabric freshener at that seaside hotel was so captivating. I looked for it all over Sofia (the place she currently lives) and finally managed to buy it. Every time I smell my clothes, it reminds me of the sea.”
Any extra tips? Except for the unearthly fabric freshener, Tanya was impressed by something the staff did every time they cleaned her family`s room. They used to put beautiful dried flowers on the pillows along with some red wine and a couple of glasses. So simple, but extremely powerful trick, right?
3. “The breakfast is a unique experience.”, Amalie (France)
Amalie and the other respondents agree: every guest loves a good breakfast. The atmosphere should be pleasant, the tables well-organized and clean (no spots on the blankets, please!), and the food refilled in due time. If these conditions are met, this would make for a really enjoyable and laid-back experience, chatting with friends and munching on tasty eggs and bacon.
4. “I value the cozy and unique local feel.”, Daniela (Italy)
When Daniela arrived at a guest house in the Rodhopi Mountain in Bulgaria, she was impressed by the cozy atmosphere, infused with local traditions. The food was delicious and specific for the region. The restaurant extremely cozy and the hosts perfectly kind and helpful. Plus, Daniela and her group received some invaluable tips as a bonus: the hosts recommended making a barbecue by the river and some panoramic trekking routes in the region.
5. “Innovative ideas make an impression.”, Lasse (Denmark)
Lasse was impressed by a hotel that had invested an extra effort in their rooms` design. Every room had a different name and was painted in particular colors. “That makes you think you are special. It`s different and creative.”, he explains. Gather your creatives and brainstorm ideas for thematic parties or room renovation. Your guests will notice.
Our respondents are all insisting on good hygiene. Clean bathrooms and rooms are a must for a delightful hotel or guest house stay. “That`s nothing new, but tends to be overlooked sometimes.”, Eva says.
Make your guests happy
Inspired by the answers of our respondents? Why don`t you try to implement some of the tips? A little goes a long way. And won`t go unnoticed.