And a variation on a winning theme here with the lesson today. Hotelidos and don’ts at your service.
With a tale to illustrate good service of a loved-up septuagenarian couple, a distracted receptionist and a Basil Fawlty hotelier.
Now swipe keys ought to have made our lives easier but the inventor obviously didn’t factor in amorous pensioners.
On this occasion at the Intercontinental Athenaeum it happened not to be my fault that I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
And no neither me nor the Scary One were the amorous pensioners (how very dare you).
Knock three times
I was in a rush, it’s true, to see the Acropolis in the two hours’ window I had in our group itinerary.
Although how long my new hotel friends had wasn’t clear… ‘Demetrius’ did look well relaxed in his gown and easy chair.
When his partner opened the door on a Bandanaman Scotsman.
This is the point when in true journalist traditions I should have made my excuses and left.
But ‘Maria’ invited me in!
We’ll skip over what happened next, but seriously, I politely turned down the request and headed for reception.
The hotel manager
Where the hotel manager was waiting to give out to the stressed young woman whom I really should have taken a bullet for.
His attention to my embarrassment didn’t stop there, of course, and when I got to my room the phone rang and he apologised profusely again for his receptionist.
And he asked me if I would take a basket of goodies as recompense.
And a porter turned up minutes later with two bottles of wine and fruit and figs and haloumi (well, it is Greece).
All of which, of course, as you can see left its mark and I’m recommending the hotel to this day.
I didn’t dare to ask what happened to the receptionist, just in case he told me.
While the wine I had to give up at customs when we flew to Kythera, off Greece.
And now the survey
A new study revealed that guest satisfaction has declined in virtually all hotel segments, from
economy to luxury compared to 2021.
According to the J.D. Power’s 2022 Guest Satisfaction Study, the single biggest factor driving a decline in overall satisfaction is hotel cost and fees.
And that that indicates that hotel guests are feeling like they are paying more, but not getting more in return.
Cloudbeds, the hospitality management platform powering more reservations and happier guests for lodging businesses
around the globe, recently released a new book.
Titled, More Reservations, Happier Guests: The Ultimate Guide for the Modern Hotelier, it could as easily be called… Hotelidos and don’ts at your service.
The bullet points
1. Start with the essentials: Every guest wants an efficient check-in, a clean, comfortable room, and a pleasant, frictionless stay.
One study found that if there is more than a five minute wait at check-in, guests’ satisfaction score can drop by 50%.
2. Set expectations: It is always useful to send a pre-arrival email or text to invite guests to start planning their stay.
And include important information such as safety protocols or changes to services.
3. Wow the guests: Turn a good stay into an unforgettable one. This can be done by offering a complimentary upgrade, a welcome amenity, or other thoughtful,
4. Offer digital service: Enable communications on digital channels such as text messaging, webchat, messaging apps, social media, or a chatbot.
5. Monitor guest feedback: Hoteliers can benefit by investing in a reputation management tool to track online reviews,
6. Ask for feedback: It is always a good idea to send a post-stay survey to guests a few days after their check-out which could include an invitation to share feedback on Tripadvisor or Google.
7. Master the art of service recovery: A survey in 2019 found that 42% of guests will actually return to a hotel if they are able to turn their experience positive by solving any issue immediately. And in my experience, it’s welcome, even when in dramatic Greek fashion.
8. Check in with guests during their stay: Hoteliers should send a quick text or short email survey to guests just after arrival or halfway through the stay to see how things are going.
9. Benchmark performance: It is useful to set survey and review objectives by department, along with timelines for achieving them.
10. Respond: It is important to mention that responding promptly to reviews and surveys – positive, negative, and mixed can benefit businesses.
At your service
And so maybe one more for our hoteliers than our guests.
But it does provide an insight into what we are looking for.
Hotelidos and don’ts at your service. If you will.