For anyone in the hospitality industry, guest experience is vital to your success. The amount of hospitality you put forth, as well as that of your employees, determines just how good your guest's experience will be. In today's world of social media, word circulates faster than ever before, which makes reviews, both good and bad, an important component to the life of your business. In this article, you will be given three tools that will give your guests a pleasant, and memorable experience.
Make Your Guest Feel Valued
As any business major will tell you, if a customer has a good experience, they might tell 5 people. However, if they have a bad experience, they could tell as many as 20. For many of these customers, the key difference is if they were made to feel valued, or disrespected. The last thing you want to do is make your guest feel as though they are being a burden. Treat each person you serve with a smile and a warm attitude. Always use their names and look them in the eye when speaking to them. (Start with Mr. or Mrs., and if they suggest first names, graciously acknowledge that). Keep the dialogue light and try to personalize it. Take notice of the person and whatever friends or family they have with them. Here are some questions or comments you can make that will brighten their experience;
- How is your day going?
- Do you have any fun plans for the day?
- Please let me know if there is anything more I can do for you.
- I hope you enjoy your stay with us! (if you work in a hotel)
Another good device to use is finding a way to connect with your customer. For many restaurant servers, their tips are often higher when they have joked with their customers. You can still be professional and give off that impression of comfortable familiarity. This will make your guests feel more relaxed and at home.
Respond to Their Problems With Patience and Understanding
Anyone who has had to call or talk to customer service knows how painful it is when your problem is treated as burdensome, or stupid. As a worker in the hospitality industry, many of you have been trained on what situations may frequently arise, and how to handle them. Whether the problem you are faced with is one you were trained for or not, let your guest know that you are happy to help them, and will go above and beyond to solve their problem. Some other good, comforting words would be;
- Do not worry, this has happened before/You are not alone. (Lets them know it is not their fault).
- I am here to help you, and we will get this fixed in no time.
- I am so sorry for the inconvenience, and am happy to work this out with you.
Whether your customer is apologetic in nature, or frustrated, these will ease their anxiety, and help everyone involved move forward with more comfort and ease.
Go The Extra Mile
Whether you are in a hotel or restaurant, there are so many opportunities to go the extra mile for your customer. There are those customers who will take advantage of your "How is your day going?" because they just need someone to listen. Be that person. If a customer mentions a hobby, TV show, or movie you like, mention it and create a personal conversation. Laugh at their jokes and stories. On the other side, there will be those customers who might be inappropriate, rude or difficult. In those cases, never get upset. Try to handle each one with a smile and as much politeness as possible. Be stern and authoritative when necessary without acting angry or inconvenienced. Above all, be humble. Hospitality is all about serving the people who come into your business. If you have any questions about how else to better your guest's experience, contact us, and we will be happy to help.