To succeed in business, it is said that you only need model from others’ successful business people that have already achieved similar goals as yours.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at “The DNA of a Successful Hotel” and what makes great hotels great – then, you may be able to model from successful operators and their business practices and priorities.
Firstly, it is important to understand that from a consumer’s perspective, their stay in your hotel or resort represents an experience to guests – which is so much more than just rooms with beds.
Guests have a number of criteria that they factor-in to their decision on how they rate your hotel. Let’s take a look at each of the criteria.
It often starts with a good location, however, in many cases this is beyond your control so if your location isn’t ideal you’ll need to highlight other areas of your business in your branding more prominently. In any case, there must be some advantages of your location. For example, if your hotel is not in the center of town, you could say “Large quiet rooms set in peaceful surroundings close to public transport and just 10 minutes to the city”.
First impressions are critical and the lobby and reception area are where your guests get a first taste of what your hotel is all about. It should be inviting, fresh and clean and there should be staff ready to greet anyone who walks through the doors as quickly as possible. Fresh flowers are always a nice touch.
The reception team are an integral part of creating a good experience and they must be warm and friendly and make the guest feel like they’re in their second home.
On the journey to the room the hallways and elevator must also been clean and fresh and it goes without saying that the guests bedroom must also be inviting, fresh and more importantly – clean.
The in-room facilities play a part as it can make the guests stay more comfortable and similarly having a good bar and restaurant in house is a nice touch as guests don’t always want to venture back outside after a long day.
When it comes to facilities, Wi-Fi is definitely something that you don’t want to skim on. In a Forrester study, 94% of guests say that WiFi is important when booking a hotel. Other facilities that guests love are great shower heads, gym facilities, great tea and coffee facilities and great toiletries.
Whilst there are a number of factors that contribute to a pleasant, welcoming environment that guests will want to come back to, it all boils down to one key factor; service.
During the guests’ stay it’s important to maintain exceptional service. The “meet and greet within two feet” rule is good to adopt as staff who come into close contact with a guest always acknowledge them and ensure that are made to feel important.
The turn-down service is also vital in maintaining high standards. This service should clean the entire room each day and not just turn down the bed and replace towels.
The service your staff offer guests is the most important factor, and if done well, can make guests so happy that they may overlook any negatively perceived aspects of your hotel. Acknowledging the guest and making them feel important by taking an interest in them is where the human connection occurs and it’s this connection that creates loyal customers.
This is where smaller boutique hotels trump larger groups, because they have fewer guests they spend more time with each guest and therefore have more of an opportunity to connect with them on a personal level.
So if you want to make some immediate changes that won’t cost a cent, then you may wish to focus on creating a culture of service designed to delight your guests – you can be sure your business will reap the rewards.