Posts Tagged ‘Customer service’

Offer your hotel guests and restaurant customers a choice

Monday, February 6th, 2012

Give your guests choice. This does not mean having 100 items on your breakfast menu or 40 types of pillow – but do give them a choice you can cope with. Again listen to what your customers tell you.

  • In your restaurant, how often do people tell you they are too full for a dessert? Serving huge portions may be appealing to some, but others may be put off having a starter or dessert if they think the portion sizes are too big. Why not provide a taster version, for a slightly lower price, to ensure the sale? That way the waiting staff don’t need to make a judgement call or check with the kitchen if this can be done; it’s already in the system, and the kitchen don’t have to guess the portion size.
  • Can you offer a choice of rooms in terms of features or facilities? Even if the rooms are all a standard layout, can you offer people a choice of outlook, proximity to reception, in-room amenities etc?
  • How often do you get asked what time is check out? Can you be flexible to allow later check-outs (for an additional cost or as part of a promotional special) so guests have the opportunity to make the most of their last day before they head home?
  • Do your guests come to you to celebrate special occasions? If so do you have one room, which is very special in its own right, or where you can include extra services? What else can you add to your standard offer to make a deluxe version to sell at a premium price?

Become your own hotel inspector, or train your staff to become your personal team of hotel inspectors giving you valuable and objective feedback where ever and whenever you want http://www.zealcoaching.com/products-resources/the-customer-journey/

Listen to your guests and turn ‘no’ into ‘yes’

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

Have you ever stayed in a hotel or eaten in a restaurant where the staff and management have been so hell bent on the rules that it’s impossible to get what you want? I’m sure we all have. And will we ever go back there? I doubt it.

But allowing the attitude that anything goes can be damaging to your bottom line, especially if you are a small hotel. And it can be confusing for staff. So how do you strike the balance?

Over the next few days I’ll be exploring the options to show we are listening and responding to our guests needs and helping to build loyalty and trust.

Anticipate their needs

Start by identifying customers’ needs in advance. Identify your perfect customer and identify the things that will be important to each category of guest. Put yourself in their shoes or ask them directly what they want from their stay with you.

  • Are they business users who need a phone re charger, restaurant or theatre bookings make, access to a printer to print their boarding pass, a quick no frills breakfast before their meeting, or an express check out?
  • Do you cater for families, who may want equipment for infants and small children (and staff who look happy to see them!), child friendly menus, and something to entertain the kids?
  • Do you cater for a lot of celebrations when people may want birthday cakes, flowers, or gifts? If you know there is a likelihood something will be asked for, build this into your services as a norm, that way it can be planned for and staff can be get the right training to deal with the situation.

For more articles and resources

How to Reward Referrals

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

As an absolute minimum, ensure that you thank anyone who makes referrals to encourage them to continue to do so in future. Don’t wait to see if this actually leads to business, as what you are looking to reward is the referral process. The more referrals you have the greater the likelihood of gaining new guests.

Consider what other tangible incentives you might give that are of high value to the person making the referral, but don’t cost you the earth. Naturally you’ll want to ensure that the cost of the incentive does not outweigh the life time value of the referral.  But bear in mind what you give as a thank you may also be a way of adding to the life time value of the person making the referral too.

The nature of this incentive will obviously depend on where the referral came from.

For guests they might include such things as a gift, discount off their next meal, a room upgrade, an invitation to an exclusive event. Perhaps team up with one of your joint venture partners; this could be services or maybe branded products. A win–win–win for you, your joint venture partner and the customer.

For corporate users make the incentive something your guest can benefit from personally. It’s little incentive for them if it is something they’d normally put though business expenses. So can you offer something as a thank you which will encourage them to come back on a personal visit and maybe bring their family and friends too?

For suppliers, joint venture partners or other local businesses you may want to look at alternate ways to say thank you. This might be an opportunity to get in front of some of your other customers or guests through promotional activities or hosting joint special events. Talk to them directly to see how you can return the favour. Just by asking the question will in itself show you appreciate the referral.

Encourage your staff too to make referrals. Let them show they are proud of where they work. The reward obviously needs to reflect the value of the business; recommending your restaurant to a friend doesn’t warrant the same level of recognition as inviting a friend or relative for a wedding show round and subsequent wedding booking.

What might appeal to them may be dependent on the profile of your team. A cash bonus might work for some, but is soon forgotten whereas a couple of tickets for a show or concert, or a night in a sister hotel or meal with a JV partner will be far more memorable – and visible to other team members too to encourage the same from them.

Once you have a referral system in place, keep track of where and how you’re getting successful referrals. This will enable you to find out what works and what doesn’t, so you can continue to refine the process.

For more articles and resources http://www.zealcoaching.com/products-resources/