These small details are also what drive consumers to the web. Earlier this month, Daniel Edward Craig discussed a direct correlation between customer ratings on TripAdvisor and hospitality—and a recent study backed up his claim. Positive reviews affect online booking rates, corporate rates and group rates.
Additionally, evidence shows roughly 50 percent of guests will select a hotel based directly off of online reviews. That isn’t to say a 1 percent increase in a hotels reputation based off online reviews will boost all hotels revenues equally. Instead, more cost-efficient hotel options seem to be impacted the most, possibly due to the confidence good reviews can instill in the consumer.
Unfortunately, a bad rating, whether deserved or not can have a similar impact on a hotel in a negative way. Although bad reviews aren’t always earned, the old adage, ‘the customer is always right’ negates any ground business owners may try to stand on when arguing against negative reviews.
Instead of combating bad PR with arguments or complaints of injustice, instead take into consideration comments being made about competitors in the same industry. Launch a proactive assault against potential complaints and boost ratings by circumventing issues before they come to light.
In the hotel industry two of the biggest complaints concern hospitality and comfort—arguable the two most important aspects of the industry. Before bad rating plague your business, consider this, what value are you offering your customers in terms of comfort and hospitality and are they lacking?
Comfort and Quality of Linens
A rude employee or uncomfortable bedding can make all the difference to the customer. Strict training guidelines and employee reviews can boost hospitality ratings and consideration to linen services can be essential to overall success.
Many hotels insource linen supply and maintenance and while this may be a solid practice for some hotels, for others it can be their downfall.
Hotel linens ranging from napkins to bed sheets and fitness center towels are carefully scrutinized by the consumer and the quality is important to guests. The devil is in the details. Loose threads on bed sheets, harsh fabrics, lack of quality in gym towels—or overall lack of towels can be a make or break factor to guests.
The quality of care for all hotel linens is also essential. In-house maintenance falls flat when employees aren’t provided with adequate tools and supplies to appropriately treat linens for bacteria and fungus or when cleaning equipment falls into disrepair or simply becomes too outdated to adequately treat linens.
An additional consideration when treating your hotel linens and perhaps one of great concern to owners is cost. Interestingly enough, businesses that outsource tend to have a higher quality, larger availability of supply and save more money.
Arguable, as important as comfort is hospitality. Beautiful views, exquisite furnishings and luxurious linens will mean absolutely nothing to a customer who is mistreated by staff. The true key for building a sustainable brand is executing an exceptional level of customer satisfaction.
Even hotels with smaller budgets who have limited staffing options due to wage and skill limitations can fill gaps left by these restrictions with training programs. Reduce employee turnover by holding staff to a written code of conduct—and don’t exclude members of your management staff.
The front desk manager can be the cornerstone of your business and your ultimate success or downfall. For all intents and purposes this individual is the face of your brand as far as guests are concerned. Especially if the manager is responsible for new hires, this individual can cost your business up to $30,000 on a bad hiring decision—based on recruiting costs, training time and loss in productivity.
For better or worse, hotel success is dependent on staff making a good impression on guests and with greater numbers of people turning to the internet to voice their satisfaction or complaints success in the comfort and hospitality categories are more important than ever. Keep in mind, however, a bad complaint will not ruin your business if you don’t let it. Use negative feedback as a tool to improve and always consider the value of the services you are offering to your guests.
Jillian Schumaker is a freelance business writer and blogger currently working with Linen Service. With a background in hospitality in design Jillian enjoys writing about the intricacies involved in fostering good customer relations and advising business owners how to improve hospitalities and establish a solid brand.
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