Summer 2021 is just around the corner. With just a few weeks left to go, hotels around the world are expecting a summer like no other before. Be that as it may, this upcoming high season is difficult for anyone in the hospitality industry to prepare for.
As well as navigating around travel restrictions, many hoteliers are also dealing with less staff and fewer resources. In addition, guests’ need and priorities have evolved – there’s now a greater need for a vacation getaway.
So how can your hotel get ready for summer 2021? Here are 5 essential ways:
1 – Understand Your Guests’ Expectations
Put the guest experience at the core of your operations. As domestic travel is rebounding, ensure to adapt to this new type of guest. Have you ever wondered if guests have enough information to cope with uncertainty for example? A strategic approach would be to look at data and trends to analyze previous guest reviews and look at what your guests focused on, as well as adopting a customer-centric approach to what your new guests like and dislike.
2 – Automate Feedback and Issues
When guests are in-house, automation is key for a smooth and frictionless experience which in turn will build trust, loyalty, and a higher guest satisfaction. Make sure all requests are handled efficiently and sent to the relevant departments for quick handling.
During the in-stay phase, be sure to capture any issues guests might face. This is vital, as a problem that occurred during their stay can be easily fixed and may result in a positive review. Likewise, it will decrease the chances of the guest writing a negative review.
By ensuring a timely response and resolution to any guest issues, your hotel can prevent low scores on OTAs and earn an even higher guest satisfaction score. All in all, a strong online reputation is what makes your hotel stand out from the rest.
3 – Communicate at All Stages
Communication is key this summer, and don’t forget that the guest journey starts way before they leave their homes and does not end when they check out. It’s vital to be there for them at all stages:
- During the pre-stay phase – reach out to guests to inform them of all the safety protocols in place, and also so they can address any concerns they have.
- Check on guests in-stay with a quick survey – keep it short. You only need to ask them two things, how their stay is going so far and if they have any issues.
- Once they have checked out – see how their overall stay was and wish them a pleasant journey home.
Communication works both ways. Guests also need to reach out for support, simple questions or requests. Implementing a hotel chatbot for example will speed up response times and offer the correct information to your guests upon request. An AI-driven chatbot will in fact respond to your frequently asked questions immediately, meaning guest requests will never go unanswered again.
4– Collect Guest Feedback
As soon as your guests have checked out, it’s the perfect opportunity to gather feedback on their experience. Constantly collecting guest feedback will provide insights, which enables hotels to evaluate their strengths and weakness needed for operational changes.
In case your hotel requires more detailed insights, post-stay surveys are an excellent way of digging into each aspect of the guests’ stay and give you a wide range of data. Once you’ve gathered all the guest’s feedback, it’s time to act. Dig deep into what guests are saying and prioritize those improvements that are impacting the guest experience the most.
A remarkable guest experience will drive your guests to leave positive reviews and even lead them to become repeat guests.
5 – Be Flexible and Efficient
This summer hoteliers need to be efficient and flexible in order to be lasting:
- Efficient: Maximize the efforts of your team by automating simple and repetitive tasks and streamline your operations.
- Flexible: Prepare for any possible scenario and analyze guest reviews to understand your guests’ needs and make the right adaptions to improve your guest experience.
- Lasting: The exceptional service you deliver now, will have you reap rewards in the future: a better online reputation and increased guest loyalty for when business picks up again as usual.
Be proactive and reach out to your guests with an in-stay survey to check their experience before they leave. Managing guess reviews correctly will allow you to boost your online reputation as well as attract future bookings.
What Happens Offline, Doesn’t Stay Offline
Remember that what happens offline, whether it be positive or negative, remains visible for others to read. As you can see in the example above, a real-life review written by a guest, who expressed their gratitude by thanking the whole team for making them feel at home, as well as including other positive mentions, such as positive feedback for Covid-19 protocols.
Guest feedback is golden for your hotel to continuously improve and adapt to the evolving circumstances in the hospitality industry. Don’t forget to respond also to guest reviews. In turn, your hotel can create better guest relations and boost loyalty. And as guest reviews are public and so are their answers, it’s a great opportunity for you to showcase your amazing customer service to future bookers, which will encourage them to book at your hotel.
We at ReviewPro are here to support you across the entire guest journey. Whether that is during the pre-stay phase to help you understand your new guests through Online Reputation Management and by offering automated guests communication with Guest Experience Automation™. Or during the in-stay phase to follow up on your guests with in-stay surveys, guest messaging and Automated Case Management or once you guest have left, to collect and analyze guest feedback through online reputation and Guest Satisfaction Surveys.