Are You Needlessly Killing Your Repeat Business?

Service, please. Closeup of a businessman hand ringing silver service bell on hotel reception desk

In the hotel business you have three moments to create a positive service experience for your customer. When the customer enters your hotel, during their stay, and when they are leaving. Let’s examine some recent negative experiences of mine and consider what could be done differently.

  1. The Hilton shuttle has standing room only on the way in from LAX, and when we arrive at the hotel the lobby is full of people attending. It looks like you’re in the middle of a large conference. To greet the approximately 30 arriving guests are only two check-in people. This created palpable frustration for the guests in line.

Solution: Have the driver call ahead to alert the front desk staff of the high number of guests arriving and his ETA.

  1. I call to find out about the hotel shuttle and I am told that it arrives every 20-30 minutes…on no set schedule. What does that mean and how is that helpful?  Getting to the airport on time to catch flights is a major stressor for many guests, By not having a schedule you are adding to that stress and creating a negative experience of your hotel when guests leave. Will that cause them to want to come back?

Solution: Every other hotel has a schedule that they stick too. Why can’t this one? It should be a simple implementation that can drastically improve customer service.

  1. At a Hyatt, I call down and ask how to get to the executive club from my room. The response is “I have no idea.”

Solution: If your hotel has a helpline, make sure the person who answers the phone can help, or can direct you to someone who can. Train them in the right way to offer assistance even when they don’t know the answer.

  1. The hotel shuttle line up is 50+ people at 5 am. In fact, all week at this airport hotel I’ve noticed that the line is long. Day and night, people are left waiting on the curb because there is more demand than space. Guests that can’t get on the shuttle after waiting 30 minutes in line are leaving your hotel as unhappy guests. Do you want their last experience with you to be a poor one?

Solution: Why not either take reservations or add another shuttle? Guests who are frustrated when they leave your hotel are not likely to return (I know I won’t!)

All but one of these solutions are free. All will yield tremendous ROI by ensuring that guests become repeat guests.

In this market, can you afford to send your guests to the competition? These two hotels apparently can.