A hotel is about the experience, not only the accommodation (when someone spends a minimum of roughly 200 usd/night, they pay for the experience – not just for somewhere to sleep. In the automotive industry, if your product costs more than 30,000 USD, people are not buying it for transportation – they buy it for the status, for the experience, and because they trust the brand. That’s why expectations from customers are high for premium brands, no matter what the industry is.
Hotels sell a service rather than a product you can touch. They sell their brand, and the brand represents a promise. If a guest has a bad experience, they feel the hotel has broken the promise. The reality is that no matter how well you plan, train, and follow the right process – things will go wrong and guests will complain.
Customer Service in the 5-Star hotel business
The hotel industry is dominated by customer service, and hotels live and die by the satisfaction of their guests. As customer demands grow, so does the complexity of delivering an experience they’ll be happy with.
It should be no surprise that customer experience is a defining characteristic of successful hotels. Customer experience is what the hospitality industry is all about.
5-Star hotel guests look for and demand the best, especially when it comes to choosing where they will sleep, vacation, and take their families. When looking for a vacation or business stay, guests look at what that property will offer them and how comfortable they will feel staying there. Hotels need to make a memorable impression for guests to first choose that property and then come back, time and time again.
Keeping up With Changing Customer Expectations
While some aspects of customer experience are timeless, customer expectations change over time. Brands need to keep up with changing customer desires and demands if they want to stay relevant in today’s highly competitive hospitality industry.
The Expensive Cost of Ignoring Customer Experience
Hotels that get stuck in the old way of designing customer experiences will likely get left behind. Many hotels assume that a clean and comfortable room will do. Instead, they need to think beyond the basics, get to know their customers better, and see what it will take to really wow them. It’s incredibly easy to lose a customer’s loyalty and business. It’s expensive and difficult to find new loyal customers.
Guest complaint management is for companies what bread is for restaurants: a detail that makes all the difference between an average establishment and a 5-star one. Your business can learn a lot from the hotel business and hospitality spirit: how well they put those teachings into practice will be key to their company’s future success.
Things will go wrong but 5-star hotels know that problems are opportunities to excel and build even more loyalty. That means hotels and all their management and staff are fully aware of the importance of providing a flexible customer service policy that puts the customer first. A nice slogan that promises the guests an exceptional service is not going to do it. It needs to be a genuine commitment backed up with actions and training. Taking care of customer complaints (feedback is a better description) is absolutely essential.
Most of your customers are familiar with 5-star treatment in hotels and have become accustomed to it. The result is that now customers expect and demand a similar level of customer service. You and your company need to be able to meet those expectations and ideally, go beyond. That requires your commitment.