Complaints during high season are far from inevitable, but preventing them requires planning well in advance, anticipating needs, and being highly responsive to guest feedback.
To ensure that your hotel’s standards don’t fall during high season, follow this checklist:
1. Leverage Technology
Technology can play a pivotal role in creating efficiencies and enhancing guest service. This may include:
- Ensuring that your website is user-friendly, fast, and effective by integrating adding a web chat and chatbot seamlessly integrated with your booking engine, so you can easily route guests asking for information into a reservation, while also offering them timely support 24/7.
- Pre-stay communication: send out pre-stay communication via email, SMS, or WhatsApp to set the right expectations, and to help them plan their stay in advance.
- Offering online check-in and checkout options to reduce traffic at the front desk. This process can be further integrated with a digital key and payment solution so their full journey can be driven from their phone.
- Increase your on-site touch points by introducing a multichannel guest messaging service to reduce phone calls and lines.
- Use a case management system to automatically alert staff when a request or complaint is made to follow-up quickly and professionally.
- Using in-stay surveys to solicit guest feedback on property and fix problems before guests check out.
2. Review Management
Keeping up with reviews is especially important during high season because more guests are shopping for hotels. And yet many hotels fall behind due to the high volume of reviews posted. Make time to monitor reviews comments closely and strive to maintain at least two responses to your 10 most recent reviews. That is all most travelers read before booking a hotel.
3. Setting the Right Expectations
Meeting guest expectations is critical during high season. The first step here is to set the right expectations: make sure you are not promising any services you can’t deliver. So, have your OTA profile updated, have marketing and operations align on what services can be promoted, or send out a message prior to arrival to notify guests service limitations.
4. Empower Your Staff
A top priority this high season is to ensure you take care of your staff. During busy times, ensure that managers are on the floor supporting and motivating staff, handling guest issues, and showing leadership. Empower your staff to provide efficient service while at the same time providing the special attention and personalization leisure travelers expect, by leveraging automation tools and technology.
When it comes to employees, here are a few suggestions for keeping morale high and motivating them to go the extra mile during the busy season:
- Offer incentives and/or bonuses for achieving performance goals.
- Hold staff gatherings to let off steam and have some fun.
- Hold monthly or weekly prize draws for staff who are mentioned in positive reviews and surveys.
- Recognize employees for their hard work—in person, in writing, and in front of their peers.
- Show leadership and pride. Ensure that managers maintain a positive attitude at all times and inspire employees to be excited, not daunted, by the challenges of a busy day.
5. Take Care of Your Guests
When it comes to guests, often it’s the little details and the special care of the staff that compels travelers to write glowing reviews. As you might find it difficult to ramp up staff to provide that extra attention and personalized service that gets guests raving about the hotel, try to leverage technology to help you go that extra mile.
Enhance the guest experience with thoughtful proactive communication to anticipate their needs when they are preparing their stay and offer options for them to customize their stay.
Liberate your front desk staff by automating the response to FAQs with a hotel chatbot, so your guests can receive the answers they need without adding to the stress and workload of your team. Easily redirect them to your messaging service via QR codes and a unique landing page.