The hospitality industry is getting increasingly competitive because hotel guests demand flawless experiences all the way from their check-ins to check-outs. Tourists are more likely than ever to change brands if they feel like someone else can raise the bar and offer even slightly better customer service.
In such circumstances, the importance of first impressions becomes vital. A report reveals that the average client will form a solid impression of you and your business within the first seven seconds of establishing the contact.
Perhaps it sounds surreal, but that’s just how things work in modern business. You have to impress guests from the moment they arrive at the hotel, which is exactly why it’s crucial to skyrocket your guest reception.
But how exactly can you do it? Hotel managers use all sorts of tricks and hacks to improve guest reception, but we selected three strategies that proved to generate the best results for almost every hotel chain out there. Let’s take a look!
Facts and stats that shine the light on guest reception
If you want to learn how to improve guest reception, the first task is to understand the current state of affairs in this field. This is why we decided to show you some of the fundamental hotel industry stats before we delve deeper into the subject. Here’s what reports say about customer experiences:
- – 66% of hotel guests who say they would go out of their way to stay at a desired hotel brand claim they would do so because of a positive experience with the hotel.
- – Almost 70% of hotel guests expect their hosts to give them the opportunity to drive their experiences the way they want.
- – Nearly 60% of travelers aged 55 and older don’t mind when hotels use their personal information to offer them relevant deals, discounts, and loyalty points.
Other studies reveal pretty much the same trends in the hospitality industry, so the key question you should ask yourself is: What can I do to provide a higher level of guest reception in my hotel?
Many factors influence the overall experience of a hotel guest, but the reception is definitely one of the most important parameters. Here are three simple ways to maximize the satisfaction rates at the reception.
1. Use trendy design solutions to make the reception more appealing
We already talked about the importance of first impressions, but you ought to know that the overall appearance of the reception will have the biggest impact on how your guests perceive the hotel. This is exactly why we suggest using trendy interior design solutions to make the reception more appealing.
Jake Gardner, a graphic designer at the online paper writing service, says it’s necessary to analyze the target audience and think about the average client before making any moves: “That way, you can come up with adequate design concepts that perfectly fit the style of your typical guest.”
Reception design alternatives obviously give you the chance to express professional creativity, but we can also help you by pointing out some of the major trends in this area. Let’s take a look:
- – Minimalism: A common trend in modern hotels is to keep things minimal and create a non-intrusive reception desk.
- – Futurism: If you are hosting younger audiences frequently, perhaps you could opt for a futuristic design with impressive visual components.
- – Traditionalism: In case your audience consists of families and older individuals, you might as well stick to traditional styles with lots of furniture and enough room for children to play around the reception desk.
2. Impress visitors with cutting-edge technologies
We live in a digital world and you should expect the guests to ask for the state of the art tools and systems from you. It’s a feature that makes a staggering impact on overall customer satisfaction rates.
Surveys show that the top three technologies influencing visitors’ decision on where to stay are free Wi-Fi (84%), the ease of online booking process (61%), and being able to clearly view photos or videos of the property (59%). However, this is only the tip of the iceberg as your reception needs to operate other, more advanced customer service platforms.
What are we talking about? We are talking about three types of intelligence platforms in particular:
- – Central reservation systems are built for hotels willing to administer reservations more accurately. With this tool at your disposal, you can quickly obtain information about every guest individually and get acquainted with their demands or requests.
- – Customer relationship management platforms allow you to analyze guests in real-time and figure out their needs almost instantly. That way, you can behave proactively and even cross-sell different offers effortlessly.
- – Service optimization tools enable ultra-precise data analytics, so you can learn from users’ experiences and improve guest reception in the long run.
3. Provide guests with multichannel communication abilities
Today’s travelers expect companies to provide them with multiple communication channels. The trend is not strictly related to the hospitality industry. On the contrary, PWC found that the number of companies investing in the omnichannel experience has jumped from 20% to more than 80%.
What can you do about it?
The goal is to give guests a variety of ways to communicate with the reception. Instead of going there physically and talking to the receptionist in person, your guests should also enjoy the privilege of remote communication.
For example, a growing percentage of guests want to be able to contact hotel staff with their smartphones. This opens up a brand new communication potential because you can introduce alternative means of interaction such as voice-based messages, live chat, chatbots, social media messengers, and many more. Therefore, you need to be proactive and make use of all the available communication platforms.
The bottom line
How does your average guest feel when he/she sees the reception desk for the first time? Are they thrilled or simply unimpressed? If you don’t know the answer to these questions, you better start thinking about improving your guest reception as soon as possible.