Creating Excellent Customer Experiences In The Hospitality Space

Written By Alla Levin
January 08, 2024

Creating Excellent Customer Experiences In The Hospitality Space

Whether you’re running a quality restaurant, one of the hottest nightlight spots in town, or even a hotel for guests of all stripes, running a hospitality business isn’t easy. You have to account for not just your ability to deliver the services you offer as expected, but to create an excellent customer experience simultaneously. Here, we will look at the wide range of elements that contribute to that, from the decor to the details of the team you have working for you.

The value of the customer experience

There are a lot of reasons to invest in creating as positive a customer experience as possible, beyond simply having pride in the business that you run. For one, it helps you build your reputation. Customers share positive stories of the restaurants, hotels, and hospitality businesses that exceed their expectations.

Creating that positive experience is likely to create repeat customers of some of your clientele as well, increasing their lifetime value as a customer. Given how competitive the hospitality business can be, as well, it’s important that your business has something to set itself apart from that competition. A focus on excellent customer service and support, creating as seamless an experience for them as possible, could be that differentiating factor.

Pave the road with digital technology

Nowadays, the hospitality business experience doesn’t begin when the customer steps foot through the front door of your establishment, or when you pick up the phone to them. Rather, it typically begins when they land on your website. Aside from making sure that you have a great site that offers easy access to all of the information they need with minimal filler, you should also consider using online booking technology to make it much easier for them to get the room or table they want as seamlessly as possible. Your customers can start curating the experience they want without as much need for direct assistance.

A great online experience might still need a little helpExcellent Customer Experiences In The Hospitality Space

A crucial part of a great customer experience, nowadays, is excellent and thorough customer support. We will go over how making good use of your team can ensure that you provide this in more detail, but sticking with the aspect of your business’s digital presence, first and foremost, even with a great site and easy online booking, you should expect to have customers who are going to have some trouble finding what they need. When that happens, being there to help can be of great benefit to your business. Using website chat widgets can enable you to connect a member of your team to customers who might need their help quickly and easily. More businesses are even using AI chatbots to answer the most basic queries for them.

The in-person impression is just as important, of course

When your customers arrive at your business in person, it’s vital to make a great first impression, as well. The property and decor may well have a part to play in that, as we will cover later, but investing in a feel of professional treatment upfront from your team is important. Establish the roles of your greeting staff, including a doorman and a receptionist, if necessary, including any housekeeping requests that your customer might need. You should aim to keep the check-in and welcome experience as seamless as possible, while still offering room for the customer to make known any requests or requirements they might have.

Establish a culture of customer service

You have to go beyond the simple formalization of processes that improve customer service. It’s not a checklist of boxes to tick to result in a pleased customer, it’s a sense of priority. You want to make sure that your business has a strong culture of customer service. This means making a part of how and why you hire the staff that you take on, choosing those with personalities that make them well-suited to working with other people. Furthermore, that lens of customer satisfaction should be applied to every decision that you make, when possible. Make it one of the key values of your business so that it’s easier to stay true to.

Give your staff the training that they need

Undeniably, providing a great customer experience is a team effort. In fact, it’s the encounters with your members of staff and the level of service they provide that many would argue is the biggest influence on whether your customers have a positive experience or not. Freeing your team up to offer that level of service takes effort on your part, and one aspect of that is ensuring that they get the training they need with the help of services like the American Course Academy. If your team is trained, competent, and confident in their skills, then not only are they able to deliver the level of service that your customers expect, but it’s not as likely to cause them as much stress, which typically makes customer interactions more satisfying for all parties.

Invest in that team, too

Training is all well and good, but it should be the be-all and end-all of how you prep your team to create better the kind of customer experience that you want. Just as much effort should go into seeing to the needs of your staff. Making sure that they have some flexibility in how and when they work, offering decent benefits, and welcoming their feedback and opinions on elements of the business can create a more satisfying workplace for them to be in. When people like the place that they work in, they’re more likely to put in extra effort, and to maintain a pleasant mood with customers, even if they have the occasional problem customer or two.

Ambiance and surroundingAmbiance and surrounding

It’s not just how they are treated and how they engage with your business that matters. Every facet of what the customer sees, hears and feels should be curated as best as possible to create the best experience for them. The easiest way to do this is in the decor and furniture of your business

You may well already have an aesthetic, theme, or mood that you would like your premises to be evocative of, but if you want the most benefit out of it, then you need to invest in making the client’s environment as immersive as possible. Investing in quality furniture and finding suppliers of decor that fit your aesthetic as best as possible, perhaps with the help of an interior design team, can do a lot to create a more comprehensive experience for the customer.

Utilize your location

For a lot of hospitality businesses, the premises themselves aren’t the only appealing part of their physical presence. The location that you set up in can be just as important. If you have a great location, you should be sure to use it. Not only should you include it in your marketing materials, showing your entrance amongst the photogenic surroundings where possible, but you should also play a role in helping your guests enjoy that location as best as possible. This can include having information about local attractions on your website, but you can also offer brochures and information in person. By helping to create a positive experience beyond the boundaries of your business gives the impression that not everything is about securing the sale.

Creating a positive emotional impact

You can’t expect your team to try to foster a connection with every customer as successfully as it might happen organically with some. As a business, however, you can make efforts to create a more personal impact on your customers. Usually, this involves going above and beyond, offering service that addresses more than just their basic needs. It can include, for instance, a welcome gift basket or a free bottle of something to drink if you have a customer celebrating a birthday or some other sort of special day. Another good idea is a thank you email with a voucher for a partnered business.

Welcome feedback

If you want to make sure that you’re providing the service and support that your customers need, then you should ensure that you get a good idea of what it is they’re actually looking for in a business like yours. Business owners can develop a kind of myopia, focusing on the wrong elements of excellence to the detriment of the core services that they’re supposed to be providing. Using feedback software like Canny, you can quickly gather impressions and opinions from your customers. This can allow you to see better where you might be dropping the ball and where your efforts to create that great customer experience pay off.

Almost every element of a hospitality business should be geared towards providing the best service, support, and experience that your customers can ask for. The more you invest in it, the higher the clientele you’ll likely attract over time.

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