hospitality marketing tips

Delivering 5-Star Hospitality: Three Simple Ways to Wow Your Patrons and Create Lasting Impressions

An earlier version of this article was published June 9th, 2015 and written by Harvey Edelman

In today’s experience economy, hospitality is everything. Whether you’re in the food & beverage sector, lodging, recreation, travel & tourism, or meetings & events, the guest experience stands as a cornerstone for your success. The level of hospitality extended by you and your team plays a pivotal role in shaping the narrative of your guests’ experiences. With the omnipresence of social media, where information travels at unprecedented speeds, both positive and negative reviews become influential factors in the life of your business. In this blog, discover three essential tools that will elevate your guests’ experiences, leaving a lasting and positive impression.

1. Make Your Guests Feel Valued

Today’s customers have more choices available to them than ever before. So, it’s no surprise that after just one bad experience with your establishment, most customers won’t be willing to return, opting to take their business elsewhere. What’s potentially even more damaging is that unhappy customers tend to be more vocal about their experience with friends, family, and colleagues than happy customers. While a satisfied customer might share their positive experience with five other people, a dissatisfied customer is likely to express their displeasure about your business to twenty or more. Central to this distinction is whether your guests feel genuinely valued or, conversely, disrespected and disregarded.

Therefore, it’s paramount to ensure that each guest interaction imparts a sense of warmth and appreciation.

Whether you work in a hotel, a restaurant, or other hospitality setting, always address guests/customers by their titles, using “Mr.” or “Mrs.” unless they suggest otherwise. Smile, maintain eye contact during conversations, and keep the dialogue light and personalized. Whenever appropriate, incorporate simple, yet engaging, questions or comments such as:

• How are you today?

• Do you have any exciting plans for the day/this evening?

• Please let me know if there is anything more I can do for you.

• I hope you enjoy your experience/time/visit with us!

Connecting with your customers on a personal level is invaluable. Finding ways to build a comfortable familiarity, such as light humor, can contribute to a more relaxed and enjoyable experience for your guests.

2. Respond to Their Problems With Patience and Understanding

Navigating customer service challenges can be a delicate process. Demonstrating patience and understanding when addressing problems is crucial. Regardless of whether the issue at hand aligns with your training or is an unforeseen circumstance, reassure your guest that you are committed to resolving the problem. Utilize comforting phrases like:

• No need to worry; we’ve experienced this before, and we have a solution.

• You’re not alone. I’m here to help you, and we will get this resolved as quickly as possible.

• I apologize for the inconvenience and am eager to resolve this for you.

These words convey empathy and a willingness to go above and beyond to ensure customer satisfaction.

3. Go The Extra Mile

In many hospitality settings, opportunities abound to exceed expectations. Some customers seek a listening ear and may share personal stories during casual interactions. Be that attentive listener. If a guest mentions a shared interest, be it a hobby, sports team, TV show, or movie, engage in a brief personal conversation. Laugh at their jokes and stories, fostering a connection.

Conversely, challenging situations may arise with customers exhibiting inappropriate behavior. In such cases, maintain composure, respond with firmness and authority, but always with respect. The key is to remain polite and humble — never forget that hospitality revolves around serving your patrons.

We hope you’ve found this blog helpful in creating positive, memorable moments for your patrons to keep your business thriving. To learn how to leverage the power of audio marketing to improve your guest/customer experience, feel free to contact us.

Key Takeaways: Impressing Your Customers with True Hospitality

  1. Recognize that your patrons have an abundance of options when choosing where to take their business. One bad experience could significantly risk losing a customer forever. Impressing your patrons with true hospitality is therefore essential to your success.
  1. Unhappy customers might not always express their dissatisfaction to you directly, instead choosing to share their negative experience later with friends/family as well as on social media.
  1. To make your guests feel valued, always employ common courtesy when interacting with them. Smile, maintain eye contact, be attentive. Ask engaging questions to build a personal connection.
  1. Navigate customer service challenges with delicacy and efficiency. Demonstrate patience and understanding when guests are experiencing issues. Use comforting phrases and convey empathy to reassure them matters will be resolved as quickly as possible.
  1. Seize opportunities to exceed customer expectations. Be an active listener and establish personal connections over shared interests with your patrons.
  1. When encountering a rude customer, maintain composure, respond with authority, but always with politeness and humility.

FAQs: Enhancing Guest Experiences in Hospitality

Q1: Why is guest experience crucial in the hospitality industry?

A1: Guest experience is pivotal in the hospitality industry as it directly influences the success and reputation of businesses. In the age of social media, positive experiences lead to favorable reviews, while negative ones can spread rapidly, impacting customer loyalty and future patronage.

Q2: How can I make guests feel valued in a hospitality setting?

A2: To make guests feel valued, address them by their titles, maintain eye contact, and use engaging questions. Building a personal connection through light humor and genuine interest contributes to a positive and memorable experience.

Q3: How should I handle customer service challenges effectively?

A3: When faced with challenges, respond with patience and understanding. Reassure guests that you are committed to resolving the issue, using comforting phrases like “We have a solution for this” or “I am here to help you.”

Q4: What steps can I take to exceed expectations in hospitality?

A4: Exceeding expectations in hospitality requires cultivating genuine connections that leave a lasting impression. This is accomplished through attentive listening when engaging with patrons, sparking meaningful conversations rooted in shared interests, remembering patron preferences, and anticipating their needs.

Q5: How can I provide true hospitality when a customer is being rude or disrespectful?

A5: When faced with a challenging customer, remain calm and composed. Avoid responding with rudeness. Instead, maintain a polite and professional demeanor throughout the interaction. Actively listen to the customer’s concerns, empathize with their feelings, and apologize for any inconvenience. Offer solutions or alternatives that demonstrate your commitment to resolving the issue. Remember your training and involve a manager or supervisor when appropriate for additional support.

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