Do Hotel Guests Really Appreciate Our Efforts?
We all have days when we find ourselves questioning “Do guests really appreciate our efforts?” It may be a day where you’ve been ‘slammed’ from every direction.
Or a day where it has felt that all you have done is handle complaints or unhappy guests.
It can even be a day when you have performed at your absolute best. You have ‘pulled out all the stops’. You have gone ‘above and beyond’. And the guest didn’t say thank you, or even appear to notice your exceptional service or efforts.
Service is just a short and small word, but the impact is huge. Whether it is bad service or exceptional service.
I have visited, and worked for, many different hotels all over the world. I have been brought in to failing hotels, to help turn them around.
It became second nature to observe the guests, the staff and their operations. I would watch how the staff moved around, their facial expressions, their skills. I would observe how the guests behaved and whether they looked satisfied.
And the thing I have observed is that service can make or break a hotel. And, for you as an employee, service is something you can distinguish yourself with.
How Do I Distinguish Myself?
Well, I would suggest that instead of asking yourself
“Do guests really appreciate our efforts?”
You should instead ask:
‘Do my service efforts work?’
To find the answer to that you will need to observe the reactions to, or results of, your service. Or even talk to the guests to find out. The key issue is whether what you do is appreciated by the guest.
This has two aspects:
The practical side = The service skills you have learned + your attitude + your experience in guest and hotel relations
The non-visible side = Whether you connect with your guests.
Take a moment to pause and observe. Just as I did in the hotels I was brought in to help.
Making Improvements to ‘Perfect’ Systems
Are there any improvements that can be made. These can be improvements in your hotel processes, services and standards. Or they can be improvements in your skills and attitude.
It is important to consider this regularly.
Especially right now! The COVID pandemic has brought with it a lot of changes. Especially for hotels and restaurants.
Now hotels and hoteliers must manage guest expectations against the New Normal protocols, processes and standards, which Health and Safety requirements have brought in to play.
You have to make a point of difference, despite these. And at a time when the expectations and needs of your guests may not have caught up. (See Hugot Hoteliers Open Letter to Pandemic Hotel Guests)
But how Do I Get Guests To Appreciate My Service?
You can apply:
Your Skills. Skills are just one aspect behind guests appreciation. But it is certainly part of the overall service and ambiance, which a guest experiences.
Your Knowledge. You have spent years at college or university, followed by years of training and experience as a hotelier.
You know what you should do. And you know when you have provided a less than great service. Even if, at the time, you had to be told why, by your Supervisor or Team Leader.
You have learned the signs of a guest who is unhappy with your service. As well as the signs of a guest who is very happy with your service. Apply this knowledge … Every day!
Your Passion. Passion gives you the inner drive to make a difference. Focus your passion on providing the best service. Always aim for perfection, to avoid ‘errors’. Even if the guest is giving you ‘a hard time’. Especially if a guest is giving you a hard time!
Obvious signs that guests appreciate our service efforts:
- A welcome smile whenever they see you
- The guest remembers your name
- A nod of thanks
- Obviously a ‘Thank You”
- A tip or gift
- The guests asks for you, specifically, when they need something or have a request
Less obvious signs that guests appreciate our service efforts:
- The guest doesn’t ask you to do anything (because you have already done it!)
- The guest is relaxed and happy throughout their stay
- The guest asks you about yourself, where you trained, where you have worked before etc.
- The guest doesn’t even notice you (Yes! That can be a good thing).
One of the effects that your effort and good service has, is leaving a positive experience with the guest. Even if their stay was less than perfect. Even if a few things didn’t run quite so smoothly. Your service efforts can be the little twist that made all the difference to their hotel experience.
Remember: Exceptional Service Effort should be embedded in an unobtrusively, comfortable and serviceable environment. Because, once there is only the slightest flaw in your service, a guest will notice.