Just how Difficult Is It, To “Go The Extra Mile”?

“Going the extra mile” could very well be the difference between a guest choosing to stay at your property again, or taking their business elsewhere. Repeat business is crucial to many property’s success so it’s critical that once we bring a guest in, we don’t lose them. Our main focus as Hotelier’s should be remaining top of mind in our guests decision making process, regarding the hotels they choose to patronize. How can we guarantee that repeat business, when competition is paralleled by nearby properties? This is why we can’t overlook the importance of “going the extra mile”. As hoteliers we may not always have full control over our guests other deciding factors such as, branded amenities, pricing, and location. However, what everyone can hold themselves accountable for is “going the extra mile”!

It’s fair to say that most guests when deciding between two properties will be more inclined to stay at a property with exceptional service and bad location than at a property with prime location where they experienced less than satisfactory customer service. But how difficult is it to incorporate “going the extra mile” into your everyday life as a Hotelier?

A common misconception would be that ” going the extra mile” is costly, and time consuming, when in reality it could be as simple as a courtesy call up to a guest’s room after check in to ensure the guest is satisfied with their stateroom.

Here are a few ideas you can incorporate into your hotel’s everyday processes that may set you apart from your competitors:

Follow Up Calls:

If a guest places an In Room Dining order, requests their room be serviced by Housekeeping, or if they experienced a maintenance issue, they likely placed their request through the Front Desk. As a courtesy, calling the guest to ensure the appropriate departments followed up is a great act of goodwill and goes a long way in building a strong relationship with your guests.

Welcome & Welcome Back Letters Upon Arrival

Place hand written notes in your guest’s staterooms, this is a great way to add a personal touch and create a lasting memory for your guest.

Check-In Follow up Phone Call

After a guest checks into your hotel their are a number of things that can take place between the Front Desk and reaching their stateroom. Following up with your guests minimizes the opportunity for something to go wrong and them to either not voice it or for them to have to reach out to you. This is a simple and easy tactic to utilize and guests love it!

Special Amenities For Special Events

Guests often stay at hotels for special occasions. This creates a great opportunity for a hotel to make a lasting connection between their property and the guest. Take advantage of your properties amenities. Send a bottle of wine, or a handwritten note, thanking your guests for choosing your hotel to celebrate their special event. They surely won’t forget how it made them feel!

But it shouldn’t end there! On an individual basis there are a never ending amount of small gestures that can make a great impact on your guest’s experience. Get to know your guests, and never stop anticipating their needs. You can be the deciding factor in your guest’s decision making process regarding their next return to your hotel!

Promising Hôtelier Career In Your Future?

What makes someone the “perfect fit” for the hotel industry? What divides the “naturals” and the “leaders” from the “unfit”?

The Hotel Industry attracts a wide array of people. Some individuals choose hospitality for it’s career opportunity / advancement. Other individuals stumbled upon the industry by chance. There are also the individuals who chose the major in college to avoid strenuous math courses. Then lastly, there are the rare few who have a natural passion for the industry and all that it entails. Everything, including what can be, crazy and long hours and the nature of the ever-changing business that is hospitality.

But what does it take to be successful, and to advance in this competitive industry?

Let’s start by defining hospitality, what does it mean to truly be hospitable?

According to Google, it’s very simple: the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.

Is this as simple to execute in real life as Google makes it sound. Or does this require an innate ability? I had a professor once tell me our industry requires not a high IQ but an outstanding “EQ”. He was referencing our Emotional Intelligence. You see, there are no computer, or systematic skills that can’t be taught, however a persons Emotional Intelligence, well this a matter of natural ability.

The answer is simple, the key to being successful in the hotel business is something you have to feel. It must resonate deep within an individual. Not only that, but you have to be able to turn it on like clockwork, and never forget to treat the workplace like a stage. You are the main act and you should never stray from the characters purpose while you are on stage.

Being good at systematic processes isn’t enough, being eager to learn isn’t enough, and being flexible isn’t enough. Those are only pieces of a very large puzzle.

If you never miss a beat, not a single greeting when a guest passes by, If you take pride in your hotel as if it were your home and you were entertaining the most special person in your life, if you truly care about creating lasting guest experiences and wearing an unwavering smile in the face of anything that may go wrong. Well then maybe, just maybe you have what it takes!