Hospitality is one of those lines of work that everyone thinks they would be good at, but the reality tends to be quite different from that in most cases. While it’s true that it doesn’t take that much effort to set up a small hotel or something along those lines and keep it staffed, keeping the lights on for more than a few months can become a huge issue if you’re not prepared for the typical problems that you have to deal with in this business.
Building Lasting Impressions
In many cases, guests will be coming to your place with the intention to make this a lasting relationship if it works out. It’s not that easy to find quality accommodation or hotels in many places, especially on short notice, and making it clear to your guests that they can trust you for a good time is a very important point. Otherwise, even if you do get the occasional person to stay for a night or two, they would never come back – and neither would any of their friends or family.
Word of Mouth Matters – a Lot
Which brings us to another important point that underlines the critical nature of customer service in this line of work – word about the quality of your services is going to spread fast once you’ve opened your doors, and it doesn’t matter if the word is good or bad. People love to talk about their experiences, and if you’ve given someone a reason to badmouth you, this can easily cost you your entire business if they are connected with the right people.
Make sure that you address issues in a timely manner, and always give guests the benefit of the doubt even if it seems like you’re in the right. Swallowing your pride every once in a while can be very worthwhile if it keeps people coming back.
You’ll Know What Needs to Be Improved
Proper customer service is not just about keeping guests happy either – although that is of course its primary purpose – it’s also a great research tool. Servicing everyone properly and paying attention to the feedback you’re getting can lead you to some invaluable discoveries in the course of your work, including things that you would probably not think about yourself.
Sometimes, it’s difficult to maintain an objective overview of your entire business, especially as it starts to grow and expand in new directions. You’ll want to be sure that you’re always seeing the full picture, and the reports you receive from your customer service performance can really seal that deal.
The Internet Makes Everything Open and Clear
Last but not least, don’t forget that the Internet puts everything out in the open these days. You can fully expect that any feedback people have towards your business is going to spread very fast once the initial word is out, and if that feedback wasn’t good, you’re in for a world of trouble. All it takes is one disgruntled forum user to make a post about their experience with your place, and you will probably have to close your doors soon afterwards.
The hospitality business keeps evolving, sometimes in strange new directions that few people probably saw coming. Above all, it’s important to stay on top of your customer service game and ensure that you are always doing your best to service everyone that comes your way. And when you fail to live up to those standards, you should know exactly where things went wrong and what was expected of you. That’s the only way to improve your business over time and ensure that you’ll continue to grow.
About Ruth Hoffman
Queen of Strategy And Sales Conversions: Helping Coaches & Professionals Transform Themselves Into A "Category of One". CEO of ruthhoffmann.com