The hospitality industry is constantly evolving. And now, in addition to meeting basic needs (a sense of security, clean linen, pleasant service), guests want to get a WOW effect and emotionally recharge.
“In the past, guests were surprised by gifts for birthdays, New Years and other holidays. Now they are waiting for a compliment, this is a kind of must have, and not a banal bottle of champagne and fruit, but something creative,” said Elena Tymchuk, Head of Guest Care at Ribas Hotels Group. According to her, guests have learned to pay attention to details, so even a nice postcard in the room or a wish for a good day written on the mirror can significantly increase their loyalty to the hotel. It is important to study and form a "portrait" of the guest of your hotel, to understand his needs, what is important to him and how to surprise him.
Who is a Customer Success Manager and why does a hotel need one?
In the field of hospitality in foreign markets, it is not uncommon to find such a position as a Customer Success Manager, or, in other words, a Customer Care Manager. The task of such a specialist is to collect all the information about the expectations of guests, their degree of satisfaction with the hotel services, a vision of what can be improved, and reach a key indicator of guest loyalty. Clients are happy to share their views, experiences and recommendations, so they actively write reviews on the Internet. The task of the Customer Success Manager is to systematize, structure and implement them. This position was also introduced in the Ribas Hotels chain.
Despite the fact that each hotel requires an individual approach, there are several basic needs that almost all guests want to cover in a hotel. Among them:
- Security. Recently, this issue in hotels has been in the first place among the requirements of guests. It is extremely important for them that the hotel complies with all sanitary standards during a pandemic.
- Speed. Guests strive for a quick and easy solution to problems, from loading the hotel website, booking, payment, to check-in (they don’t want to wait a few hours before the official check-in time, although the room is ready) and check-out (do not wait until the room is inspected to avoid theft or damage of property ).
- Service. The main factor determining how high the level of service in the hotel is the result of guest satisfaction from the work of the staff. With the right approach of hotel staff, guests are often ready to forgive the mistakes that somehow happen in the work of hotels. So, the staff should be sociable, courteous and informed, that is, in which case they could answer any question regarding the service.
“Unfortunately, at the moment, in many Ukrainian hotels, the staff is afraid of responsibility and delegates the guest's request from one another: from the maid to the administrator, from the latter to the manager. At the same time, the information is distorted, the time for solving the problem increases, the guest loses patience and loyalty,” Elena Tymchuk noted. To avoid such situations, it is necessary to motivate employees to perform their work efficiently and quickly.
The task of the quality control department is to check the hotel with various methods and identify weaknesses in the work of the staff. But here it is necessary to understand that mistakes happen, this is normal, and the main thing is not to punish, but to teach the employee, motivating him to improve.
“For example, we always meet the needs of employees who show initiative and want to learn. It is not necessary to have the professional skills at the interview stage, because if you have a desire, you can learn anything,” says Elena Tymchuk. As for the motivation system, in Ribas Hotels Group hotels it is very simple - gratitude from guests. If the guests have written a positive review and singled out a certain employee, the company offers him incentives and bonuses. Also, in the near future, it is planned to launch an online tipping system in the hotels of the chain, so that guests can financially thank and point out the employee who, in their opinion, is an example of “service” in the hotel.
It is worth noting that in every hotel and restaurant of the Ribas Hotels Group there are plates with QR codes for guest reviews that come directly to Andriy Marenchuk, Executive Director, as well as Artur Lupashko, CEO of Ribas Hotels Group. Feedback from guests at the time of their stay is especially important, as it helps to quickly deal with problems and react to comments in order to turn the negative into positive before they leave.
Managers also contact guests after they leave the hotel to learn about their experience, evaluate the place and display the NPS score. This helps to digitize data and generate statistics on the degree of guest loyalty.
“But the most interesting thing is the visits of the “mystery guests”, their preparation and drawing up a scenario of behavior. The main purpose of such checks is to provoke the staff and analyze their behavior in a stressful environment. However, here it is necessary to understand that we are not doing this for punishment, but only to teach the employee how to act and respond correctly to various situations,” Andrey Marenchuk said.
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