If you run a hotel, you know that your business relies on the satisfaction of your guests. In other words, you need to focus on providing stellar customer service.
As entrepreneur Tony Hsieh realized, the key to any company’s success is through customer service.
So what are the best customer service strategies for hotels? Or rather, what are the 2020 customer service trends?
How do we handle customer service in hotels during the unusual year that is 2020?
We’ve put together this detailed guide to show you what these trends are.
The 2020 Customer Service Trends Guide
2020 has indeed been a challenging year for many businesses. Hotels have been particularly badly hit due to the suspension of travel in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
So what do you need to do to get your hotel back on track?
1. COVID-19 Guidelines
You want to make sure that your hotel is adhering to the COVID-19 guidelines of your jurisdiction. You want to prominently display in your hotel (and on your hotel’s website) that these guidelines are being followed. This reassures your hotel guests who will likely be stressed during this trying time.
You want to also ensure your guests that you are following social distancing guidelines. You should consider this lobby management system to help you with it.
2. Allow Digital Customer Support
You also need to look into offering digital customer support to your hotel guests. You want to offer as much customer support as possible and with the social distancing and self-isolation, you will see an increased demand for digital customer support.
You should offer a live chat option on your hotel’s website. You should also be able to offer an option for hotel guests to speak to room service via a VoIP service such as Skype or Zoom. Due to the worry surrounding COVID-19, many guests may not wish to grab the hotel room phone – touching as little as possible.
You also need to boost up your email support efforts. Hotel guests should be able to ask questions via email and expect prompt responses from you.
3. Personalize Your Customer Support
Customer service in 2020 has to be personalized. Your customer needs to feel that they are special. Anyone who works in hotel management already knows that the hotel guest needs to feel at home in the hotel. This has to be expressed through the customer service efforts.
You have to also use social media to personalize your customer support. For example, if you have a new follower on social media you can send them a welcome message.
When you address customers, you should attempt to speak to them directly. You want “Dear John” or “Dear Mr. Smith” as opposed to “Dear Customer.” You may be tempted to automate your customer service operations. While this may speed up the operations, it also removes the personalization.
You should invest in a customer support team that is able to work around the clock to help your customers. They should be able to communicate effectively with your hotel guests — ensuring that they feel comfortable and assured of the hotel experience.
4. But, There Is a Place for Automation
While automation can remove the personalization of your customer support efforts, there are times when you should consider automation.
For example, you may wish to send a welcome email message and/or text message after your hotel guests check-in. Perhaps you should arrange it so that the message is sent 5 minutes after they complete the check-in process — so that they’ll receive it when they enter their room.
You can also consider using chatbots to expedite resolving an issue. Your chatbot might be able to resolve an issue automatically or assess the issue before passing on the information to a customer support agent.
5. Work Around the Clock
As we hinted previously, you want a customer service team that can work at any time to serve your hotel guests. The idea of “after hours” is a thing of the past. If you want your hotel to be competitive, it needs to stand out.
In today’s world, there’s no such thing as “after hours.” Your customers may need your help at any time – even during times that may traditionally be considered atypical or even “inconvenient.”
While you may not always succeed in finding willing customer service agents who can work around the clock, you can offer support remotely. You can inform your hotel guests that there is an “after-hours” period where they can seek customer support remotely. This is when you can have your customer support staff work remotely as customer support agents — whether communicating through live chat programs, VoIP programs, or through email.
You may also have to hire international remote workers who can work in different time zones. When you have customer support around the clock, you will notice a huge difference in satisfaction from your hotel guests.
6. Give Importance to Customer Feedback
It’s no secret that the hotel industry has really taken a sharp beating during the COVID-19 pandemic.
First, you need to always ask your customers for their feedback. This can include casual drop-ins asking if they are happy with the hotel experience. You can also send surveys to your hotel guests where you can ask them for their feedback. Some feedback surveys can be sent during the guest’s stay and another can be sent after they check-out to evaluate their entire experience.
This feedback needs to be taken seriously. You need to follow-up with the hotel guests and ask them how you can improve if their feedback was critical. You should also always thank them for their stay and for providing their feedback.
Customer feedback is what helps you improve your hotel. In 2020, hotels will really be tested to see how they have handled one of the most difficult times in human history. Take your customer feedback seriously.
The Customer Is Always Right
Now that you know the 2020 customer service trends that are best for your hotel, you will now be able to prepare your hotel to thrive for the remainder of the year. Follow these steps and you’ll notice a tremendous change in customer satisfaction.
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