Secrets to Hotel Guest Service: 10 Ways to Amaze Guests (Backed by Science)

A successful hotel requires satisfied guests. Satisfied guests require great guest service. The first step to excellent guest service lies in understanding your guest’s perceptions and eliminating hurdles obstructing their smooth experience. Indeed, improving customer experience was the top objective for a whopping 75% of companies.

Today, we’ll look at the importance of good hotel service, how guest satisfaction impacts your hotel’s reputation, and how to improve your guest service. 

The Importance of Good Guest Service for Hotels

Let’s face it; one unfortunate encounter with subpar customer service can convince 33% of Americans to switch brands. While the ingredients for top-notch customer service can vary across sectors, a few universal elements define every great service provider.

Five must-have qualities for effective guest service managers include a guest-focused mindset, strong communication abilities, empathy, skilled priority management, and inspiring leadership. Let’s look at these qualities in detail:

  • A guest-first approach: When hotels put guests first, it creates a ripple effect that transforms the entire team into architects of extraordinary experiences.
  • Strong communication skills: Guest service managers who communicate effectively with teams, superiors, and guests weave magic with their words.
  • Empathy for your guests: Understanding and empathizing with guests and team members are vital steps toward problem resolution.
  • Priority wrangling: The art of juggling proactive strategies and reactive problem-solving signifies a well-managed team.
  • Inspirational leadership: Exceptional hotel managers are motivators who foster a proactive, guest-centric culture within their teams.

Impact of Guest Satisfaction on Hotel Reviews

Online reviews play a significant role in the hospitality industry. Tripadvisor data shows that 81% of travelers read reviews before deciding where to stay. What’s more, 78% pay attention to the most recent reviews. Notably, 87% of people leave reviews to help others by sharing their positive experiences.

The implication is clear: addressing travelers’ needs and expectations is key for businesses in the hotel industry. Happy guests enhance a hotel’s reputation and increase revenue through word-of-mouth referrals and return visits. For instance, a guest delighted by the prompt and personalized service might leave a glowing review and later return for another stay.

TrustYou, a guest feedback platform, analyzed 128 million guest reviews to understand which factors most influence hotel performance. They found that Service, Hotel (overall experience), and Location positively impacted performance. On the other hand, issues with Price, WiFi, and Room conditions had a negative impact. For example, a guest might have loved a hotel’s service and location but was disappointed with the high price or poor WiFi. Such a review might deter future potential guests.

Subcategories that stood out included friendliness of service, effective management, boutique hotels’ rising popularity, top attractions and excursions’ importance for positive reviews, reliable WiFi’s necessity, and cleanliness’ significance. For instance, guests appreciated boutique hotels’ unique experiences and personalized service.

Furthermore, TrustYou’s analysis highlighted regional differences. For instance, service was paramount in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), cleanliness was highly valued in Asia Pacific (APAC), and food and location were important in the US hospitality industry.

10 Best Practices for Hotel Guest Services

If you want to exceed guests’ expectations and garner positive reviews, consider the following best practices for stellar guest services:

1. Know Your Guests

Comprehensive knowledge about guests is key in the hospitality sector. However, getting to know guests can be challenging in an industry marked by transient relationships and fast-paced transactions. How then, can we bridge the gap between superficial interactions and deep understanding?

What Does Science Tell Us?

The ‘”CX Trends 2022” report by Zendesk highlighted an alarming statistic: a whopping 61% of customers will not hesitate to switch brands after just one unsatisfactory encounter.

What Can We Do About It?

Embrace the human touch. Hospitality professionals need to leverage their most significant asset: genuine human interaction.

Engage with guests beyond the mere exchange of services. A simple question about their day, their home country, or their plans during their stay can make a significant difference.

For instance, the Four Seasons Hotel emphasizes personalized service, training its staff to recognize regular guests and remember their preferences.

2. Offer Early Check-In Option

Travel can be exhausting, and there’s nothing worse than waiting around with luggage for a hotel room to be ready. But can we eliminate this problem?

What Does Science Tell Us?

A survey by Opinion Research Corporation (ORC) found that an astounding 76% of guests found early check-in to significantly reduce potential frustration. The waiting time, particularly after a long journey, can be a significant pain point for guests.

What Can We Do About It?

By offering early check-in options, hotels can cater to guests who have early flights, meetings or want to unwind before starting their day. For example, the Hilton chain of hotels offers digital check-in up to 24 hours in advance, ensuring guests can head straight to their rooms upon arrival.

3. Make Sure Wi-Fi is Fast and Free

In our hyper-connected world, a fast, reliable Wi-Fi connection is now considered a necessity rather than a luxury. But just how important is it to offer high-speed, free Wi-Fi to guests?

What Does Science Tell Us?

Hotel Internet Services surveyed hoteliers and found that 98% considered providing high-speed Wi-Fi to guests a top priority. Moreover, a survey by revealed that Wi-Fi is the most sought-after amenity by hotel guests, with 34% stating they look for this feature when booking.

What Can We Do About It?

Hotels need to ensure their guests can stay connected at all times. From checking emails to streaming movies or attending virtual meetings, strong Wi-Fi is critical. For example, the Marriott group of hotels offers high-speed internet to its guests, and this feature is often mentioned positively in their online reviews.

4. Solve Problems Interdepartmentally

The hospitality industry faces a constant challenge: a high employee turnover rate. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data points to a nearly 74% rate. This situation leads to considerable costs, including recruitment expenses, inefficiency, and understaffing. Moreover, it tends to disrupt the guest experience, which should be smooth and enjoyable.

What Does Science Tell Us?

New findings have shown that when employees share their knowledge, it fosters a creative, innovative, and productive work environment. A positive atmosphere is not just beneficial for individuals or teams but for the whole organization.

What Can We Do About It?

The solution can be found in technology. Using modern tools like HelloShift can make a big difference. It helps streamline various tasks – from housekeeping to guest communication.

Despite its advanced features, it’s surprisingly affordable – costing less than a cup of coffee per room. Such tools facilitate real-time communication, enabling staff to resolve issues promptly and enhance guests’ experience.

5. Address Guest Input Quickly 

In guest service, speed matters. The quicker the response, the fewer the complaints. Any delay in addressing guest concerns can tarnish the reputation of the hotel.

What Does Science Tell Us?

A study conducted by Shep Hyken in 2020 underlines this fact. It found that 6 out of 10 customers are willing to pay more for prompt service and convenience. Whether it’s a simple request for an extra pillow or responding to a review on TripAdvisor, speed makes a difference in guest satisfaction levels.

What Can We Do About It?

Ensuring rapid responses to guests’ requests or complaints is crucial. The data shows that 90% of consumers consider immediate responses to customer service queries as “important or very important.” In the hospitality industry, listening to the guests and addressing their concerns promptly can turn a good hotel stay into a great one.

6. Reward Loyal Guests

Repeat guests are a boon for hotels, often serving as a reliable source of recurring revenue. The challenge lies in ensuring these loyal guests choose your hotel over others.

What Does Science Tell Us?

A study by eMarketing Associates found that nearly 70% of guests are unlikely to return if they feel unappreciated. This highlights the importance of nurturing guest relationships to foster successful business growth.

What Can We Do About It?

Remembering your returning guests, their names, and their preferences goes a long way in building guest relationships. Offering loyalty programs for frequent guests will significantly enhance their experience and encourage loyalty.

7. Offer a Personalized Experience

As hotel industry technology evolves, so do guest expectations. It is no longer sufficient to merely offer loyalty points or exclusive amenities to reward club members and returning guests.

What Does Science Tell Us?

A report from Salesforce’s ‘State of the Connected Customer’ reveals that 73% of customers expect businesses to understand and cater to their unique needs.

What Can We Do About It?

Leveraging guest data can help offer a truly personalized experience. Most modern property management systems (PMS) allow for collecting and storing guest information, such as stay history, contact details, and personal preferences. This information can be used to recognize repeat guests, anticipate their needs, and deliver personalized services that surprise and delight them.

8. Provide Optional Housekeeping 

Guests’ comfort levels vary when it comes to room cleaning services. While some may appreciate daily housekeeping, others might prefer minimal intrusion from hotel staff during their stay.

What Does Science Tell Us?

While guests like cleanliness, guest feedback tells us they also like having control. Close to 85% of people consider the ability to control cleaning schedules important to their overall hotel guest experience.

What Can We Do About It?

Offering guests the choice to opt-in or opt-out of daily housekeeping services, as big industry players like Hilton have done, can improve guest satisfaction while potentially reducing costs. Automated emails can help communicate these options effectively before the guest’s arrival.

9. Maintain Post-Booking Communication

Just because a guest’s stay has ended doesn’t mean communication should cease. The final touchpoint can often leave a lasting impression, significantly influencing the guest’s overall perception of the hotel.

What Does Science Tell Us?

Studies reveal that more than three-quarters of customers favor brands that actively seek out their feedback. Furthermore, a University of Central Florida study found a direct correlation between the number of TripAdvisor reviews a hotel has and the revenue it generates per transaction.

What Can We Do About It?

Post-stay communication, such as thanking guests for their visit and encouraging them to leave a review, can boost the hotel’s reputation. Digital communication tools can help simplify this process by enabling hoteliers to directly forward a link to the rating platform, making the review process seamless for the guest.

10. Go Beyond Guest Expectations

In a saturated market, merely meeting guests’ expectations may not be enough to secure their loyalty. Offering unique experiences can be a game-changer.

What Does Science Tell Us?

According to Bain & Company, acquiring a new customer can cost up to 95% more without the influence of satisfied guests.

What Can We Do About It?

Go the extra mile and exceed guest expectations. For instance, if there’s a queue at the reception, offering guests a comfortable seat and a drink while they wait can significantly enhance their experience. It’s these small gestures that elevate guest service.

Improve Hotel Guest Services with HelloShift

One negative experience can do a lot of harm to your hotel business. If you want to attract potential guests, you must provide memorable experiences for the current ones. Exceptional guest service will help you nurture guest loyalty. 

In an ever-evolving technological landscape, hospitality management tools like HelloShift have emerged as vital assets. They offer practical and effective solutions to manage and enhance various aspects of the hospitality business, thereby significantly improving guest service.

HelloShift’s guest messaging feature enables guests to communicate their needs or concerns directly to the staff, eliminating communication gaps. Guests especially appreciate this direct line of communication, as it provides a sense of being heard and cared for.

Guest Messaging & Website Chat to understand the guest needs. Contactless Checkin to empower guests with self-service. Staff Collaboration and Housekeeping Management to deliver phenomenal hotel service delivery.

Digitize your hotel with Staff Collaboration, Guest Messaging, Contactless Checkin, WebChat, and Housekeeping in one app.

HelloShift News

Let's get to know each other more