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Enhance guest experience with effective communication

Op-Ed: Part 3 in a series of articles aimed at new and inexperienced operators, Emily Stephens says good communication is key

In the accommodation industry, nurturing meaningful connections with guests is the cornerstone of exceptional customer service.

Honest and sincere communication isn’t just a service; it’s the key to establishing trust in the brand and ensuring the fulfillment of every guest’s needs.

Whether it is by social media, emails, newsletters, or picking up the phone to talk to the guests, the more communication and personalised the better.

The new summer print edition of AccomNews is out now – Read it HERE

Here are three pivotal communication strategies essential for delivering exceptional customer service and ensuring seamless operations.

Confirmation letters

This communication confirms the guest’s details and stay dates which can avoid any confusion for the guest and accommodation property.

The confirmation letter will confirm the guest’s details, dates of stay, and the terms and conditions.

When sent directly after the reservation is made, the letter will also provide an opportunity to promote the property and local area. Allowing the guests an option to stay longer or book a tour before they arrive.

Confirmation letters can also assist in dealing with difficult situations, such as last-minute cancellations or no-shows.

Pre-arrival emails or SMS messages

A great way to again confirm the guest’s reservation details closer to the date and is also a friendly reminder of what to expect when the guest arrives. Advising guests of check-in times, contact-free procedures or late arrival options will assist in smooth operations for the property and guests. 

During the guest’s stay, there is the option to send messages via email or SMS to ensure the guest is enjoying their stay and if they require any assistance.

To some this is great customer service, to others this can be seen as annoying. It is important to know your customer base before including this option in the property’s communication selection.

At the same time, the staff around the property need to be seen as friendly and approachable to assist the guests at any time. This personable communication is often preferred. A simple smile or hello is all it takes to enhance the communication between guests and staff.

AdobeStock By ellagrin

Post-stay communication email or SMS

On check out or shortly after, it is important to ask guests how they enjoyed their stay. This can be done in person during the checkout process or with a post-stay communication email or SMS.

Asking for feedback on a guest’s stay can help to improve guest services and possibly facilities should particular feedback be reoccurring. If a guest has had an unpleasant stay, speaking with them at check out or requesting feedback by email as soon as possible can allow them to vent their frustrations.

Speaking with the guest directly and efficiently ensures the issue is better managed and can help to quickly diffuse or resolve the situation. This may also deter the guest from posting a negative review online.

After-stay messages are perfect opportunities to ask guests to book direct for their next stay, maybe offering a discount as well as a link for an online review which helps to build the property’s online reputation.

As mentioned in the beginning, communication is vital for good relations and smooth operations. This includes honest images of the property and guest rooms to avoid any misunderstanding.

Advising guests of any renovations or construction works around the property before arrival can avoid any negative first impressions or unwanted disruptions to their stay.

All of these communications are available via a property management system and can be personalised as well as automated. Utilise them to best suit the property’s clientele and operations creating exceptional customer service for the entire customer journey.

Op-Ed: Part 2, Emily Stephens dissects nightly rates HERE
Op-Ed: Part 1, Emily Stephens on the basics of Reservation Management HERE

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