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Strategies to Enhance Your Hotel's Reputation in 2023 - Unilever Professional India

Strategies to Enhance Your Hotel's Reputation in 2023

Online reviews influence 93% of customers’ booking decisions.

Success in the competitive hotel industry has always been driven by reputation. That reputation centres on the guest experience; hotels that provide fantastic service, high-class amenities, and exceptional attention to detail build loyal customer bases.

Those patrons leave glowing reviews and recommendations, bringing more business and greater success.

So how do you improve your hotel’s reputation?

Understanding Your Current Reputation

Before changing your hotel’s operations, you should see its current reputation - what guests enjoy, dislike, and services they’d like to see. Understanding your current reputation allows you to create an effective action plan for improvement.

Some good places for getting a sense of how your hotel is doing include:

Online Reviews: TripAdvisor, Yelp, and Google Reviews are the modern guest's sounding boards. Regularly monitoring and analysing these reviews provide an unfiltered view of guest perception, highlighting strengths and areas for improvement.

Guest Feedback: Feedback forms, surveys, and face-to-face conversations are potent tools for capturing immediate insights. Actioning guest feedback builds trust and loyalty in your customer base.

Internal Evaluations: Don't overlook the power of self-assessment. Regular internal audits and evaluations can reveal hidden obstacles or untapped opportunities, making your path to improvement more precise.

Enhance Your Hotel’s Reputation Through Customer Service

Guest Relations: Building Strong Connections from Arrival to Departure

Personalised Service: Recognise the individual needs and preferences of each guest. Small gestures, like addressing guests by name or remembering their favourite drink, influence their perception of your establishment.

Clear Communication: Ensure that information is provided clearly and promptly, whether about amenities, local attractions, or hotel policies.

Consistent Quality: Maintain a uniform standard of service across all services, be it room service, dining, or housekeeping.

Complaint Handling: Turning Challenges into Opportunities

Guest complaints are challenging but can be opportunities to demonstrate your commitment to excellence. Efficient and empathetic handling can turn a dissatisfied guest into a loyal customer:

Listen Actively: ‘The customer is always right’. Allow the guest to express their concerns without interruption.

Respond Promptly: Address complaints quickly, showing that you take their concerns seriously.

Follow Through: Ensure that the resolution is not just promised but delivered, and follow up with the guest to confirm their satisfaction.

Loyalty Programs: Encouraging Repeat Visits

Getting new customers is anywhere between 5 to 25 times more expensive than retaining existing business. Increasing customer retention by just 5% delivers a 25% increase in profits in some sectors.

Loyalty programs are incentives that foster lasting connections with your guests. Here's some ideas for creating and maintaining a successful program:

Align with Brand Values: Your loyalty program should reflect your hotel's values and offerings, making it exclusive and attractive.

Provide Genuine Value: Offer meaningful and attainable rewards, keeping guests engaged and motivated to return.

Monitor and Adapt: Regularly review your loyalty program's effectiveness, adapting to your guests' needs and preferences.

Customer service is the heartbeat of your hotel's reputation. By focusing on building strong guest relations, handling complaints with grace, and nurturing loyalty, you lay the foundation for a reputation that speaks for itself. 

Ensuring Quality Across All Departments

Front Desk Efficiency

The front desk is often the first and last point of interaction with your guests. Its efficiency is vital in setting the tone for the entire stay. 

As such, your front desk should be as efficient as possible. Technology like automated check-in/check-out screens reduce the time guests spend waiting. It also reduces pressure on staff, particularly during peak times. 

Staff are still crucial, so ensure they are well-trained in handling various scenarios, from special requests to potential complaints.

Housekeeping Standards

Cleanliness is non-negotiable in the hotel industry. It reflects your commitment to guest comfort and wellbeing. 

Creating comprehensive cleaning protocols for every area ensures consistency. This includes Standard Operating Procedures and codes of conduct for staff. Inspections uphold standards and address any deficiencies. 

Maintenance Protocols: Ensuring Functionality and Aesthetics

Regular maintenance is a crucial aspect of a hotel's success, reflecting attention to detail and care. 

You should implement regular maintenance schedules to proactively identify and address potential issues. Supplement this with a system for guests and staff to report maintenance issues, ensuring prompt and effective response.

Security Measures

Guest safety and privacy are paramount. Many are likely tourists and will be carrying passports, cash and other valuables they need to keep safe. The theft of these valuables within your establishment will reflect poorly on your reputation.

As such, invest in the latest security measures for room and general security. Electronic key cards ensure controlled access, while surveillance cameras mean every area in the hotel is monitored constantly.

In addition, safes within rooms provide an extra layer of security for guests’ most valued possessions. 

Train Security Personnel: Regular training and clear protocols are essential for security staff to respond effectively to various scenarios.

Protect Guest Privacy: Ensure that all staff understand and adhere to privacy protocols, particularly when handling personal guest information.

Effective Marketing and Communication

In the digital age, a hotel's reputation is not confined to its physical premises. The virtual space allows potential guests to explore, evaluate, and engage with your brand. Navigating this digital landscape requires precision, creativity, and a keen understanding of contemporary media trends.

Optimising your website is the first step to success online. Your website should be visually appealing, user-friendly, and responsive on various devices, reflecting your hotel's ethos and offerings.

Social media are now central to communication and engagement. Choose platforms that align with your target demographic and engage actively, showcasing behind-the-scenes glimpses and special promotions.

Crafting a Narrative Through Content

Informative and creative content invites readers into the world of your hotel, showcasing its strengths and keeping website visitors engaged.

You could create and regularly update a blog with relevant articles that provide value to readers, from travel tips to local guides. Your blog is a chance to showcase expertise and keep your customers informed about events and offers. 

Successful blogs become a hub of information for your hotel. It’s a potent marketing tool that increases your search engine visibility, pulls traffic into your site and keeps them engaged.

Complement your blog with visual storytelling. Fill your website with high-quality images and videos that provide virtual tours or highlight special amenities. You could also consider partnerships with travel bloggers or influencers that resonate with your brand, broadening your reach.

Marketing and communication have undergone rapid changes in recent years. They are now multifaceted domains that require strategic planning, creativity, and knowledge of an ever-changing digital landscape. Online success invites interaction, builds relationships, and ensures loyalty.

Building a Reputation of Excellence

Improving your hotel’s reputation won’t happen quickly. It’s a journey, an ongoing process of learning, improving, and innovating. You’ll know what’s working, as success feeds reputation, and reputation feeds success.

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