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5 Ways to Improve Customer Service in the Hospitality Industry

Customer service in hospitality can make or break your business. Unlike some other business areas, providing great service in hospitality is entirely within your control. So today, we’ll share five customer service tips for hospitality to boost your brand while improving customer retention.

1. Focus on Employee Customer Service Training

When it comes to hotel customer service, your highest priority is to make customers feel special wherever they are, from the lobby to their rooms. But, even if you have the perfect vision for your customers, it’s up to your employees to execute it. You must train your hotel staff properly to ensure a positive customer service experience.

Effective employee training goes beyond the employee handbook. Your staff will likely be learning on the job every day, facing new challenges that teach them more than they could ever learn in a training session. Therefore, it’s essential to invest in your employees for the best results.

In addition to a job shadowing period, where new hires work with experienced staff members to learn how to solve unexpected problems, encourage your employees to develop creative solutions on their own. 

For example, you can give your staff the freedom to resolve a guest’s request as they see fit, as long as it falls within a specific budget. Not only does this empower your employees to provide excellent customer service, but you can also learn from their creative solutions and even apply them to your training.

2. Offer Omnichannel Communication Options

Today, consumers expect to contact your business whenever they want, so offering convenient ways for your hotel guests to reach you can be a massive boost to your customer service. 

By offering SMS text messaging and WhatsApp, you can streamline your customer communications while making it easier for your guests to book reservations, ask questions, and learn more about your brand.

For example, suppose a guest wants to book a room at your hotel. In that case, they can connect with your business 24/7 via chatbot, which can be programmed to answer simple queries about availability, pricing, special events, and more. 

You can have an employee respond to more complex questions via an omnichannel platform that brings texting, chatbots, and other messaging channels together.

Research shows that 80 percent of consumers are more likely to purchase from a brand that provides personalized experiences. With an omnichannel communication strategy, you could record a guest’s preferences and previous interactions with your brand to their CRM profile and later offer an even more customized guest experience.

3. Send Customer Surveys

Collecting feedback from your guests is one of the most critical customer service tips for hospitality. Knowing how your guests feel — and, more important, whether they are going to come back or not — is crucial to the success of your business. 

You can gather feedback about your customer service in multiple ways, but the most effective method is via customer surveys.

A survey, emailed or texted to your guests after their stay, is an excellent opportunity to get feedback about their experience with your hospitality business. One way to entice your guests to fill out these surveys is to offer special deals or exclusive giveaways, like a free upgrade on their next stay. 

Not only does this incentivize guests to take the time to fill out your survey, but it also reassures them that their feedback is valuable.

The feedback process isn’t just limited to a written survey. Don’t forget to collect feedback throughout the customer journey, such as during the checkout process.

In these scenarios, consider asking more specific questions that are more likely to get helpful responses. For example, instead of just asking your guests, “How was your stay?” try asking them things like:

  • What were your expectations before checking into our hotel?
  • Would you book with us again in the future?
  • What is one thing you look for when booking a hotel?

4. Segment Your Customers

No guest experience is the same, so how you communicate with each customer shouldn’t be the same either. Customer segmentation is a powerful tool for any marketing strategy, particularly in the hospitality business.

By creating customer groups, you can send personalized offers and other content to your subscribers. Tailored messages have a much higher chance of engagement and conversion than generic marketing campaigns sent out to everyone on your subscriber list.

You can segment your subscribers based on location, booking history, guest preferences, and more by integrating your CRM software with your customer service platform.

To build out even more specific groups, consider asking your guests to share more information when they sign up to receive emails and text messages from your business or during the customer feedback process.

5. Send Special Offers via SMS

With an open rate of 98 percent, SMS text messaging is a much more effective communication channel than email. When it comes to connecting with your hospitality customers, texting opens up a direct line of communication that still feels friendly and casual — and gets results.

One of the significant benefits of SMS marketing is that text recipients read 90 percent of all messages within just three minutes of being received. 

In addition, by sharing special offers (such as discounted rooms, spa packages, and other experiences) via SMS, your subscribers are far more likely to see your message, engage with your content, and follow up if they have questions. 

An SMS marketing platform can also enable two-way texting so you can have one-on-one conversations with your hotel guests across all channels, all within a single interface.

Choose Mobile Service Cloud to Boost Your Hospitality Customer Service

If you’re ready to take these customer service tips for hospitality to the next level, consider using a customer service platform like Mobile Service Cloud.

CM.com’s Mobile Service Cloud is an all-in-one customer service platform that enables your hospitality business to drive engagement, deliver superior customer experiences, and improve customer satisfaction. 

Mobile Service Cloud has everything you need to provide excellent customer service with powerful features like omnichannel communication, internal collaboration, and integration with your existing software and tools.

To learn more, contact us today. 

Nicole de Mocskonyi is passionate about marketing and customer experience. She is dedicated to promoting the CM.com brand and ensuring customers are able to easily find the best way to benefit from mobile technology.
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