By Scott Merrick, Training Account Manager, Signature Worldwide
Why is it so important to create a memorable experience for a guest?
Are we doing it to create value, which, in turn, will make us more money? Are we doing it to get better reviews on different Websites?
Or are we doing it because it feels good?
The things we do in the hotel industry need to make money—that’s why we do it—but creating a memorable experience need not cost a lot of money or really no money at all.
On a recent trip, I was spending a few days at a hotel and had stocked up on some travel essentials. And in my world of low carbohydrate dieting, those essentials consisted of cheese, pepperoni, and a couple of low-carb snack bars. It seems on this trip that my housekeeper was paying a lot of attention to my needs, because on the second day of the trip, upon returning to my room from a long day of training, a pleasant surprise awaited me. I came into my room and I found two different varieties of low-carb bars and a note from my housekeeper that she, too, was doing the low-carb diet and that these bars were her favorites…WOW!
Talk about a memorable experience! The funny thing about this situation is that I really didn’t think too much about the low-carb bars, but what I loved was that this housekeeper paid attention to my room and my needs, and she felt empowered enough to share this bit of her life with me. This also made me want to find out more about her. I wanted to meet her and have a conversation with her. I wanted to make a real connection with her, and learn more about her and her successes. I just wanted to learn more about her as a person and not just as my housekeeper—relationship building! In addition, I now am looking forward to my return to that particular hotel—to show off my dieting success and hear about her success.
When was the last time you had a memorable experience at a hotel? You’re probably still trying to come up with an answer. We usually think of the room experience being exclusively a housekeeping issue (clean sheets, fresh towels, a TV that works), but my example shows it can be more than just an experience—it can be a memorable experience.
By empowering hotel employees with customer service skills, a guest’s stay can go from a room experience to a memorable hotel experience. By spending just a little extra time—leaving a note, learning about the guest, elevating the guest’s needs above just clean sheets and towels—you, too, can create those moments for your guests.
So why not take it a step further than the normal housekeeping duties we’ve all come to know? In this world of cold technology, a hand-written note can be all that is needed to avoid a bad review on a cold rating Website. As for me, I will stay at this hotel again, not because of the room, the rate, or the location, but because the housekeeper knew how to turn the experience into a memorable one!
Scott Merrick is a training account manager for Signature Worldwide, a Dublin, OH-based company offering sales and customer service training, marketing, and mystery shopping services for a variety of service-based industries. For more information, call 800.398.0518 or visit www.signatureworldwide.com. You also can connect with Signature on Twitter @SignatureWorld and on Facebook.