The hospitality industry can be a pain but your customer service and the way you manage your team can make all the difference.
Anyone in the hospitality industry knows that it takes work to put a smile on your face day in and day out, despite the sheer chaos that the customer often does not see, can be exhausting. However, just because these days may seem hectic doesn’t mean that taking an extra effort to make the experience worthy of praise is unnecessary.
In fact, by creating a hotel that not only has a staff which shines, but also has the appearance of a hip and fun place, you can put quite a bit of that stress behind you. After all, most of these chaotic situations stem from customer complaints based on staff, amenities, price, or appearance of the hotel itself. By taking that extra time and putting your budget into more effective things, such as revamping the hotel, you can remove these issues altogether. Not only will this help you create a more profitable hotel, but also manage one that is inviting and actually fun to work for.
To begin the remodeling process, we must first look at the four main elements that must change to begin to see the positive effects: the hotel’s appearance, the way the staff is trained and cared for, the amenities you provide, and the first appearance you give off when a new customer enters your driveway. Through this, you can not only make your customers happy, but your team happy as well — and kiss those crazy days goodbye.
Time for a Remodeling: Modern Retro vs Hip Vintage
You’ve probably seen at least one video raving over some hotel that is just “too cool” to not hit up on your next road trip. When seeing these kinds of videos, you may be wondering what exactly these hotels have that yours does not. The key isn’t actually the location, in many cases, or the price either, so what is it that makes these hotels hotspots while your hotel is a “not” spot?
By analyzing these videos, however, you may notice one particular thing that stands out: the appearance. Most of these hotels being raved about have something that makes them unique and separates them from other hotels and, in most cases, this thing comes in the form of the appearance of the hotel. For instance, some hotels choose to create futuristic modern interiors that scream luxury, whereas other popular hotels choose to go for a more vintage approach. These vintage hotels do this by using the old buildings in their community as a foundation and then adding vintage touches such as old art, furniture, and even generational themes such as “50s” or “70s” deco.
By choosing to create a retro and modern deco, you can appeal to the senses of the luxurious traveller and create a name for yourself that, in turn, can have prices to match. One way to create a modern hotel is by instilling minimalistic and modern art within the lobby, as well as each room individually. For this, you can even simply find pictures or drawings online that are labeled for reuse, and then get large canvas prints made of these pictures to save money and time in the long run. Similarly, you can also have local artists create pieces for the lobby that will show your support for the local community, a fact that most avid travellers will sincerely respect.
Another thing you may want to include is technology which your guest can easily engage in so they do not hold up your staff for menial issues. In fact, the right guest engagement technology can improve hotel management likewise and stay true to your futuristic theme likewise.
If you choose to take the vintage chic route, the process is actually more simple than you would think. First and foremost, you should choose a theme. Whether it be simply anything vintage or an actual decade, you must decide what look you want to go for, so you can set your remodeling in the right direction from the start. After you have chosen your theme, you can either find vintage things online or go to local thrift stores to find exactly what you are looking for. Once this is done, you can begin to assemble your hotel’s new look, and create a fun travel destination that is more than just a hotel in the process.
If you really want to stick to a vintage theme, you can even buy uniforms that follow this theme for your staff,which will not only make the job more fun for your guests, but also make it seem more fun and easygoing for your staff as well. However, once this transformation is complete, you must ensure that your staff not only look the part, but play it as well.
Managing Your Staff Effectively: How to Transform Your Team
It can often be hard to wrangle in hospitality staff, as most individuals are running around doing anything and everything all at once. However, there are plenty of ways you can not only make the job more fun and exciting, but also help your staff to improve upon their already quality customer interaction as well. For starters, we must state the obvious: boring jobs don’t make for happy employees. A hotel position may seem boring at first, but by incentivizing your staff, creating fun ways to show your appreciation, using management techniques and leadership strategies to your advantage, and formulating an easygoing but still slightly strict work setting, you can not only have a happy staff, but a more productive one as well.
When it comes to incentives and employee appreciation tactics, there are many good strategies. Provide snacks for your staff, and creating luncheons and company picnics. Give out prizes and bonuses to the employees going above and beyond each month. By showing gratitude to your employees, you can create a work environment that truly encompasses love and understanding, with a thin line for the boundaries that doesn’t seem harsh or overpowering. However, to truly equip your team and show your appreciation in the most powerful of ways, let your actions speak louder than your words. Provide guests with the amenities they want, instead of forcing your staff to find ways to make guests happy without the tools to do so.
Quality Amenities: What Do Consumers Crave?
When it comes to the hospitality industry, it’s the little things that make all the difference. From candies on a pillow or free breakfast in the morning, these are the first things any potential guest see when they look at your hotel’s website and reviews. Therefore, by creating both unique and thoughtful amenities, you can ensure that the customer always feels as though you care about their stay and their comfort.
For instance, if your theme is modern, you may provide guests with personal tablets in the hotel room or even customizable breakfast menus that are all done online. On the other hand, if your theme is vintage, you can focus your efforts on things such as local handmade soaps in the bathroom or country-style snack baskets in every room. These kinds of small things within the room itself can actually completely transform the way your guests look at your hotel.
Similarly, you can also provide guests with things such as complimentary ensured parking and create a large bus and travel trailer section to your parking lot, as many people traveling in large vehicles typically have to park on the street (which is a serious inconvenience).
Although these are only a few examples, they are wonderful ways to start and, from there, you can also look to your social media and your past guests for advice on what they personally think would improve the hotel’s amenities. With all of these things in mind, you may now see a rise in popularity for your hotel. However, there is still one thing left you can do to add to your popularity, even when people don’t know about your hotel, or the other things you provide.
First Appearances: Matching the Exterior to the Interior
When people who don’t know anything about your hotel see it in person, how will they feel about it? This is the question you must ask yourself as you begin to make the exterior of your hotel match the interior. For starters, you may want to begin with the little things, such as a fresh coat of paint or a new sign — but the key is to not stop there.
Some of the best hotels across the nation also tend to have a little extra flare to their exterior, which is meant to catch the attention of passerbys that would otherwise have no interest. For instance, many of these hotels have fountains or ponds in the front that make the hotel seem tranquil and classy. However, if you do decide to get a pond, adding an extra touch like koi fish is a wonderful decision and, by using a pond skimmer for keeping a cleaner pond, you can also ensure that you are not only competing with other hotels, but blowing them out of the water with unique additions.
Similarly, you can also hire local gardeners to create beautiful sculptures in front of your hotel, or even add flowers that are fun and inviting with vibrant colors that catch the eye of anyone looking for a place to stay. These are the kinds of tiny transformations that may not seem like much at first, but can actually help potential guests choose your hotel over your competitors in the area — simply based off of their first impressions. Because of this, you can rest assured that both your online and offline presence are gaining traction with the customers you hope to gain.
In the end, the main thing to focus on is the theme you want and how you plan on achieving it. Whether you choose to focus your efforts on the look of the place, the customers, or even your staff, the key is balance in every area of your hotel. After all, comfort and satisfaction are the main goals of the hospitality industry. But why not go above and beyond, and see how your guests can actually make your day easier in return?