Buying outdoor furniture for hotels or restaurants involves a bit of a juggling act.
No, we’re not saying you need to literally juggle a bunch of tables and chairs. This the metaphorical kind of juggling, requiring you to find the right mix of appearance, functionality, and durability.
And if you’re going to be entertaining guests outdoors – whether it’s at a hotel, B&B or vacation rental – you’ll want to make sure your exterior furniture is as comfortable as your indoor collection.
It’s nice to be on a first name basis with a business.
While being addressed as “Mr.” or “Ms.” is a sign of respect, it can also feel like you’re being summoned to the principal’s office.
Your hotel guests likely feel the same way. They enjoy personalized service, whether they’re staying in a hotel or talking to their cable company.
That’s why we want to share this list of ways you can personalize guest service, and keep customers coming back to your establishment.
- Top on our list of ways to personalize guest service: Call them by their name, whether it’s in conversation with them, or sending them direct mail or email newsletters. Pass this down to your customer service reps, so they can follow it in phone calls, chats, emails, etc.
- Smile and make eye contact. It might seem obvious, but it’s not something your employees will always remember to do, especially in an age when so much communication happens in a digital sphere. Consider workplace training to drive this point home.
- Give each guest a personalized candy bar or bottle of water with their name
- Put their name in a framed sign on the desk in their room
- Send them a personalized “thank you” note from your owner or general manager. If you’re feeling especially generous, include some fresh cookies.
- Have a “Reserved” sign with their name on it waiting at their table at breakfast or dinner
- Name a “Special of the Day” after them on your menu
- Set up a loyalty/rewards program for repeat customers. Create a special line or check-in area for guests who are part of that program. Do the same thing in your parking lot.
- Give them a personalized welcome letter – or email – that lets them know about local attractions, restaurants, places to shop, etc.
- Leave a small potted plant or vase with flowers in their room with a note from your guest services department.
- Be human. We recognize that there’s a script your employees must follow to make sure everything runs smoothly, but you can still personalize guest service by talking to guests like they’re people. Ask about their stay so far, their plans, etc.
And no matter which of these steps you embrace, remember that guests will still want the same thing guests have wanted as long as there have been hotels: a clean, comfortable place to sleep.
InnStyle can help make that happen. We’ve spent more than 60 years providing hotels, bed and breakfasts and vacation rental properties with the highest quality bedding, mattresses, pillows and other amenities.
“If you ask me to recommend my favourite hotels in Saigon, Santa Barbara and Barcelona,” says Sarah Nicholson of the Australian travel website Escape, “I will rattle off three properties with great beds.”
These were all luxury properties with top-of-the-line amenities, but Nicholson hits on a very important point here: a hotel is only as good as its beds.
Any decent hotel knows that mattresses aren’t forever. They need to be replaced on a consistent basis to offer guests a comfortable stay.
But what do hoteliers do with those old mattresses? A lot of them end up at the dump. According to the Mattress Recycling Council, more than 50,000 mattresses are dropped off at landfills every day. Continue reading
Here’s a point we’ve made before, and will most likely make again.
That’s because it’s an important one: Guests want three things from their stay with you — a clean room, clean bedding, and clean towels.
But that’s the bare minimum. Of course, your towels should be clean, but they should leave your guests feeling warm, dry and comforted. Here’s some advice on how to buy the best bath towel.
In the world of hotels, there are big luxuries, like the white sand beaches at the $3 billion Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi or world-class golf courses in the middle of the desert at Arizona’s The Boulders. Continue reading
The hotel industry has been battling bed bugs for, well, as long as there have been hotels.
If you traveled back in time to ancient Egypt or medieval England or colonial America, you’d likely find some frazzled innkeeper wondering how to keep bed bugs out of their establishment. Continue reading
A new year is almost upon us, and like a lot of people, the team at InnStyle is focusing on self-improvement. That’s why – as we do every year around this time – we’re heading to the annual AIHP Knowledge Sharing Summit & Marketplace. Continue reading
In 2013, the New York Times told the story of Leslie Ciminello, a business traveler and frequent guest at the Hotel 1000 in Seattle.
Why did she keep coming back? Because the hotel would make sure to keep her room refrigerator stocked with lactose-free milk and gluten-free cereal.
“It’s one of the small but significant ways the hotel has kept her coming back,” wrote the Times’ Harriet Edelson, who noted that hotels around the country “are increasingly emphasizing personalized services that do not show up on any list of amenities.” Continue reading
Hotel, inn, vacation rental stays might be temporary, but that doesn’t mean you’ll never see your guests again. With careful planning, you can turn them into repeat customers.
Repeat customers are good business: it’s easier to keep them than it is to attract new clients, and they’ll spend more than someone staying with you for the first time.