Almost every company in the hospitality industry knows that the key to success is customer experience.
Customer experience is what differentiates a hotel from its competitors. More often that not, a personal touch, attention to detail and a welcoming atmosphere are what defines a hotel’s USP. It is this attention to customer experience that makes hotel industry leaders the pioneers that they are. What is more, these approaches are transferable across sectors, including telecoms, financial services and retail. Here, discover 5 examples of inspirational customer service to apply to any enterprise.
1. A warm welcome
The Andaz by Hyatt is one of the highest rated hotels in London according to TripAdvisor. The Andaz has achieved an impressive 91% approval rating, placing the property in the top 5% of London hotels. However, when a guest steps through the door of The Andaz, it becomes immediately clear why the hotel boasts such high ratings. On arrival, a concierge greets the guest and seats them in the lounge area. Check-in is then completed over coffee using a tablet, whilst the porter takes the guest’s luggage to their room.
2. Budget does not need to be basic
If customers are traveling on business, often they’ll choose an economy hotel. However, business travelers are some of the most lucrative, as they tend to have the longest retention period. Therefore, it’s crucial that budget hotels define themselves from the competition to attract these repeat customers. For instance, Doubletree by Hilton offers guests a warm chocolate chip cookie on arrival. This small, simple gesture compels guests to share their positive experience with others, generating a referral.
3. A dedicated customer experience team
The ultra-luxe Armani Hotel in Dubai employs a dedicated ‘Lifestyle Ambassadors’ to make sure every aspect of their customer experience is flawless. Each guest is assigned a personal staff member who caters to their every request. Therefore, each visitor’s customer experience is thoroughly personal. Their unique Lifestyle Ambassador recommends fine dining restaurants, luxury bars, and scenic locations, whilst dealing with queries, specific requirements and challenges.
4. Added extras
Many guests look forward to the complimentary soaps, shower caps and bath products in their hotel bathroom. However, some properties set themselves apart from the competition by going the extra mile with added extras. For example, The Conrad in Chicago now offers guests their signature Sleep Menu. Customers can select their preferred pillow density and select complimentary products like earplugs, lip balms, wake up calls, and even moisture-lock socks. This attention to detail creates a memorable customer experience only associated with Conrad.
5. Go above and beyond
The Ritz-Carlton is responsible for one of the most famous and touching stories of how a hotelier can go above and beyond. When Chris Hunn and his family arrived home from their stay at a Ritz-Carlton property, they realized their son’s stuffed giraffe, Joshie, was missing. Chris’s son was distraught. In an attempt to calm his son, he told him Joshie had taken an extended vacation.
Luckily, that evening, the Ritz-Carlton called to say Joshie had been found. “I came clean to the staff about the story I told my son and asked if they would mind taking a picture of Joshie on a lounge chair by the pool to substantiate my fabricated story,” Chris explained in a blog post. The team was on board – and not only did the Ritz’s staff take photos of Joshie on vacation, they also sent him home with a few Ritz-Carlton-branded gifts.
Inspired customer service
The above are just a few examples of how any company can create a memorable customer experience. The hotel industry is particularly full of creative, inspiring examples of how to make customer experience exceptional. What is more, with increasing competence and new technology coming onto the scene, customer service will undoubtedly only improve in the future.