Best Practices and up to the minute news on Customer Experience Management and Service Excellence

How Great Hotel Service Can Increase Revenue

Hoteliers may find personalized service can be profitable.

Providing the best customer service isn’t cheap: you must hire the right staff members, train them meticulously and give them the authority to fix problems for customers. But it can be counterproductive to look at customer service as a cost center.

New technology and data-gathering tools make it easier to provide great service while improving the bottom line. “With recent advances in technology, hotel CTOs have an opportunity to transform customer service from a reactive cost center to a proactive revenue driver,” Hospitality Technology states.

Switching the way you look at top-notch customer service, from a cost to a profit center, can help you to transform the service you provide. Here’s how great customer service can help increase revenue at your hotel:

  1. Increase your chances of getting a customer in the door. Excellent service may start with helping prospective guests get their questions answered quickly and easily on their own, Sathya Raghavendran writes in Hospitality Technology. In fact, two out of three customers will search for information on their own before contacting your hotel. For example, Raghavendran was recently trying to find out if a Miami hotel had parking and how much it cost. “I couldn’t find it in the FAQ page, and the chatbot couldn’t answer it for me,” he writes. “It’s likely that if I found another comparable hotel where that information was more easily accessible, I would probably book the other hotel.” Making use of technology and AI to anticipate customer questions and provide the full answers they seek can help you win bookings.
  2. Keep customers coming back. “Research has irrefutably proven that customers will pay more for a better experience. Research also has irrefutably proven that customers will leave you for your competition if you don’t give them the service they expect,” states Shep Hyken, a speaker and author who consults with companies to help increase customer loyalty. It costs much more to acquire a new customer than it does to keep an existing one. And repeat customers are far more profitable, HospitalityNet points out. For example, research shows the top 10 percent of customers spend three times more than the other 90 percent.
  3. Turn customers into raving fans. Great customer service has the ability to turn a loyal customer into a “raving fan” or unofficial brand ambassador, essentially providing free word-of-mouth marketing for you when talking to their friends, relatives and colleagues, as well as sharing with scores of strangers online. Word-of-mouth advertising results in five times more sales than a paid advertisement, according to marketing firm Invesp. “The guest voice is a powerful marketing tool – foster it,” writes hospitality writer Alix Dougherty.
  4. Give you a chance to upsell. Focusing on personalized customer service allows you to use customer data to better understand wants, needs and past behavior. This in turn allows you to upsell without seeming “salesy” because you’re actually offering customers something they want, that will take their stay to the next level. In this way, sales becomes another form of customer service since you’re anticipating and providing their desires.
  5. Help you to build a lifelong relationship. By making use of technology and gathering data on loyal customers, you can truly take your relationship to the next level by getting to know them, understanding their needs and deepening this relationship over time. This type of customer service can help you to nurture a long-lasting relationship that may result in a lifetime of loyalty and ever-improving service.

Customer service should not be seen as a cost but as a revenue generator. When done well, it has the ability to win bookings, build loyalty, bring in other customers and build lucrative lifelong relationships.