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The Top 3 Reasons to Go Above and Beyond with Housekeeping at Your Hotel

With online reviews and public comments, consumers are keener on where cleanliness could fall through.

Now that every sort of thought and anecdotal experience is being uploaded online, readily available for thousands of potential viewers, hotels are being held accountable like never before.

Not only have cleaning standards gone up after the COVID pandemic, but consumers are also being informed of all sorts of “red flags” or giveaways of a quick, superficial clean. A TikTok video produced by a former hotel manager instructs people not to trust certain hotel amenities.

So how do hotel managers gain their patrons’ trust when anyone can hop online and expose potential failings? In the end, it boils down to maintaining high cleanliness standards, but that’s easier said than done. In addition, it will take more than just telling customers that their room is clean for them to believe it.

Here’s what to look out for, and how to prove to hotel guests that they’re receiving the best possible cleanliness.

What guests are looking out for

It’s easy to let housekeepers get away with cleaning only the most obvious spots. But it’s important to know what else patrons are likely to examine.

Keeping the lobby clean is a crucial place to start. No matter how clean the rooms are, a dirty lobby will set a bad precedent. First impressions matter.

Guests also know that looks can be deceiving. The pandemic gave rise to performative cleaning practices meant to assure people without getting a good clean.

I personally know this to be true. Back when the grocery stores were still sanitizing shopping carts, I was frequently scheduled to do the job. It became difficult to be thorough while working quickly enough to keep up with customers. My supervisor told me not to focus so much on being thorough, and that customers only need to see me wiping carts down to feel better.

Patrons know to look for details that are signs of a bad cleaning job. These things to look out for include hair in the shower or around the drain and stains around the toilet, grime on door handles, and dust lines around objects such as phones and alarm clocks.

Other areas to look out for are low-traffic areas like stairwells and the ends of hallways. High-traffic areas understandably get priority, but other spots shouldn’t be glossed over. Guests will see this as reason to suspect poor cleaning standards.

How to reassure guests

Many hotel chains have implemented programs since COVID that tell customers exactly what to expect as far as cleaning standards are concerned. This can be an effective way to communicate your intentions to concerned patrons and be clear that it’s something your hotel takes seriously.

Going above and beyond to make the room feel clean is important, too.

Bad smells will immediately make the place feel unclean. High end cleaning products will give the room a nice smell, but a subtle room spray never hurts. However, they should not be used to try to cover up a bad smell (it won’t work, and it’s obvious to guests).

Additionally, ensuring that the room has good airflow and ventilation will prevent musty smells.

Guests are also looking for proof of a good cleaning. Some hotels have implemented room seals to signify that the room hasn’t been entered since cleaning. Seals can also be used for items such as towels and blankets.

Similarly, providing single use products will assure guests that they are fresh.

Maintaining high standards

Maintaining high cleanliness standards comes down to the people doing the cleaning. Providing housekeepers with the tools for success is the most important part for managers.

Having a clear outline of the expectations isn’t just a bonus for guests. It’s necessary for employees, and it will keep them on the same page as patrons.

Find ways to hold housekeepers accountable for their work, including the use of “this room cleaned by” signs. If a customer has a complaint, managers will know who to talk to. When employees are encouraged to take ownership of their work, they’ll likely want to do a better job.

Implementing a system for accountability can protect employees as well – not just guests. By being able to trace what cleaning got done and by whom, housekeepers are protected against phony complaints.

Keeping close track of the cleaning will lead to a more organized housekeeping department overall. Eliminating any confusion over what needs to be done and what’s been done already, as well as streamlining the process, will pave the way for efficiency.

For managers, the popularity of social media posts encouraging distrust of hotels can feel frustrating. But there’s a good side to it, too.

Now, patrons have made it clear what they’ll be looking out for. Managers can see this information just as easily and can readily add it to their to-do list. In this way, hotel owners are better prepared to tend to their customers.