If you have a bad experience with a hotel, you’re probably not going to return. That’s the vicious nature of this business. Let’s look at three things you need to avoid in your hotel:
Those shrubs outside your hotel, when did you last water them? Do you even have some flowers? This isn’t just for The Lanesborough, budget hotels can offer a warm welcome with a clean, pretty entrance. Move that garbage bin out of view, and keep your name sign clean, along with the windows.
Once you step inside, is there a strong smell of old food? Or just a bit of dust? Control the scent and use some plug-in scent infusers if you must.
You’ve gotten past the bad smell, and you’ve landed at the reception desk. Firstly, is the desk too cluttered, unorganised? Secondly, were you greeted with a smile? A “welcome to…”? Please tell me you were. It’s surprising how often the front of house team can be rude. I have walked up to reception desks and not even been looked at (i.e. ignored) for several moments before an unwelcoming “Hi” many times.
Use a mystery shopper or external influence to judge your first impressions honestly, as they’re so important.
From the shrubs to the lobby chairs and the desk in your room, are the furnishings OKAY? I highlight okay because not every hotel can offer luxurious antiques, but all hotels should offer furnishings that are functionable and not battered – this looks bad and, in some cases, can be dangerous.
I understand refurbishment isn’t easy or cheap. But keep an eye on those knocks and bumps and replace furnishings when there’s a stain or crack. Don’t forget; whether you’re at a budget or luxury property, you should get the impression you are the first person to ever stay in that room, not a number on a conveyer belt.
Cleanliness is an obvious one. One hair or dirty pillow and the chances of a guest returning are basically written off. Critique your cleaning processes constantly, feedback to your maids and consult your hotel contacts to steal some tips and tricks (or, again, use a mystery shopper!).
In the modern age, this is important. Very important. If you click on your hotels Instagram page, does it look like you’ve closed down? When did you last do a post? If you are a budget hotel, highlight why people visit you – social media isn’t just for luxury or boutique hotels.
Likewise, if your website is rubbish, it doesn’t inspire confidence. Potential guests are likely to check out your website, and perhaps Facebook and Instagram, before booking. Image is important regardless of your nightly rate.
I hope this blog was useful for you! Secret Hotel Critic are mystery shoppers for hotels, operating globally. Our anonymous and meticulous critiques identify how to perfect your hotel and increase revenue streams. We also provide social media management for hotels. Click here to discover both. Join us on Instagram here.