Think it’s all about a stocked mini-bar and free soaps? Hotel customers want much more these days.
In order to differentiate themselves from Airbnb and bed and breakfasts, hotels must really pull out all the stops and show that they are willing to go that extra mile for customers. To ensure that smaller and chain hotels are still attracting customers and giving them the experience they’re demanding, they should consider the following customer tips:
A decent check-in time
Customers arriving around lunchtime armed with all their bags simply want to get into their room, drop everything off, and perhaps take a nap or shower before starting their holiday. Asking them to wait until 3:00pm is not good enough. If the cleaning staff need more time, then ensure check-out time is around 10:00am for prior guests so that there’s time to clean before new guests arrive.
Free Wi-Fi with a strong connection is one of the most critical aspects for a hotel room booking nowadays. Guests shouldn’t have to ask for the username and password, either, as it should be written down somewhere in their room or given at the reception desk.
A clean and neat room
This shouldn’t be too much to ask, but many hotels fail on this front. Vacuumed carpets, spotless showers, and modern fixtures are expected. It doesn’t hurt to install contemporary shower mixer taps, for example, as these are functional and stylish.
Option to book and cancel online
It’s frustrating for modern travellers to have to email or phone a hotel to ask if they can book a room. Any hotel that’s not providing their availability online is way behind the times. Also, sometimes plans go awry, so let them cancel easily online if necessary.
Free parking and option of breakfast
Many guests will be coming by car, so it’s wise to offer free parking, rather than having them circle the town or city looking for a parking spot. As well, breakfast doesn’t necessarily have to be included for free, but at least provide the option. Coffee and tea plus a kettle are always appreciated in any room!
Eco-conscious guests aren’t always thrilled with all the plastic bottles of free shampoo and body washes. In fact, hotels are starting to ban them and provide alternatives. Those incredibly expensive bottles in the mini-bar aren’t really necessary, either. Guests usually don’t need 24/7 room cleaning services if they’re only staying for the weekend, so towels and linen can simply be washed once guests have gone. Lights that turn off once the guests have exited the door are a major plus!
Hotels should try to answer guests’ requests whenever possible, but by completing all the typical things expected these days, then they have much more chance of increasing bookings.