Guest Experience – Strategy & Measurement

Guest experience is one of the most important metrics to focus on in order to run a successful hospitality business. The hospitality sector is competitive, with many businesses looking for ways to improve their popularity with guests. Regardless of the hospitality sector your business is from, maintaining a strategy to ensure a welcoming and professional guest experience is always essential. 

Read this resource to learn more about how your guest experience relates to your business success – and how you can improve it!

What is Guest Experience?

So, what is guest service experience anyway, and what does it involve? 

A guest service experience, or “guest experience” is a term used to describe the overall experience that the guest has when interacting with your business, its staff members, and its services. For example, a hotel guest experience includes all of the interactions that the guest has before they check in to the hotel, during their stay, and after they leave. Guest experience primarily relates to all of the communication that occurs between business staff members and guests, and whether the business’s staff and services appropriately meet the guests expectations and needs.

Why Does Guest Experience Matter?

Guest experience matters greatly for the success of any hospitality business. Not only can a positive experience result in repeat business with that customer, but it will support a positive reputation for your company. In addition, a positive guest experience can drum up more business  for your company as it can cause guests to want to return in the future, and can encourage new guests to be interested in trying your company’s services!

How Guest Experience Influences Your Hospitality Business

How businesses present themselves and interact with guests can influence whether the guest will continue doing business with them – and the business’s reputation. 

While a positive guest experience could secure your business with a repeat customer that recommends your services to others, a negative guest experience could result in poor online reviews, low ratings, and shared criticisms about your company that damage its reputation. Gaining a negative reputation from prior guest experiences can also deter new guests from frequenting your business. Therefore, guest experience is directly connected to the performance and success of your business. 

The Most Important Hospitality Guest Experience Factors

In the competitive hospitality industry, certain aspects of a guest experience matter more than others. The following factors listed below are necessary for you to focus on if you wish to facilitate an excellent experience for each and every one of your guests!

First Impressions

First impressions can set the tone for the rest of the guest’s experience, so it is important to set the interaction off on the right foot! A positive first impression will help your guests to associate your company’s services with this positive experience, while a negative first expression can cause them to become even more critical of your company and its other services.

Booking

Booking is one of the first ways your customers will interact with your business, so take the steps necessary to ensure that it is a positive experience. This means that the booking process should be quick, easy, and convenient for the customer. Additionally, service representatives should be made accessible, to provide your guests with help throughout the booking process as needed.

Timeliness

Timeliness is an expected quality of a professional organization, and poor timeliness will cause your guests to view your business as unprofessional. Therefore, it is important to have your services ready ahead of time, so that they are prepared for guests at the appropriately planned times.

Cleanliness

No guest wants to experience a hotel horror story, and the best way to avoid the likelihood of this occurring is by carrying out proper cleaning and sanitation practices. This is especially crucial for all of the places that can be accessed or viewed by your business’s guests. Cleaning and sanitizing hotel guest rooms, business service areas, and equipment between each use can also keep your customer safe from germs, and help them to feel refreshed and happy during their stay.

Customer Service

Your customer service representatives should represent your business with professionalism and taste. These individuals should have great communication and people skills and be well-versed in all information pertaining to your businesses services so that they can appropriately address guest inquiries. By hiring customer service representatives that are friendly and personable, you are communicating that your business is founded on these principals when they interact with your guests.

Amenities

Amenities are an important factor to consider in terms of the guest experience. No hotel guest wants to check into their hotel room only to find that the business has not provided any of the amenities that have become commonplace in these establishments! Businesses that provide convenient features and facilities to go along with their services are more likely to leave a positive impression on their guests, and unique amenities can do wonders in setting a business apart from their competition!

Checkout/Payment

The guest experience does not end after the business service has been provided, as it includes the experiences and interactions involved with checking out and providing payments for the service. The checkout or payment processes should be easy and stress-free for anyone utilizing your business. Things like confusing company policies, hidden fees, and payment issues can all cause stress for your customers and negatively impact their guest experience.

After all, would you prefer to do business with a company that charges confusing hidden fees or with one with helpful representatives willing to be transparent and supportive throughout the process? This is one of the last face-to-face impressions your staff members will have with a guest before they consider doing business with you again. Therefore it is vital that the checkout and payment experience is a positive one.

Social Consciousness

Social consciousness describes the self-awareness of your staff members and is vital in fostering a positive experience for your guest. Prioritizing social consciousness among your team and staff members can help them to identify appropriate techniques to effectively handle challenging situations with customers in a way that positively represents your company. 

Follow-Up

Following up with guests after they experience your business’ services can help them feel cared for and help you gain feedback from their experience with your services. Alternatively, by not following up with guests, you could be missing out on the opportunity to improve your guest’s experience, identify areas of improvement, and encourage your guest to utilize your business again.

Ways to Measure Guest Experience

So, how can guest experience be measured to help businesses track and improve their interactions with their guests? Unfortunately, looking at online reviews alone can sometimes be an unreliable way for companies to gain an accurate portrayal of their guests’ experiences. Fortunately, there are many other additional ways that businesses can appropriately measure the satisfaction levels of their guests. By utilizing these techniques, you will be able to track your guests’ satisfaction and form a successful guest experience strategy for your business.

Customer Satisfaction Survey

Customer satisfaction surveys are questionnaires that businesses can provide to their guests to measure their guests’ overall experience based on the answers which they provide. A popular tactic is to wait until the experience has commenced and politely request that your guest completes the survey soon after that. These surveys can reveal a lot about guests’ satisfaction levels, and ways businesses can improve their services!

Customer Retention Rate

Another helpful way for you to track your business’ guest experience is through your customer retention rate. This rate is determined by the percentage of customers who continue utilizing your business’s services after a given period of time. Tracking your customer retention rate can provide a lot of helpful information about what features of your company could be positively or negatively affecting your guests’ experience. 

Net Promoter Score

A net promoter score is similar to a customer satisfaction survey in that they are also provided to guests following their experience. They are provided as questions to guests to follow up on their experience with the business and its services. However, this survey is just one question asking guests whether they would likely recommend the companies or company’s services to people they know. In addition, the question will often allow the guests to rate the likelihood of them recommending the business and can even provide a section for users to describe the reason for their score. This measurement tactic is helpful as companies can track how their guests respond to business changes based on how likely the guest would be to recommend them to others.

How to Improve Guest Experience

So now that you know a bit more about the importance of guest experience, you’re probably wondering how you can improve the guest experience for your business. Well, to improve your guest experience, you must take the information provided above and take action. So read on to learn how you can apply business practices to improve the guest experience for your organization.  

New Policy Implementation

Company policies outline the protocol of your business to both guests and staff members. One way that you can improve your guest experience is by applying the information that you have learned from your guest experience metrics to implement a new company policy.

For example, let’s say your old policy prohibited guests of a hotel from using the pool area after 8 PM, causing many guests to complain in their feedback about the pool closing too early on weekends. A smart way to respond to this situation would be to implement a new policy extending pool access hours to 10 PM on weekends. Then, next time these guests visit your business, they will enjoy this change and appreciate their feedback being taken into consideration! 

Updating your policy or implementing a new one can also help you to address areas where your workers could be providing better service. But, of course, for this to be effective, you must ensure that all of your business’s staff members are knowledgeable of these changes and able to apply them appropriately to their work actions.

 

Further Staff Training

As previously mentioned, all of your company’s staff members must be trained on proper business protocol, especially when interacting with guests. By providing appropriate guidelines for interacting with guests and conducting business, you can train your staff members in a way that sets them up for success. Additionally, training your staff members can be an effective way to improve your guests’ experience.

For example, say you experience a lot of turnover at your restaurant business, and you notice that as more new employees are introduced to the restaurant business, fewer guests have been indicating their willingness to recommend your restaurant. It is safe to assume that your new staff members may be negatively affecting your business’s net promoter score if this is the case. However, you could easily and appropriately rectify this issue by training your restaurant’s staff members on your company protocol and providing further staff member training on techniques to improve their guest interactions.

Introducing communication specialists that can train your staff members can improve their interactions with guests and positively impact your guests’ experience. Alternatively, hiring a guest experience manager or specialist may also be able to help a business in identifying areas of improvement and beneficial training opportunities for its staff members – as we will discuss in the following section.

Guest Experience Specialist

Guest experience specialists are responsible for ensuring that your business’s customers are satisfied with the services that they receive. For example, a guest experience specialist at a restaurant may be the host, and a guest experience specialist at a hotel may be a front desk receptionist. 

These professionals can improve your business’ guest experience scores by making your guests feel welcomed and cared for, as their primary purpose is to attend to your guests’ needs! In helping guests and solving problems, they may also be able to identify ways that the business can be altered to resolve common guest concerns and improve their experiences.

Smart Routing

Smart routing is another technique for gaining information that can help you improve your business’s guest experience. It is related to the Guest Experience Journey, which describes the various touch-points for a business. A Guest Experience Journey includes each touch-point, or interaction that occurs between the business and the customer, whether it be inside the physical business establishment or through external correspondence like phone calls, emails, or responses from online experience metrics. Smart routing is the process of taking meaningful insights from each of your guest experience metrics, or touch-points, and sharing that information with each relevant business partner.

For example, say your hotel is flourishing, but the hotel restaurant is losing repeat guests. To improve the hotel restaurant’s popularity through smart-routing, the business could leverage information from all of its Guest Experience Journey touch-points and relay it to the manager in charge of the restaurant operations. Communicating this information to your restaurant managers and sharing insights about new restaurant trends and food service techniques may be an effective way to help them improve their business.

This approach can result in better guest experience scores, as it can enable you to address and resolve the issues that are common in guest experience journeys for each area of your business. In addition, the smart routing technique is a great way to ensure that each of your business collaborators is focusing on ways to improve their operations. Doing so can keep your hospitality business thriving and improve your guests’ experience. 

Secure High Hospitality Guest Experience Scores with Adia

Achieving high hospitality guest experience scores is necessary for businesses to maintain relevance in the hospitality market. Following the steps provided in this article will help you determine the right actions to improve your guest experience scores over time.

However, in order for this strategy to work, businesses must be able to maintain a continuous feedback-solution pattern. But by circling through the three steps outlined above, you will be able to continuously track your guest experience scores and make the appropriate changes to improve them over time.

If you are looking for ways to improve your guest experience scores for your business, Adia can help. Adia’s on-demand staffing platform can help you improve your business’s guest satisfaction levels by introducing new qualified talent to your hospitality staff team.

The easy-to-use on-demand staffing service works by connecting employers with qualified and pre-vetted hospitality staff members. The platform makes it easy to search through a large variety of individuals with skills and experience in all hospitality sector areas, so that you can find the best workers to provide top-of-the-line service for your business’s guests. To learn more about how recruiting staff members with the Adia on-demand staffing solution can benefit your hospitality business, visit us online at https://adia.works. Visit our hotel staffing, hospitality staffing and hospital trends resources for more support.

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