Post by Matthew A. Woodruff, Vice President, Guest and Brand Excellence, Hospitality Ventures Management Group;
I hope you are doing EXCELLENT!
If you recall, back in June we discussed the “Power of the word EXCELLENT” and the profound impact that an EXCELLENT service culture can have, not only your personal outlook, but also on the service culture of your hotel which will translate into EXCELLENT and memorable guest experiences and improved ROI. If you followed the tips that we discussed and were pleased with the results, please share them in the comments of this blog. I would love to CELEBRATE YOUR SUCCESS with you and your teams!
You also may recall that we briefly discussed the concept of “Touch Points.” Let’s now dive a little deeper into this concept and learn how Touch Points can truly become your new best friend.
We defined a Touch Point as “an opportunity that we create to engage our guests and ensure that they have an EXCELLENT stay.” Based on this definition, how many Touch Points do you think that you have in your hotel today……25…….50? You’re probably right!
When your guests drive up and are greeted by your bellman, that’s a Touch Point. As guests approach your Guest Services desk to register, as they walk down the corridor to their guestroom and pass a housekeeper or engineer, or see an associate cleaning the pool or fitness center, those are all Touch Points. Those are powerful opportunities that we create to engage our guests and ensure they have an EXCELLENT stay.
If each one of these associates is trained in the culture of EXCELLENT (and they believed it “in their core”), then they would use these Touch Points as opportunities to instill the EXCELLENT culture and confirm that the guest is in fact having an EXCELLENT stay.
What do we mean by “instill the EXCELLENT culture?” We mean, use the word EXCELLENT so many times that it subliminally locks itself in guests’ minds, to be recalled when they are talking about your hotel on social media sites, filling out guest surveys, or talking to their friends about their memorable visit. You will know it is working when your guests come up to you and say, “WOW, everyone uses that word……EXCELLENT!”
Now let’s talk about some additional Touch Points that you may already have in your hotel and don’t realize are Excellent Touch Points. A complimentary coffee station in the morning, a bowl of apples on your Guest Services desk, or freshly baked cookies to welcome a guest in the evening are not put there to feed people…………those are Touch Points.
A guest will see those items and want one, so you can then use that as an opportunity to engage the guest. ”Good Evening Mr. Rijos, are we taking EXCELLENT care of you? Wonderful, thank you for your business!” Remember, the answer should come back a resounding “YES;” otherwise, we need to follow up with a clarifying question such as, “Mr. Rijos, was there something we could have done better?” and then utilize our Service Recovery Process to ensure that the guest remembers what we did for him more than the issue that he experienced. (We can dive deeper into the concept of Service Recovery in a future blog.)
You may have noticed that I closed my conversation with Mr. Rijos by saying, “Thank you for your business.” That is a simple act of appreciation not often heard in the hustle-bustle of daily life. It is important to let our guests know that we really appreciate the fact that they CHOSE our hotel over all of our competitors. It lets our guests know that we do not take their business for granted.
Think of some additional Touch Points that you can use in your hotel to engage your guests and ensure that they have an EXCELLENT stay with you. Here are a couple more examples to get you started:
- Lobby Ambassadors: This is a HUGE Touch Point!
- “Thank you for your business” calls (you may think of these as “Welcome Calls”)
- Service Recovery Process and Opportunity Logs
- GSR Welcome Notes
- WOW Cart
- GM (after the stay) “Thank you for your business” emails
What additional Touch Points do you use at your hotel? Please share them in the comments below.
When understood and utilized properly, Touch Points can be a powerful and effective tool to ensure that every guest that stays at your hotel has an EXCELLENT stay. They also can help to identify that “invisible” guest……you know the one that stays at your hotel and does not tell you that anything is wrong, only to score you poorly on social media or on your guest survey. Your new “Best Friend”……..Touch Points, will make your invisible guests…….VISIBLE!
Have an EXCELLENT Day.
P.S.: Thank you for all that YOU do!