Why Following Up with Your Guests After Their Stay Is a Critical Step
You’ve done the legwork, and you’ve trained your staff. You know that providing customer service that goes above and beyond is key to your success.
From the customer’s first encounter on your website, to the reservation process, their first meet and greet with your staff at your front desk, and their entire stay at your hotel, you know just how important it is to provide excellent customer service.
But do you wave goodbye and never reach back out to your guests?
Don’t forget the essential step of guest follow-up. In this article, we look at why following up with your guests after their stay is a critical step.
Follow Up Helps Soften Negative Experiences
Great customer service extends long after the guest stay.
If you want to build great customer relationships that encourage loyalty and customer retention, you want to focus on the guest follow-up. (tweet this)
The best thing about customer retention? By increasing your retention rates by just five percent, you can increase profits 25-95%.
One of the most important reasons to do this is to soften and improve negative experiences.
Not every guest is going to have a positive experience. And not all of them are going to tell you about it while they’re still on your property.
You definitely don’t want your unhappy customer to leave your hotel and head to Google or Facebook to leave you a scathing review.
The key to softening that negative experience is in your follow-up. Whether it’s by email, a handwritten note, or a phone call, you can help turn a bad experience around. Often times, with a great follow-up strategy, you can keep them from leaving a critical review online.
What’s more, you can also prevent the negative review by learning how you can make the situation better. You have the power to change a customer’s negative feelings about your business and turn it around.
You just might find that with impeccable guest follow-up, you turn an unhappy customer into a brand ambassador.
Follow Up Encourages Repeat Business
You don’t want your customers to think you forgot about them after their stay.
It can be quite easy to make and take the reservation, take care of the guest while they’re with you, and then forget about them.
When hotels forget about their customers, they just might lose them. You are no longer top of mind, and they won’t think to return to your hotel or recommend you to someone else.
Yet, if you follow up with your guests after their stay, you keep your hotel in front of them. This might start with a personal note. After that, you might add them to your email list and send them emails periodically.
When sending these follow up emails, provide them engaging and interesting content. This will help you garner the repeat business.
Follow-Up Helps You Learn
Customer feedback helps you learn more about how your guests perceive your hotel. It helps you learn what you’re doing right, and what you’re doing wrong.
By following up with your guests, you learn more about what your customers want and need from your hotel. You learn whether or not you met those needs or what you can do to improve.
The best way to enhance customer service and improve the overall customer experience is to listen to your customers. Follow up with them after they leave, and they’ll be happy to tell you.
You can really help give your hotel a leg up over the competition with your follow-up strategy. You learn where to improve and tweak things. Sales go up, your hotel stays full, and you retain current customers while adding new ones.
By improving customer satisfaction, you’re well on your way to your most successful year yet.
Now that you know why following up with your guests after their stay is a critical step, let’s look at best practices.
Best Practices for Follow Up
You’ll find that you can get the most out of your guest follow up by following these best practices:
- Your first follow up should be timely. Don’t let too much time sit between when the guest leaves and you follow up. The sooner you reach out, the better the chance you can soften negative reviews and augment positive ones.
- Always return phone calls, emails, and texts within 24 hours and preferably sooner if they reach out to you.
- Be empathetic if when you reach out your guests tell you they’re unhappy. One goal is to make sure they don’t leave a negative review. Your other goal is to make them feel better and encourage the repeat visit.
- Don’t ask closed ended questions when you follow up. Ask open ended questions to encourage honest, open feedback.
- Consider a thank you gift in your guest follow up. This can be something as small as a coupon for a free appetizer on their return visit to your hotel’s restaurant.
Your happy guests make repeat visitors. They also write you great online reviews.
Your happiest guests are your brand ambassadors and tell their friends and family all about your superb hotel.
So, how can you make sure you have the happiest customers? You follow through, and you improve your relationship with guest follow-up.
Whether you send a text, a thank you email, make a phone call, or send a handwritten note, be sure to personalize it. You can add things that are specific to their trip or an encounter at your hotel. Just make sure to personalize it in some way.
If you set up automated emails, you also want to be sure to personalize them with their first name. This not only will improve their open rates, but it will make them feel special.
Finally, once you’ve provided excellent customer service during your guests’ stay, you want to go one step further and follow up with your guests after their stay. You’ll reap the benefits.
We are your hotel’s digital advertising specialists. Whether it’s a new website, search engine marketing, online booking, social media marketing or website design, we are here to help. Contact us today to start a conversation about your hotel’s digital advertising needs.
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