The Best Ways To Improve Staff-To-Guest Engagement

Over the past few weeks, we’ve blogged about how to use social media and online reviews to help increase guest engagement in hotels.

Social media enables a direct interaction between staff and guests. 

It also allows those same guests to post influential content about your hotel which can have a huge impact on acquiring satisfied, loyal guests. 

And that is where success lies for independent hotels. In order to achieve this goal, your hotel staff must go above and beyond guest expectations.

Although their locations vary, many hotels offer a similar range of rooms and amenities. 

A key differentiator, and one which is most likely to resonate with people, is how you engage with your guests during their stay.

Your staff should be warmer than everybody else and more accommodating than your competition.

Here we are going to talk about several things you can do to improve staff-to-guest engagement in your luxury independent hotel.

1. Train your hotel staff well

Customer service is the beating heart of the hotel industry. 

Start creating great memories for your guests with a brilliant first impression. 

Have your best personnel at your hotel reception to connect with guests emotionally. 

To elevate your staff engagement you should have a good understanding of the techniques of great guest service.

Many managers think employee training is a once-a-year occurrence. 

To do it effectively it is important to create a curriculum for training sessions and classes. 

You will also need a detailed lesson plan that covers answering phone calls, getting to know guests, asking the right questions and proactively seeking to delight. 

  • Your staff are the people who have the most interactions contact with customers. Emphasise the need for quality staff-to-guest engagement - ask your team to put themselves in your guests’ shoes and see the hotel from their perspective.
  • Employees should know the proper steps for dealing with guests in different situations – you can even role play and have an employee act as the hotel staff and the other pretend to be the guest. Take the employees through several examples of a customer’s situation, and give tips on how to behave appropriately. 
  • Free up a staff member from checking people in at the front desk and devote them to paying personal attention to guests on site. They can provide information about restaurants and businesses that are open in the area, inform guests about health and safety guidelines, and ensure they have everything they need to feel safe and comfortable during their stay. The trick is to identify the perfect timing and opportunity.
  • Your staff not only need to learn about excellent guest service skills which allow them to adapt to the needs of the guest, they also need a thorough knowledge of the hotel product or service. It is better to admit to not knowing an answer and pass on a query to someone who does rather than bluffing.
  • Give your staff 10 minutes at the beginning of every shift to read through their notifications and get up-to-speed with the latest information and updates for the hotel.
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2. Empower your team to give your guests the VIP treatment

As a luxury independent hotel, your luxury guests must feel special, important, and valued.

You must give your guests the feeling that their needs are taken care of and you’re taking on the responsibility to give them the best stay possible. 

This means personalization – treat each guest as an individual with their own needs and wants. 

Some want the minimum of fuss and to be left to their own devices while others like attention. 

Being able to identify these differences and interact authentically is a key skill. 

If a guest asks for something out of the ordinary they will love it if the person they are speaking to can solve it rather than deferring and delaying. 

Trust your team to use their initiative.

Ultimately, empowering your hosting team has a direct impact on your hotel’s bottom line. An effective front-line team:
  • Improves guest satisfaction
  • Improves loyalty (the key to growth)
  • Reduces guest complaints
  • Minimise negative reviews
  • Improves staff happiness and retention by making them feel part of the business

These tips are a starting point for improving guest and satisfaction engagement at your hotel. 

By implementing these techniques, you will give your guests a more enjoyable experience of staying at your property and increase the chances of converting them to loyal brand ambassadors.