Guest Services-Focused Marketing

Instructor: Tara Schofield

Tara has a PhD in Marketing & Management

Establishing a guest-services-focused marketing environment in your hotel can improve guest satisfaction and improve retention. Learn how to train your staff, create a marketing plan, and measure service that is guest focused.

Creating Marketing Focused on Guest Services

Creating a positive experience for your guests is vital for success in the hospitality industry. As you create marketing activities, it is important to keep guest satisfaction at the top of your mind. There are several ways to ensure your marketing actions support your goal to have happy guests. Guest-service-focused marketing is the conscious effort of making sure every promotional and service activity related to the hotel keeps the guest and his or her needs at the center of attention.

Business from a Guest Perspective

One of the greatest challenges and opportunities in the hotel and lodging market is to improve the guest experience. Guests are the lifeblood of your business, and putting yourself in their shoes is important for their satisfaction. As you work with other managers and employees in a hotel, it's helpful to experience the hotel from the guests' perspective. By doing this, you get a different point of view and see problems that you may otherwise never recognized.

Let's imagine you are the housekeeping manager for a mid-size hotel. You have a hard-working staff of housekeepers who are thorough in cleaning each room. You spot check rooms on a regular basis and find some areas that can be improved on occasion but find the cleaning acceptable on most random checks.

Today, you have asked two other managers from other areas of the hotel to do the spot checks. You ask them to pretend they are each a guest at the hotel and see the room from their perspective. As a result, you find several areas that need improvement that had previously been overlooked. By looking at your department from a guest perspective, you can recognize problems and opportunities to improve the his or her experience.

Measuring Service

Each department within the hotel needs to have specific areas they measure and monitor to maintain appropriate standards. Many franchise hotels have service standards that must be met on a consistent basis to ensure guests receive appropriate service and that the requirements of the brand are met. Even in an independently owned hotel, it is important to have a way to measure service to make sure corners are not being cut and guests have a consistently positive experience.

Let's say you have just become the reservations manager at a private hotel. You have ten team members who answer the phones and take reservations from guests. You quickly find that the hotel needs to create a way to measure the quality of service that callers get from their reservation representative.

To do so, you create a checklist that is shared with each employee. The checklist identifies the appropriate steps that need to be taken during a call, how to handle problems and questions on a call, and an invitation to join the frequent guest club before the call has ended. You also listen in on random conversations to ensure the steps are being followed. By measuring the service being given on the phone, you find your team members are handling calls thoroughly and providing a higher level of service to guests.

Staff Training

Every employee should be involved in marketing the hotel. During training sessions, ideas should be shared to help employees understand how they can expand the guests' awareness of available services.

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