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Hotel customer service

Leverage hotel customer service software to create better guest and employee experiences, increase referrals, and enhance your reputation.

Last updated April 22, 2024

The impact of online vacation rental marketplaces like Airbnb turned the hospitality industry on its head in the early aughts. However, hotels are now seeing a resurgence in popularity by raising the bar with white-glove customer experiences (CX) and by investing in industry-leading customer service software.

Regardless of whether you operate a hotel or a vacation rental, the key to increasing revenue and referrals is finding the perfect blend of support, amenities, convenience, and affordability.

The tips we share in this guide apply to any accommodations-based business. Read on to learn more, or click through our table of contents to jump ahead.

What is hotel customer service?

Hotel customer service is the care hotels provide to guests before, during, and after their stay. Some examples of customer service in a hotel include helping guests:

  • Book hotel reservations.
  • Make last-minute cancellations.
  • Block off rooms for big events.
  • Find local events, restaurants, and things to do.
  • Upgrade their package.
  • Learn about available amenities.
  • Request special accommodations.

Hotels can also introduce self-service alternatives like a knowledge base, FAQ, or help center so travelers can easily find the information they need to make educated decisions about their trip.

Why is it essential for hotels to provide great customer service?

Providing exemplary customer service doesn’t just ensure that hotel guests have a great stay—improve your brand’s reputation, boost referrals, and increase customer retention. Ultimately, investing in guest services can generate more revenue for the hotel.

It wasn’t that long ago that travelers would book hotels without knowing much about the accommodations or property. Today, prospective travelers research extensively online and often turn to friends, family, review sites, and social media to decide if a hotel or rental is worth their hard-earned money.

This can have a huge impact on hotel bookings.

For example, someone may broadcast a negative hotel review on the internet—and millions may see it before the hotel is even aware that something went wrong. One bad, widespread review could tarnish a hotel’s reputation long term. However, when hotel managers and staff members strive to provide excellent guest services and word spreads, travelers looking for a positive experience are more likely to place a reservation.

7 best practices for improving customer service in a hotel

By equipping your team with the right software and following these 7 best practices—any hotel from a local bread and breakfast to a global brand can deliver outstanding guest experiences.

How to improve hotel customer service

Hospitality customer care trends in 2023

To understand the value of hospitality and provide guest services that impress, stay on top of the most current trends in the hotel industry. Here are a few customer service highlights from the Zendesk Customer Experience Trends Report 2023.

  • 75% of hospitality businesses expect ticket volume to increase over the next year.
  • 77% of businesses believe that investing in CX positively impacts profitability.
  • 71% of leaders in the hospitality space think it’s important to build more fluid customer experiences.
  • 77% of businesses say personalization increases customer retention.
  • 67% of hospitality organizations will increase spending on customer service and experience personalization in the next year.
  • The average customer satisfaction (CSAT score) in the hospitality industry is 90.

FAQ on providing outstanding customer service in hotels

For more information, here are answers to the most common questions about offering excellent customer service in the hospitality industry.

1. What is the best chatbot for hotel customer service?

The best chatbot for hotel customer service is Zendesk. That’s because our chatbot software:

  • Enables instant service across channels for guests on the go
  • Increases agent productivity by passing key context to agents
  • Comes pre-trained on billions of real customer service interactions to save teams time for manual setup
  • Can be integrated with other systems for more personalized experiences
  • Can be deployed in minutes using our no-code bot builder

2. What is an example of good service in the hospitality industry?

Minor Hotels is an international hotel brand with over 550 hotels in 55 countries. Using Zendesk, the hotel chain has grown its reputation and achieved high levels of guest satisfaction by providing immediate, personalized support via live chat.

Since 2017, the hotel has seen a 40 percent decrease in first response times and a strong increase in satisfaction.

“Customers like instantaneous service and personalization,” says K’Lee Challinger, the Social Media Optimization and Real-Time Customer Service Manager at Minor Hotels. “We maintain a CSAT [customer satisfaction] score of 97 percent, further highlighting this point. At the end of the day, we’re trying to make ourselves easily approachable so we can drive more bookings and conversions to our website rather than have customers default to other travel and booking sites.”

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

Four Seasons makes guest interactions seamless with messaging

The story of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, which opened its first hotel in 1961, is a tale of continual innovation, remarkable expansion and a single-minded dedication to the highest of standards. The Canadian-based company has transformed the hospitality industry by combining personalized, genuine care with an unwavering commitment to excellence. Find out how conversational messaging from Zendesk is providing comfier experiences for guests at the Four Seasons, as told by the company's Chief Information Officer, Marco Trecroce.
Read customer story
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

Deliver 5-star customer experiences

Customer service software helps hotels provide excellent customer experiences, from booking to checkout.

Zendesk provides a complete customer service solution that gives travel and hospitality companies the resources and tools they need to deliver VIP-level customer experiences before, during, and after a trip on any channel. Teams can deploy self-service and advanced messaging tools to deliver innovative, contactless services that surprise and delight while personalizing travel services through 360-degree views.

Whether you manage a global chain of hotels or a small, family-owned bed and breakfast, you deserve nothing less than a 5-star customer service software system. Discover how Zendesk can streamline hotel operations and help guest services deliver memorable experiences that keep travelers returning for years.

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Sit back. Relax. And enjoy a five-star tour.