What is hotel customer service?
Hotel customer service is the care provided by hotels to guests before, during, and after their stay. Because hotels rely heavily on loyal customers and good word-of-mouth marketing, hotel customer training is an integral part of a hotel’s customer service strategy. It’s difficult to get right, but doing so will lead to guests who return, again and again.
With Zendesk, hotels can provide useful information via an FAQ in their knowledge base that will provide travelers with important information so they can make educated decisions about where to stay.
A different approach to hotel customer support
It wasn’t that long ago that travelers would book hotels without knowing much about them. Without that aid of review sites and social media, most people had to make do with travel guides and hotel marketing to choose where to stay. If they had a negative experience, they’d probably never stay there again, and maybe tell a few people, but that would be it. Even hotels that provided good service had the luxury of making a mistake now and then without having to worry about long-term repercussions.
As with everything else, the internet changed all of that. Now everyone can search online for the name of a hotel, browse review sites, and ask their friends for recommendations on social media. Negative reviews about hotels can be broadcast on the internet and shared with millions of people before the hotel is even aware that something went wrong. Now more than ever, hotel customer service must provide all guests with a great experience, or run the risk of some very negative attention.
Best practices for hotel customer service
Not every hotel can give its guests a luxury experience. But that’s OK; people don’t expect 5-star treatment from a chain inn just off the expressway. They do, however, have certain baseline requirements that all hotels can strive to meet:
- Understand who your customers are. Keeping track of who stays at the hotel, with tools like sign in forms, surveys, and email lists can help hotels create experiences that meet their customer’s needs. Are they in a hurry and need quick check in and check out, or are do they want to take their time--and have a chat about the best local places to eat? Hotels will never know unless they endeavor to find out.
- Make customer service easy. Understanding the most frequently made requests makes it possible to quickly satisfy those requests. If a hotel knows that many people will ask for an extra blanket or towel, provide easy to find instructions in the hotel room for the best way to make those requests. Similarly, email receipts sent to guests who’ve checked out should includes instructions for the best way to dispute billing charges. Nobody likes to deal with issues like that, but a little bit of work upfront can make it a lot less painful.
- Put a heavy focus on hotel customer service training. Hotel staff are the face of the brand. But they can’t be expected to just know what that means. They need be trained on everything from the hotel’s brand values to the proper way to effectively resolve customer service issues.
Time to check in
There's always space to invest in hotel customer service. With all the available options for travelers, one negative review can influence guests to take their business elsewhere.
Zendesk customer service software helps hotels provide excellent hotel customer service, from booking to checkout. Hotels can provide useful information via an FAQ in their help center that will provide travelers with important information, such as proximity to restaurants and attractions or directions from the airport, so they can make educated decisions about where to stay. When customers book with the hotel, they can create accounts with Zendesk’s user portal, allowing them to log in anytime and check the status of requests for support (such as billing questions). This is great for hotels, because details about customers are captured in a single location and can be accessed anytime that person books another stay. The hotel can keep track of the traveler’s preferences and use that to create personalized experiences.
Before you check out
Learn more about customer service skills that can be useful for hotels.