Now is not the time to let fatigue set a new standard. After all, we are all suffering from the ongoing upheaval in one way or another. What we don’t want to do is forget that customer service is the foundation of the hospitality industry. Here are simple steps to work with your team:
- Engage the guest with words – A simple smile to acknowledge the guest isn’t possible today. Which means your staff will need to engage with the guest through conversation. It can be as simple as asking how their day was and, more importantly, thanking them for choosing your hotel.
- Explain how things have changed – For many guests, their stay at your hotel might be the first time they’ve been in a hotel since this all started. What they experience today won’t be the same as it was pre-COVID. Having a brief personal script that tells them about the changes can personalize the experience. It might even be different if it’s the first time they’ve stayed in your hotel vs. a returning guest.
- Highlight what is still available – At a recent hotel I stayed in, I asked if their restaurant or bar was open. The desk clerk said no, I could grab a snack from their basket. At check-out, I read a piece of paper on the front desk that said the coffee shop did grab-and-go breakfast from 5-10 AM and the bar did something similar from 5-10 PM. I asked the desk clerk and he confirmed this was the case. For three days, I ate those two meals elsewhere. This means the hotel lost revenue and now they have an annoyed customer who likely won’t return to this particular hotel.
- Be ready to help them fill the gaps – Your hotel might not have the same services it once had. Your staff needs to be prepared to help guests fill those services. Where is the best coffee and Danish locally? Is the pizza joint around the corner a great place to get a slice? Is Uber Eats a good option? You have the opportunity to service your guest and help out locally owned businesses.
- Keep the personality in your personnel – Masks mean we can’t see the person behind the plexiglass. Consider displaying framed selfies of your team members during their shift. Make it personal by sharing something about that team member. You can change up the personal question every so often to keep it fresh.
Guests are just as anxious as we are. Our hospitality will go a long way to alleviate those fears. But not if we don’t work at it.