When you are a startup company, you can take learning opportunities anytime one comes about if that means your business may see more success from it. For example, startups can learn so much from the hotel industry. The hotel industry is competitive when it comes to offering a five-start customer service experience and startups can follow this lead by making sure their customer service is a priority as well as their product or service being more appealing than what others’ offer.
Lodging choices are often based on beautiful hotels, great amenities, an excellent value, and a cheaper deal than the rest which is what startups should use as a guideline as to what their customers are looking for. Since the number one rule in working in hotels is to have the best customer service, here is a look at the tips your startup could use in this area of business.
Learning from the successes and mistakes made by others
Along with learning from what your competition does right or wrong, you can learn from the hotel industry in how they’ve improved their services over the years. Consistency in service is really important in the hotel industry.
A tired traveler wants to know they can count on their favorite hotel brand to be about the same experience regardless of the city they are in next and they want to know they can get the same amenities and value wherever they go. Your product or service may be offered in one location or around the country but it should be consistent in what it offers, the value and the customer service your clients will receive every time they come back to visit.
What are some of the hotel standards of customer service?
Have you ever noticed that a hotel visit is usually met with some of the best customer service you’ll receive all year? You may chalk it up to being part of a vacation experience but in reality, hotels go out of their way to train their staff on how to offer amazing service. Many use the “WOW” customer service philosophy which includes training in customer satisfaction, handling customer calls, building connections with customers and more.
Part of this standard is to never say “no” to your customers. This banned word in the hotel industry can translate into your company as deciding never failing to deliver a product or service request. Rather than saying “no,” you could offer alternatives to your clients because there is always a way to make a client happy even if it’s not quite what they initially requested.
Loyalty over Price
Another standard for hotels is to choose loyalty over price and you can follow this example by always worrying more about your customer service and quality than the price point. Customers have to consider more than the price point when making a decision; sometimes they find it worthwhile to spend more if they know a brand is going to delivery consistent quality customer service.
Make sure you have great leaders on the frontline that can handle issues that come up with unhappy customers. Be willing to have great leaders that aren’t afraid to do jobs “beneath” them, like picking up trash off the floor, if it means their customers will have a better experience. Hire leaders that will handle issues as minor as trash on the floor to large ones like a staff member’s complaint.
While your startup is focused on culture, it should also focus on a written procedure for how things operate like the hotel industry uses. A guideline for how staff members are expected to respond or act when interacting with customers should be written down and clear to anyone working for you. Whether it’s how to handle a customer complaint or how to answer the phone, your team should all understand the way things go in your startup.
Be sure to connect with your customers every chance you interact with them. Anytime the phone rings is an opportunity to represent and discuss what the brand can do for people. Make sure your team knows how you want your brand to be heard whether it be an always friendly demeanor, positive personality or a listening ear that offers a professional attitude. Be sure you and your team are willing to apologize to a guest even if you’re not at fault and always consider the guests perception of your brand.
Consider how hotels are handling their brands and why these standards are working to increase their popularity with consumers. Follow the example so that you can build your brand to its full potential.