Beyond great guest service: The caring advantage
Successful marketing is simply defined as communicating to your target audiences that you are different from your competition; therefore, you are the only choice for those seeking what your product offers. Essentially differentiating your boutique hotel from all other lodging options in your competitive set is the goal, and unique approaches to customer service can accomplish this despite being an independent, non-flagged property with a limited marketing budget.
Boutique hotels are often at a disadvantage when it comes to payroll and expense efficiencies and vendor rate negotiations, but one place where we have a distinct advantage is in guest service, so we need to exploit it! The “caring advantage” is about service points that are significantly easier to train and achieve at the boutique hotel level:
- Anticipating the guest’s needs
- Asking his or her name only once, then using it frequently
- Gathering guest intelligence before, during and after one’s stay
- Applying each guest preferences, special occasions, requests and history to create a culture in which guests do not have to repeat themselves
- Empowering hotel associates to handle basic guest situations, avoiding escalation to a manager