We all know what customer service is and the difference it makes to your guest’s stay, but how does this differ to guest experience and why is guest experience so important? Most of us have been delivering customer service for many years, it’s usually a one-to-one interaction that could be by email or face to face. Here you help a customer by answering queries, providing advice or sorting out an issue. Guest experience on the other hand encompasses the whole stay, it’s the sum of all the various interactions (or touch points) that your guest has from the moment they book to after they’ve left a review.
You can’t rely on those one-to-one interactions to make your guests always feel welcome, special and valued. They’re experiencing your “hospitality” way before they arrive and often when you’re not there. The guest experience covers all that ensuring guests have the right information at the right time, can contact you when it suits them (not just you) and that they get excellent customer service. At all of those touch points the guest “experience” is being formed.
In order to receive those rave reviews that build trust and drive more bookings you have to deliver on both the guest experience and customer service.
Crafting an unforgettable guest experience takes a bit of planning and thought.. the attention to many small details that lifts the experience into the “magical” making your guests your biggest fans.
Businesses that think ahead and anticipate their guests needs even before the guests themselves have thought of them are the winners. They get a booking and instantly respond, creating a communication channel and then they follow up with advice on how to get there, what to bring and maybe where to visit. They’ll see a booking that includes a child and ensure a pack of playing cards or family game is left out for them. It may not get used but the impression given is clear… they’re thinking about their guests, anticipating their needs. That’s all about ensuring an amazing guest experience.
Once the communication lines are open it’s much easier to build the relationship and get engagement, this leads to an even better understanding of the needs of that guest. Having that knowledge then helps when serving the guest and as always, friendly and helpful customer service is a winner.
Perhaps in the past there was more of a reliance on customer service as the defining factor in the guest experience but now with technology there are more opportunities to help create an unforgettable experience.
In short, both customer service and guest experience are important, but the guest experience is what really sets you apart from the rest. That’s why we’ve created Gold, a new area in freetobook that is your secret weapon to providing an exceptional guest experience. An experience that leads to rave reviews and guests that become your biggest fans, helping you build a reputation and growing your business.
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