I have the opportunity to travel a great deal and stay at some wonderful hotels. Among them is one in my own “backyard” (Texas) where I have a consistently positive experience each time I visit. That’s what keeps customers coming back.
5 “Musts” for Stellar Hotel Customer Service
1. Use the customer’s name – Whether it’s the first and only time you visit or the 50th time you arrive, greeting a guest with a genuine smile and using their name in conversation sends a courteous and thoughtful message of respect.
2. Make a meaningful connection – During my last visit, my daughter was in a tennis tournament in Austin and Elicia, the guest relations supervisor, at The Stephen F. Austin hotel, made it a point to ask her about her tournament and respond with genuine interest. She also had cookies and milk sent to our hotel room. It made my daughter feel like she was extra special and made me take note of the great experience.
3. Notice every detail – Every time I arrive, (yes I said “every”), and shortly after I settle in, there is a knock on my door and a pleasant hotel representative cheerily delivers a beautifully set tray with a linen napkin, a pot full of hot water, a tea cup and saucer, loose tea, honey, nuts and fruit. Ding, ding, ding…I’m happy and I’m coming back!
4. Ask me if there is “anything else” I need – I may need a few more towels or another bar of decorative soap, or I may even say “no thank you” but the kind gesture will not go unnoticed.
5. Offer to make reservations and give suggestions for great restaurants and local diners – A good concierge knows that busy business travelers and weary moms appreciate a little extra TLC and Tricia goes out of her way to offer assistance each and every visit. From making reservations to engaging in mannerly small talk, her presence is appreciated and comforting.
Overall, my stay at The Stephen F. Austin is always a welcome respite, whether it is a cheery greeting from Issa, the assistant front desk manager, when I arrive at the hotel, a call in advance from Elicia, the guest relations supervisor, to see if I am needing any special professional assistance, or a warm greeting from Tricia, the concierge, all of the employees are equally helpful and I am never disappointed when I leave.
I asked Elicia what the secret was to The Stephen F. Austin’s hospitality and she replied, “We at the InterContinental Stephen F. Austin strive to develop lasting relationships through lasting memories.” That’s simply good business and it keeps people like me coming back time and time again.