How to: Improve Your Concierge
The concierge is the heart of the hotel. A good concierge engages closely with guests, adding an essential human touch while anticipating guests’ needs. The concierge helps even with the most menial of tasks, to ensure guests enjoy a seamless journey. Most importantly: a hotel concierge should always aim to go above and beyond for guests. Here are some ways you can improve your concierge service to differentiate from competitors.
Enhance pre-arrival guest experience
Your guests are your guests from the moment they click the Reserve button and receive a confirmation email in their inbox. Many hotels mistakenly think the guest experience only begins when they arrive at the hotel for check-in. At reception, hotels usually provide a complimentary drink, or a hot towel to freshen up after a long flight. What if we could provide this service before people even leave for their trip? How can we make them feel like your guests even before they check-in to the hotels? We suggest engaging with your guests as early as possible!
According to Revinate, pre-arrival emails have an average open rate of 61.9% and 21.3% CTR. Hotel concierges should build on these statistics and kickstart the guest experience. You can consider sending pre-arrival emails asking if they require assistance for transport arrangements to and from the hotel. Alternatively you could ask guests if they are planning to celebrate a special occasion during their stay. The concierge can then help to prepare personalised welcome cards in their room, which will boost satisfaction, exemplify staff attentiveness, as well as create a feeling of exclusivity. Whilst these may appear to be small and insignificant gestures, in time it will prove worthwhile to have gone the extra mile, as your overall satisfaction towards your hotel will be significantly raised.
Introduce personalised experiences
Leveraging on our previous example: by asking if guests are celebrating a special date during their stay, concierges can further offer personalised experiences for them. For example, if a couple is celebrating their anniversary, you might suggest a couple’s massage to unwind after their flight. Alternatively, you could use push messages on an in-room smartphone to reach guests directly. In the modern digital age, many hotels either have their own applications or partner with a third-party to furnish rooms with smartphones. Push messaging can be highly tailored and specific to the dynamic needs of guests. Webee claims personalised notifications are more likely to be read by smartphone users – up to 800% more! Rather than an in-your face upselling method, push messages provide guests with the option to avoid the awkward rejection process, should they choose to decline the promotional offers. This decreases the risk of guests leaving their stay at your hotel with a bad taste in their mouth from an awkward social interaction. After all, the focus is not solely on upselling services – it’s crucial to ensure guests have the best experience with you.
Increase guest communication with technology
For every concierge, communication is an indispensable skill. Serving to please every single guest can prove to be daunting during peak periods. Similarly, if you are a big hotel with hundreds of rooms, creating direct communication channels between concierge and guest can be a challenge. With modern technology, concierges can overcome these obstacles and remain connected with guests through smartphones. This also means you can simultaneously respond and accede to the demands of more guests, and provide swift responses using text rather than lose time calling or visiting guests one-by-one. Mobile phones, alongside apps, also keep guests tethered to hotel concierges even when they are exploring the city. However, you may find yourself competing with other communication channels such as WhatsApp and Telegram, which guests might prioritise over your messages.
To avoid messages becoming ineffective and futile, we suggest making the importance of concise language clear to staff. Messages from the concierge should clearly express the main message within the text preview that appears as a notification. You can also identify further improvements that can be made to the communication channels between concierge and guest. In this continuing pandemic, and even in the post-pandemic world, it is important for you to keep guests highly engaged with your concierge. Gallup reports engaged guests spend at least 47% more money at hotels than disengaged guests. As the current climate forces hotels to rethink financial strategies, the guest experience should become more efficient – technology is the clear solution. Technology has the potential to elevate trips to the next level, whilst maintaining the prized human connection concierges already offer.
In fact, all three of the approaches we suggested maintain that direct, intimate communication channel. Guest engagement is key, and should begin early – even before check-in. Statistics clearly differentiate between engaged and unengaged guests. Making the most of technology will reap higher levels of guest engagement, as will developing personalisations throughout guests’ journey. Use these three ways to strengthen the heart of your hotel!