Jul 20, 2019 | Guest Experience | Reading Time: 5 minutes
New York or Lisbon. All around the world, guest services are overloaded with all kinds of questions from clients. Even though it may seem like a boring task, quickly addressing clients’ simple inquiries affects deeply the guest experience.
One common mistake that hoteliers do is to consider guest experience only the experience provided during guest stay. But pre-stay service is also a crucial part of it. Therefore, pre-stay queries should not be underestimated.
The fact is those uncomplicated and countless, yet important, questions take away precious time and productivity from hotel staff. The staff could be attracting more business to your hotel, instead of repeating themselves. I’m sure that you, hotelier, can’t help thinking: “is there a better way to deal with this?”
Well, there is! Many hotels are investing in FAQs or chatbots as a way to ease the mind of the incoming guest and, at the same time, giving reservations agents time to focus on sales. Travelers can find answers to questions on their own, instead of contacting hotel staff on an individual basis.
To make your life a bit easier, here come 4 main topics you should cover on your hotel website so your guest experience goes smoothly.
1. Reservation: seal the deal!
If there is a topic that needs your total attention is reservation: how to make a reservation, cancellation/deposit policy, what kind of rooms the hotel has, forms of payment, what is included in the daily rate, check-in and check-out times. Information about “how the booking is done” and “what it is included” are crucial to be answered to turn your potential client into a guest.
Of course price and availability are important aspects when someone is deciding where to stay. But remember that is not enough. Before pressing the “book now” button, travelers want more relevant information to seal the deal.
Clients like when everything is transparent and clear. No one likes to feel they are being misled, especially when money is involved. So don’t miss a business opportunity for not making it simple for your client to understand your booking process.
2. Location: turn your hotel into a hot spot!
Where the hotel is located, how to get to the hotel, how far is from the museum, where is the nearest subway station are some of the more common questions a hotelier can hear. Even though we have Google Maps and other tools to find our way around, the truth is most people prefer asking than searching themselves.
So be sure that your possible client won’t get lost and that your location is perfect for them.
Your answers should include not only geographic location and distances, but also what they can experience by staying in your hotel.
For example: if you are located next to a famous Theater, go beyond the distance. You can write how great experience in this Theater may be and all the unique memories created to bring back home. Use this opportunity to encourage clients to be your guests.
3. Facilities/Services: we all want an easy life!
One thing that almost everyone is looking for when booking a hotel is comfort. Not only in the room. We all like to relax after a hard workday or to enjoy our holidays to the fullest. If we have all the facilities we imagine in the same building, the better!
That’s why facilities are a common topic among hotels. If your hotel has a swimming pool or laundry service, make sure your guest understands how it works. Some hotels have facilities fee. If that’s your case, don’t forget to mention that.
In case your hotel doesn’t have a specific facility or service that your guests always ask about, don’t worry. This can be a great opportunity to turn a negative question into a positive one. It all depends on how you answer it.
One of the best things about adopting FAQs or hotel chatbots is that you can take your time to elaborate on these negative answers. When in rush, hotel staff usually answers with a simple “we don’t have it, sorry”.
But your hotel chatbot can give a much more comprehensive answer in a matter of seconds, saying, for example, that even though the hotel doesn’t have a gym, guests can go to a gym center close by. Giving an option instead of just saying “no” makes all the difference!
4. Others: everything else that is important to your guest experience!
There are some general questions that almost every hotel must answer on a daily basis: if pets are allowed, if the hotel has onsite parking, things to do in the city and more. You could address many subjects here.
Just don’t forget that FAQs, automated or not, must be based on the most common questions your customers actually have, not what you guess they wonder. So take a look over your emails, talk to all hotel staff and collect the most common questions you all are tired of answering.
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Is it really important to have a hotel FAQ?
The answer is: yes. A FAQ is an integral part of good guest experience. It also helps you increase your online presence and reduces a lot of stress from your hotel staff. Answering questions before guests actually ask shows you care about their experience and understand their needs.
Besides, according to research published in Harvard Business Review, customers with good past experiences spend 140% more than those with poor experiences. Reason enough to have a FAQ, don’t you think?
“How can I start?”, you might ask me. Start with the research of which questions you must address. Then, write in simple language and short sentences. When possible, use images to illustrate what you are talking about. Your guest will surely appreciate your efforts.
By adopting an FAQ section or a hotel chatbot, you can use the questions to make uncertainty disappear and establish a solid relationship with your client. A good FAQ page or chatbot increases the trust of your customers and decrease guest service’s stress. It’s a win-win situation, don’t you think?