Customer service and luxury are both about the same thing: attitude.
While you may not be able to offer your guests handmade chocolates wrapped in gold leaf, there are simple ways to upgrade your service from economy to first class.
What is Luxury Service?
Luxury has to be quality and customized. Guests must be recognised, and their individual quirks realised. This doesn’t mean getting bathrobes embroidered with your clients’ names – it can be something as simple as a welcome card in their room, addressed to them by name.
Oh! Is That for Me?
Everyone loves getting things for free. We know this because the first thing people do when they enter a hotel room is throw down their bags and poke about the bathroom. They take stock of the soap, shampoo and extras.
Is there something you could offer your guests? A tea or coffee on the house, offered at check-in. A small pad of paper on the bedside table. Even a pretty packet of tissues, which people always forget to pack and loathe to buy, is a great little gift.
A small gift says that a human has visited the room, and left something to make your stay a little better. It’s a nice gesture, nothing more.
Gifts to Avoid
Don’t go too crazy with the gift-giving. Avoid edible items, as you risk allergies or sickness – or, worst of all, you risk that complimentary chocolate melting all over your guest’s pillow if they blast the heat too enthusiastically.
Try to avoid overtly branded items, too. They’re great marketing tools, but advertising is for your benefit, not your guest’s. They won’t want to feel like a billboard, so keep your giveaways generic.
By making it about the guest, and not about their repeat business, you’re on your way to covert luxury service.
Make an Offer
The illusion of luxury may be enough. If people have booked on a budget, they’re not expecting 24/7 first-class service. So, it’ll be a bonus if your hotel seems to offer the same treats as a luxury establishment.
This doesn’t mean you need to build a spa on the roof, or have a team of chauffeurs on the books. Speak to businesses in your local area – find a reputable masseuse and physiotherapist. Seek out the best hairdresser (for men and women). Have a preferred car rental or minicab service you can recommend. Keep an updated list of opening hours for good local restaurants. Know where the fastest printing service is.
Put all these tips and contacts in a nice folder. You can either leave a copy in each room (along with instructions for how to use the TV, kettle and so on), or have a few copies on display at the front desk.
Few people will engage the services. But knowing that the information is accessible, and the services possible, is important for maintaining that illusion of luxury.
Keeping it Local
By promoting local businesses at your hotel, you may strike up a few lucrative and helpful relationships.
Imagine the florist down the street supplies to conferences and weddings. Perhaps if you loyally recommend this florist to your guests, the florist may suggest your venue as a place to host an event. There is certainly no harm in being a good neighbor!
Guests won’t expect you to give them robes, bicycle helmets, phone chargers and so on. But can they book these things at the front desk?
Having a selection of everyday useful items on hand takes the stress out of your guest’s stay. If they know they can pick up an umbrella from the concierge, they won’t be fretting about whether the weather will ruin their holiday.
Easy, effortless service is what sets budget apart from luxury.
Tiny things can elevate the perception of a place from low-rent to luxury. Are the napkins stored in a metal tin behind the café counter? Or are they folded into neat or pretty shapes, and placed on the tables. Are communal areas regularly swept and bins emptied? Are there plants?
Plants make a place look more inviting and alive. However, they can be disastrous. Live plants, particularly, can cause people to have allergic reactions. Plants can also die, or attract bugs. The simple solution for a luxury veneer: fake plants. Gorgeous and guaranteed to last.
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