Go the extra mile to look after the needs of your groups and you’ll reap the rewards through glowing reviews, hearty recommendations and repeat business. Use the information you have collected to anticipate what might be required when the group departs. Here, in the third part of this 3-part series, are some simple ways to improve your groups’ experience upon departure…
Check out - All your good work before and during the stay can be undone if you don’t get check-out right, so make sure you’re prepared. Have any bills prepped and ready for the time of departure – which needless to say is important to know in advance. Depending on the size of the group and the time you’ll be able to best judge how many reception staff and porters you’ll need. Ask your reception staff to collect feedback as it’s far easier to address any issues at check-out than after the group has left.
Reviews - Reviews are more important than ever and can have a big effect on your hotel’s reputation. A prompt response is essential. Express gratitude for positive reviews. For negative reviews, it goes without saying to remain polite and convey that you are genuinely interested in improving your service based on the feedback – don’t make the same mistakes as this guy. A stock response is alright as a starting point but personalisation is important as the customer will feel like action is being taken.
Testimonial - If you feel you’ve covered all the bases and ensured the group enjoyed the hospitality provided, don’t be afraid to ask the group organiser for a testimonial to use in any marketing collateral. You could even add the experience as a case study on your website to show your property excels in dealing with the type of groups you are targeting. Was the group an official club or organisation? Display their logo as a badge of honour and to add prestige to your hotel.
Internal meeting - Considering the effort you’ll put in to treating your guests well, it would be a shame not to learn from the experience. A quick meeting can address aspects that went well and ones that can be improved on. It will also help you identify what types of groups suit your hotel and whether sufficient revenue was earned.
Target similar groups - Evaluate the group’s benefit to the hotel – while they may have brought in a lot of revenue, did they require a lot of attention and provide hassle? Do you need to plan in future to separate different types of customers to different parts of the hotel? If you decide the group type is one you’d like more of, come up with a campaign on how you can grow that segment.
Departure Gift - Can your hotel offer a token to the group on their departure? Perhaps a group photo - linking your business to their experience. Additionally, if your hotel has a quirky item that seems to catch the eye of kleptomaniacs, offer it for sale in a gift shop.