5 Inn Wins for Best Guest Satisfaction
What do guests really want from an inn or bed and breakfast?
This is the most frequent and fundamental of all questions asked by innkeepers everywhere – at seminars, association meetings, and during off-season sleepless nights.
Studies examining the innkeeping industry conclude again and again that service comes first.
Here are the 5 inn qualities that produce guest satisfaction, in order of importance:
1. Good Value
This doesn’t mean cheap. You can still be a high-end property, but you must deliver. Know your guests, know your competition, know your market, and price accordingly. You might offer the exact same ‘product’, but if it’s overpriced your guests will leave unsatisfied. However, a good perceived value will have the opposite effect. Sometimes the difference is only in the details – a chocolate on the pillow or fresh flowers.
2. Privacy and Peace
Guests understand that they’ll be sharing the Inn with others – its part of appeal. However, they’re also on vacation, want to relax, and are sleeping for most of the time spent in your inn. Keep this always in mind. Fix squeaky doors and floors if possible, post quiet hours, provide ear plugs in the rooms and ambient noise machines or fans. Be conscientious of personal space. Also, everyone’s comfortable temperature is wildly different – provide fans, AC, space heaters, and extra blankets.
3. Innkeeper Skills
The capacity to put people at ease and make them feel welcome and comfortable is an innkeeper necessity. Chances are that if you were drawn to this career, then this comes naturally to you – keep it always at the forefront of your mind. You, the innkeeper, it what sets your business apart from the competition, for better or worse. Be a helping hand, a conversationalist, storyteller, joke teller, expert on the area, and local history buff. Pull strings – get your guests local discounts. Know the secret places. Show genuine interest. All of this is the fun part of being an innkeeper anyway, so get good at it.
The basic amenities are obvious and expected, but what will win guest satisfaction, reviews, repeat visits, and word-of-mouth referrals will be the surprise extras: bikes to loan, ingredients for s’mores, candy in the room, flowers, replacement toiletries, books and movies and magazines for rainy days, bottled water, a mini fridge with soda, robes, in-room tablets, wine & cheese. Brainstorm and get creative. The possibilities are endless.
5. Good Food
Lodging is only half of the hospitality game. Good food, and especially breakfast if you’re a BnB, is crucial. You’ll know you’re hitting the mark by how the food is received – comments of delight or a simple shrug? Here is an opportunity to make such a good impression, or to make none. If you get it right you’ll be rewarded with Instagram posts for the world to see – free digital word-of-mouth marketing. Perfect.
These are the 5 qualities most crucial for guest satisfaction as identified in ‘Marketing Essentials for Independent Lodgings’ – put your focus here and your lodging business will thrive.