Making the Most of a First Impression
We’ve all heard the expression that “you never get a second chance to make a first impression”. Recent studies support this, but more importantly, the studies indicate that it’s very hard to change a poor first impression to a more positive one later on.
As a hotel, your entire image depends on the ability to offer great customer service right from the initial contact with your guest. It’s absolutely critical that your guests feel instantly welcome the second they contact your hotel.
According to McKinsey research on customer experience, 70% of buying experiences are based on how a customer feels they are being treated. Significantly, a study by RightNow concluded that 73% of people fall in love with brands because of friendly employees or customer service representatives.
Clearly, there’s huge value in nurturing great relationships with guests right from the start to increase the prospects of them booking with you now and in the future. But all too often, a guest’s first communication with a hotel involves an efficient, standard welcome email generated by the PMS or CRS. And no matter how nicely worded or individually tailored that email might be, an automated welcome will never feel truly personal.
In contrast, extending a friendly welcome over the phone allows a hotel to build rapport with customers and form valuable, long-term relationships.
In those crucial few moments of interaction, a human voice can convey a genuine warmth that is more personal and sincere than any other form of communication. This can shape a customer’s entire perception of your hotel, enhancing your brand reputation and helping to increase bookings.
While busy periods can make it hard to give every customer quality attention, a great call center team can ensure your hotel always offers this one-to-one welcome. More importantly, well-trained agents can personalize the guest’s experience, addressing any specific queries they might to make their stay more enjoyable, and offering the right activities or add-on items to make their stay unforgettable.