Business guests have come to expect a great deal from hotels as competition increases not only among the larger chains, but also between budget accommodation providers.
While it’s true that there’s a fair bit of overlap between what leisure and business guests want, business people do have particular needs when they travel. These include fast internet connectivity in order to communicate via email and online fax, a reliable staff to help them with last minute changes of itinerary, basic office furniture in rooms, and a directory of helpful business contacts in the local area.
Fast internet is probably the most important modern hotel service for business travellers. They need to be able to communicate, collaborate with colleagues back at the office, and share confidential material with clients while they are on the road. If a business traveller trying to use their fax to email service is finding the internet slow, the frustration levels are likely to be very high.
Guests also like to log into a hotel intra-net, which gives them access to laundry schedules, check out times, menus, amenities, nearby cafes and restaurants, and other information. Copies of guest bookings can also be included on the intra-net, showing check in and check out times, as well as hotel services and facility opening times.
Offer a directory of helpful business contacts in the local area. Business travellers often need to know where they can hire temporary staff, have documents notarised, or rent temporary office equipment.
Business travellers naturally need to be able to comfortably work in their rooms. This means they require a proper desk and office chair, and good lighting. The desk needs to be located close to multiple power points, and internet cables if Wi-Fi isn’t available.
Guests are increasingly expecting certain services to be part of the room price. They don’t really want to pay to use the internet, or for parking or a seat on the hotel shuttle from the airport.
Offering free local calls to business guests can also be a way to attract repeat clientele.
It goes without saying, but business travellers require good hotel staff above all else. If they need a suit dry-cleaned in a hurry, a booking changed, or help with finding a last-minute conference room, they want fast, efficient service and a can-do attitude. Good staff who go the extra mile will keep business guests coming back.
Helpful directories, office furniture, and free and fast internet are just some of the things modern business guests expect from hotels. Hotels who can offer these services to their business guests are likely to stand out from the competition.