It is often difficult to get an idea of how others see environments that we take for granted. We have all walked into a poorly designed, noisy office and wondered “How on earth can people work like this?” only to find staff don’t realise how poor their conditions are.
But just because you get used to something doesn’t mean it’s acceptable. Some of the biggest culprits of this “head in the sand” approach are hotels. A hotel that’s been in business for decades may believe that they are offering old-fashioned charm, when in fact they are losing business because they are not providing facilities expected by modern guests.
Unlikely as that seems, there are hotels that still deliver an outdated service, and here are four signs to look out for. If your hotel is displaying any, it might time to address them.
1. It is a bad sign if your website has no comments or reviews. These days it’s taken for granted that guests can comment about their visit, leaving suggestions for improvement or simply saying they had a good time and giving helpful tips for other guests. If there are no reviews, or comments have been disabled, it suggests that you may be covering something up.
2. Have you updated your website recently? A good way to tell if a hotel is outdated is to look at the last time the website was updated. If the last comment from a guest is from six months ago, or there is an advertisement for a ‘Christmas Day Dinner Special’ and it’s now March, it can give the impression that management pays scant attention to keeping guests informed, and may be as lax with their personal service.
3. Is the internet actually usable? If a guest books a room in a hotel that offers Wi-Fi, it’s reasonable to assume that this implies a decent connection speed, at least 20 megabits per second. Your hotel information should state internet speeds. That’s because internet connectivity is important not just for businesspeople who need to be able to use services such as email and virtual fax, but also for families with teenage sons addicted to online games. A poor internet connection can spoil a holiday!
4. Are your hotel’s concierge services up to scratch? A guest arrives off a long distance flight and there is no one at reception, leaving them to wait for someone to finally emerge from a back room.
Yes, it happens, but if it happens a lot in your hotel, it can leave guests frustrated and spreading the word online. There is no excuse in this era of CCTV cameras and photoelectric buzzers for reception staff not to know that someone is waiting. Some hotels are now also using automatic check in machines, which means guests can let themselves into the room without having to depend on the front desk.
If you want to know whether guests consider your hotel outdated, it’s helpful to check out independent sites like TripAdvisor. They offer candid reviews that give feedback on internet connections, the location, the cleanliness and the general level of service.
Negative reviews are also included, but at the end of the day, negative or not, all feedback is valuable in helping you improve and update your service, and remain competitive.