How to use check-out to improve your hotel’s reputation
Get insightful feedback from your guests to strengthen the hotel brand
You might have often heard that “a satisfied customer is the best advertising.” We’re partial to saying it’s true. You can spend a huge budget on marketing, but nothing beats feedback from a guest who has had an exceptional experience. That’s why your hotel’s reputation is crucial and why measuring and continuously improving guest satisfaction is necessary. Whether it’s a conversation between friends (“word of mouth” marketing) or a review on an online platform such as TripAdvisor, more than ever, your hotel’s reputation plays an essential role in the decision-making process of your future guests.
If you stop that effort once your customers check out, you may be missing out on valuable opportunities to leave a final – and long-lasting – good impression. Offering exceptional service during a stay is not enough to guarantee customer satisfaction or a good reputation. The final moments spent in your hotel should not be neglected; on the contrary, they have the power to considerably influence the decision to return to your establishment. How can you make the most of check-out to improve guest satisfaction and your hotel’s reputation? Here are four tips that can really make a difference.
Simplify check-out (make it quick and hassle-free)
It’s often said that first impressions are the most important, but one last bad impression could ruin your previous efforts. Remember: the check-out is the last contact that guests will have with your hotel and is, therefore, the last memory they will have in their minds before potentially leaving a review or telling friends about it. So it’s in your best interests to make this last memory a pleasant one. How can you make check-out quick, easy and convenient? By offering automatic check-in kiosks or online check-out(contactless check-out).
In the first case, the kiosks allow your customers to check out themselves: pay their bill if necessary and hand in their key. All without the assistance of reception staff.
In the second case, customers receive a pre-check-out form before their departure, where they can provide all the necessary information. The advantage of online check-out over automatic check-in kiosks is that you don’t need to install any new equipment in your reception, which means less work, fewer expenses and less clutter. Hotel guests receive instructions directly on their mobile phones. HiJiffy’s AI-powered solution automates the sending of these forms, which customers receive via WhatsApp, the world’s most popular messaging application.
By implementing one of these two solutions, you can make check-out as quick and easy as possible, ensuring that your customers leave with a smile on their faces. But that’s not all. This will also benefit you and your reception teams, as it will reduce the number of long queues at reception.
Memorable little touches
Simplifying check-out saves your customers time (and potential inconvenience), but you can go even further. Not only do you want check-out to be hassle-free, but you also want it to be memorable. That’s exactly what our second tip recommends you to do: plan some little final touches. These can take different forms:
a personalised (perhaps even handwritten) thank you note;
a soft drink or a coffee in the hotel bar;
a discount on their next stay;
a small souvenir gift;
take-away breakfast (especially for customers who leave early).
These small gestures show that you really care about your guests and will set you apart from the competition. It could make all the difference when they’re thinking about their next stay or even encourage them to leave you a nice review.
Gather and encourage hotel reviews
Speaking of reviews, gathering customer feedback is our third recommendation. A hotel with good ratings and positive reviews is much more likely to be chosen over another. Especially when you consider that 81% of travellers, i.e. four out of five, regularly consult reviews before booking accommodation.
Leaving it to the customers to leave a review on their own is fine, but encouraging them to do so is even better. How? By simply sending out specific campaigns. How does it work? All you have to do is send a message asking your customers to leave a review as their stay is coming to an end.
In theory, it’s simple, but in practice, given the number of guests, it’s a considerable workload for your staff. That’s exactly the role of certain hotel platforms, which do that job for you. The Guest Communications Hub from HiJiffy automates sending customer review campaigns thanks to its AI specialising in the hotel industry. The solution encourages satisfied customers to recommend you on review platforms, helping to improve your hotel’s e-reputation.
Offer transport services
At the end of their stay, your customers probably need to take a flight or some other form of transport to get home. But wouldn’t it be much simpler if this service were already booked by the hotel? It’s another way of increasing customer satisfaction and, consequently, your hotel’s reputation. Offer the possibility of booking a taxi or even providing information on transport timetables to the nearest airport or station. Some hotels even offer an airporttransfer service, providing a convenient and comfortable solution for travellers. This will make your guests’ departure as smooth as possible and, above all, leave a good final impression.
The check-out moment in the guest journey offers valuable opportunities to increase guest satisfaction and, as a result, enhance the reputation of your establishment. Don’t miss the opportunity to take advantage of it, and remember: a satisfied guest will always be your hotel’s best ambassador!
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