GETTING THE WELCOME RIGHT

Key factors in making North Americans feel at home when they stay in your hotel

US-born Tim Hentschel, CEO at HotelPlanner.com and Meetings.com, knows what it takes to make North American travellers happy – or upset – when they stay at a hotel. Following are his “top three”:

1. REAL HOSPITALITY 

Americans come from a culture where the customer is always right. Since we are used to true capitalism and consumer choice, if your company doesn’t give good customer service, then someone else will. It always surprises me how many European Hotels fight with the customer at any chance they can find, only to eventually come to a conclusion that every problems needs a solution. My advice is to skip the uncomfortable conflict, identify a solution, and offer it to the client without accusing them of doing something wrong.

grand_elysee_hotel_-hamburg_germany_reception_desk2. BIGGER ROOMS

Most Americans will be disappointed when they see the size of a room, especially compared to the price of the room in most major European cities. If you have a bigger room available, even it means the customer needs to pay a few dollars more, it’s better to offer it to them. If you have them go all the way up to a room, and then come down disappointed to ask for a room upgrade, they will not consider that a good customer experience. At least if you offer a upgrade option at the desk, you are setting reasonable expectations, so they don’t feel as disappointed when they see the small room for the first time.

3. SETTING LUXURY STANDARDS

If you run a 4 star hotel or greater, Americans will expect room service, bell desk, a gym, concierge, etc. If you don’t have any of these things, expect a bad review online from an American Traveller. My suggestion, if you are a 4 star or higher with little to no amenities, is to partner up with a local restaurant to get food delivered to the rooms, have your front desk offer concierge services, and get a local gym to offer free daily access to your guest, the monthly fee from the gym back to the hotel should be reasonable since 95% of guests will not use the gym, but they will appreciate the option.