How to cater to a diverse clientele
When welcoming a diverse clientele, you must take specific steps to meet the needs of all your guests. If you want to provide the best service to families, business people, tourists or couples, you need to know how to adapt your offer and services.
CATERING TO FAMILIES
A diverse clientele often includes families, which constitute a guest demographic that requires special attention. You can make their stay pleasant by offering accommodations, such as high chairs in restaurants for young children or a swimming pool area or small playground. Simple touches such as having a children’s menu or crayons and paper at hand in restaurants always please families. Also, consider earmarking a few double rooms with an extra sofa bed that provide more sleeping space for families with three or more children. Your staff can easily find rooms with a sofa bed using your hotel PMS’ commodity feature when a guest with children calls to book.
Offering folding beds or extra beds is also a great way to accommodate families. Upon arrival, offering children a small gift or candy at reception is a pleasant extra that families will remember. It’s also an effective way to keep children busy during the check-in process that also helps parents pay more attention to the information your reception staff provides. However, make sure each item you offer guests is available at all times. When several families are staying at your hotel, you could run out of folding beds for young children, for example. Be sure your software has an up-to-date inventory of your hardware and update the inventory daily when an item is assigned to a customer for the duration of their stay.
Resorts that host the most diversified clientele may wish to offer special activities during the holiday season so that parents can spend time together while their children play and keep busy thanks to organized activities. In rental condos and cottages, consider making video or board games available for rainy days or evenings. In cottages with a spa, a simple action such as lowering the water temperature for children is much appreciated and a good way to accommodate a diverse clientele.
WHAT ABOUT BUSINESS PEOPLE?
Business travellers don’t necessarily have the time to take care of details and appreciate when things are designed with their needs in mind. Offer them packages designed especially for them that feature extras such as a high-speed internet connection and spa access. Make business people’s stay easier by having a supply of water bottles in the room and reserve a more remote or separate restaurant section for them that’s quieter. Also, consider keeping some services open later in the evening since business people sometimes call it a day much later than other guests. As they’re often alone in the evening and have the time, they may want to enjoy the pool or relax at the spa.
Finally, it’s essential to offer business people fast check-in and check-out service, as they have no time to waste. Providing fast service contributes to good customer service. It’s easy to implement a few simple tools to ensure a faster, more efficient check-in and check-out process. For example, providing guests with a pre-registration form they can complete before arriving at the hotel speeds up the registration process since all the pertinent information has been validated in advance.
Another way to make the check-in and check-out process easier is to install self-serve kiosks guests can use to check-in and check-out themselves. This procedure can take place either at a physical terminal or online using a smartphone.
SERVING TOURISTS WELL
Tourists want to explore, discover and see new things. On their own, they constitute a diverse clientele since tourists come from all walks of life and can be couples or families. One way or another, they’ll want to know what there is to do around your hotel. In order to provide the best possible service to a diversified clientele, your staff must have good working knowledge of the region’s tourist attractions. Your guests will naturally turn to your reception staff to get references to the best restaurant in the area. Such knowledge will also allow your staff to sell a stay at your hotel better. Therefore, by providing excellent service, your staff contributes to better reviews of your hotel. For this same reason, never hesitate to list the attractions that could draw a tourist to stay with you on your booking engine.
Be sure to maintain an inventory of informative brochures on the region’s activities in both English and French; it’s a good way to inform and accommodate tourists. Road maps are also practical.
To meet the needs of tourists, offer discovery packages and include items such as a dinner at the hotel restaurant with a local wine or tickets to a local museum or cultural centre thanks to a partnership with these third parties. To this end, nothing beats a PMS that lets you customize packages and add à la carte elements based on guest preferences. Selling tickets directly at the hotel will make it easier for guests to get to attractions without queuing up for each activity. Once again, better service contributes to a better stay and therefore to a better review or more loyal guests.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST, COUPLES!
In most cases, couples are guests that are easy to satisfy. However, implementing the following strategies can ensure couples enjoy their stay as well as increase your retention rate.
To cater to couples’ needs, showcase couple packages and highlight activities they can enjoy as a duo. Offering a discount on their next reservation for two is a good idea and will encourage couples to make a return visit to your hotel. Spa packages are also popular when a couple is looking for a weekend getaway. You can include other elements in the packages, such as breakfast room service.
All these tips are easy to set up and will add value to your hotel experience while helping you cater to a diverse clientele. However, you must manage this diverse clientele well, as they do not necessarily wish to engage with each other. For example, a couple looking to spend a quiet romantic weekend together isn’t likely to enjoy a meal sitting at a table next to several families with young children. Therefore, your staff has a key role to play in assigning tables, rooms and services to each type of clientele so that all your guests can enjoy a dream stay at your hotel.