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Return to travel: Delivering a quality guest experience in COVID times

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4 min read

Many have been putting off a return to travel for a long time, so it’s unsurprising that now that they’re feeling confident enough to hit the road, they are hoping for an experience that will prove to have been well worth the wait. Unfortunately, with establishments needing to be extremely strict about COVID health and safety protocols, there’s a chance that travelling during COVID times might feel slightly clinical and impersonal as a result.

The question is, how can you continue to optimise the quality of the customer experience despite COVID’s influence along the way? Here’s a round-up of some ideas for memorable (and budget-friendly) quality touches that will make all the difference.

Keep in touch

Warm, personal communication remains key, and can help to optimise customer experience by providing guests with complete peace of mind. It is a good idea to detail your establishment’s COVID health and safety protocols on your website, on various booking platforms, on social media, and on easy-to-read hotel signage. You should also always communicate your COVID policies clearly once again when your guests check-in.

Encourage guests to ask questions and provide them with helpful information inside their rooms so that they can familiarise themselves with the policy details whenever necessary. Just be sure to laminate the pamphlets to allow for effortless and frequent disinfection using a sanitiser.

Personalise where possible

You can take a customer’s experience from ‘meh’ to amazing with just a few small, personal touches. For instance, you can keep the data of your previous guests on hand so that you instantly know what they enjoyed most when they visited last. You could display a personalised welcome message on the door of their room, and always greet them by name when you come into contact with them. Most importantly, make sure that you avail yourself to your guests by making it easy for them to get in touch whenever they may need some guidance or have a question to ask.

Help them to save

There’s no doubt that landing a fantastic deal on a getaway is sure to put a smile on a guest’s face right from the get-go. Therefore, it’s wise to give your establishment a head-start before your guests even arrive by offering them access to unmissable deals and discounts when booking their stay. Offering a small discount on their next visit upon check-out is also always sure to be an appreciated ‘thank you’ gift and the cherry on top of a wonderful holiday.

Implement a flexible cancellation policy

Concerns surrounding potentially having to cancel their getaway may lead some guests to wait out their return to travel a little bit longer. However, having a flexible cancellation policy in place – such as a full moneyback guarantee or the option to move a booking without incurring penalties – could mean the difference between a guest taking the plunge and backing away. Once again, peace of mind plays a massive role in ensuring that a traveller has a fabulous time.

Ask for guidance

Ask your future guests for suggestions on how you can make their upcoming travel experience worthwhile every time a new booking comes in. You could find out what sort of drinks or snacks they would prefer in their mini fridge or what activities they are hoping to take part in when they arrive.

For example, if they say that they are looking forward to a hot air balloon ride or a game drive, you could collaborate with a local supplier to organise a small discount on the adventure as a lovely welcome gift upon their arrival. At the very least, you could put together some information about where to go and who to get in touch with to assist them in ticking off the items on their itinerary during their stay.

Celebrate local

Alongside suggestions for local excursions and activities, what about popping a basket of local treats or spoils in their room? Think homemade rusks, local bakes, rich hand creams or creative stationery. 

Ramp up room service

Nowadays, buffet-style meals are a big no-no for obvious reasons, which is why you can expect more and more guests to go the room service route rather than opting to dine at your onsite restaurant or at an eatery nearby. Now is your chance to capitalise on this and put together a mouth-watering menu for those who prefer to dine-in. Along with offering a variety of menu options, you can also maximise the experience by delivering a complimentary dessert alongside guests’ mains, or even a handwritten note wishing them an enjoyable meal. 

Take the time to ponder the different approaches to making each and every visitor at your establishment feel like the most important person in the world. After all, not only will a happy guest be likely to spread the word regarding their positive experience, but they are also likely to come back again sooner rather than later. Either way, your efforts and quality touches will always have a positive impact on your bookings both now and well into the future.

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