Every guest is equally important and deserves exceptional service; however, there are those guests that have earned the right to certain privileges and treatment: VIP guests. These may be individuals who are part of your brand’s loyalty program. They may be high-level executives or heads of companies. Their status as VIP may depend on the circumstance; for example, a couple arriving for their honeymoon or a journalist arriving to cover an onsite event.
When it comes to VIPs, general managers (GMs) and/or supervisors should always push a bit further to differentiate and amplify the guest experience. So, what does this different treatment look like? Consider these six simple yet effective ideas.
1. Refer to the guest by name: The benefits of something so simple are so astounding. Case in point: up to 75 percent of customers say they’re likely to spend more with an organization if the brand recognizes them by name. VIP guests should be referred to by name at every interaction touchpoint—over the phone, at the front desk, via email—across their entire brand journey. That means during every stay, for as long as the customer keeps coming back.
2. Strategically leverage data: Managers should be collecting relevant information along the way to further enhance each interaction (after all, VIP guests deserve a 360-degree, contextual experience). For example, you may notice in your system that a couple stayed with you exactly one year ago on their wedding night. You can ask if they’ve returned for their anniversary and, if so, offer them the same suite they had before. Or, you may notice that a guest stays with you during the second week of every month for a recurring business trip. This would be a good opportunity to simplify or expedite that individual’s registration process.
3. Empower associates through company culture: Truly, there’s no better way to go above and beyond for your VIP guests than by empowering your associates with a solid, supportive, innovative company culture. After all, your guest’s experience will only be as good as your associates make it. Here are a few ways to create an amazing experience for your team.
4. Tailor Amenities to Reflect the Guest: Work to reflect VIP guests through your amenities (i.e. fitness center, spa, valet, room service), and think outside of the box. Consider an executive who has just checked in for an event where she will be presenting as a keynote speaker. You could leave a handwritten note on the desk letting her know that if she’d like to relax after a long flight (after all, your data tells you that she flew in from thousands of miles away), your best masseuse, Tammy, is available all day. Imagine how a simple gesture like this would be appreciated and shared.
5. Ensure all accommodations are made prior to check-in: Ocean view? Check. Favorite snack on coffee table? Check. Bottle of champagne for the newly married couple? Check. Make sure that any requests (or anything that you simply think your VIP would love!) are accommodated prior to check-in. These kinds of accommodations can go a long way. Consider that 72 percent of travelers would rather take the time to plan a trip tailored to their interests than purchase a pre-packaged itinerary. Even better, use pre-existing data to fill out all check-in forms, etc. prior to your guest’s arrival. Instead of making them fill everything out from scratch, be proactive and let them know that all they need to do is simply review the pre-filled forms for relevancy and make any changes as needed.
6. Greet and meet all VIP guests upon arrival: This is perhaps the simplest of recommendations, yet nonetheless imperative. Ensure you or another manager/supervisor take the time to personally greet all VIP guests upon arrival. Let them know that you are personally there for them if there is anything they need.
Research shows that just a one-point improvement in CX index score results can generate millions of additional revenue for hotels per year. For more ideas on amplifying your CX, check out these blogs.