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Hospitality Insights

How You Thank Your Guests Matters, Wow Guest Group

20 August 2013


If we do nothing else in business, being known for doing things different and better than our competitors puts us in a strong position. Often this isn’t the complex, but rather the simple things. Like saying thank you after the guest’s stay has ended. As your hotel stands at this very moment, how do you thank your guests for staying with you?


Here’s what the majority of your competitors will do today:

  1. Say goodbye at reception (rarely thank you)
  2. Send an email a day later asking for feedback
  3. Send another email some weeks later encouraging the guest to come back as part of the weekly or monthly correspondence

Improving on this won’t take earth-shattering innovation, just a little thought.


Why this is flawed:

  1. You can’t thank a guest enough and thank you is much more important than goodbye. So much emphasis is put on the greeting, yet so little on the departure.
  2. Email is just about the most insincere medium to use to say something so meaningful and personal as thanking a guest for their custom. What’s more is that the hotel industry average open rate for emails is barely 1 in 5. Even more importantly, no guest enjoys completing a survey – asking your guest to do something they don’t want to do completely undermines the intent of the thank you.
  3. The days and weeks after the stay is the most important for the relationship nurturing process. Having the guest simply added to the regular correspondence that is unlikely to be relevant will only harm the relationship. Now’s the time to make sure your content is super relevant and super engaging.


What to do differently and better:

  1. Have every member of staff briefed that when a guest is spotted with a bag, heading downstairs or for the exit, as an absolute requirement they must say, Thank you for staying with us. Chances are that from the room to the door, they would have had two or three thank you’s. That’s something that will get remembered.
  2. Make a couple of tweaks for a huge effect. Change the medium to text message or snail mail. Change the message to thank you and only thank you. So simple but the impact will be startling.
  3. Follow up with the guest a few days after the initial thank you – this time email’s fine. Be relevant – let them know that as a recent guest, they are entitled to something exclusive. Let them know that they are now part of the special community of guests that have stayed with you – and the exclusive benefits for being part of that community.


By adopting little tweaks and a little thought into what our customers see, feel and experience, will often set us head and shoulders apart from our competitors.

Make some small changes today for some big impact tomorrow.


Thanks to our friends at the Wow Guest Group with this great insight.

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