This post is part 3 of 3 of a segment regarding recompense in a travel situation and making a powerful and ultimately successful Ask, and what actions are required by the guest (as simple as a thank you).
Realize that appreciation and a thank you go a long way towards free things. When you make an Ask, know why it can work and the options you have at your disposal, as well as the steps necessary to improve the likelihood of success.
Why can hotels give away perks to guests?
Understanding the profitability structure of the hotel is insightful. A study of a hotel’s income statement reveals that room department profits are typically three to five times more than food and beverage profits, as the hotel rooms are typically more expensive and cheaper to service. Selling one room is equal to about five to eight food and beverage checks, so the money is made on the room – which is why they can throw in some food and beverages for valued guests. Additionally, the goodwill they provide typically is repaid in the form of positive reviews and word-of-mouth, which increases the likelihood of both repeat and additional business.
What does this cost me? (Hint, a special thank you)
The cost, to you, the guest, is time, in the form of engagement (see below), or speaking with an agent or customer service representative. Costs may also include money (in terms of gratuity) or reward certificates for impressive service (which isn’t a cost to you).
An example is the elite thank you certificates (at right) that SPG Gold and Platinum members receive, to issue to outstanding Starwood associates. It seems like most are unaware of this detail – as it is not promoted or mentioned when status changes.
I saved mine for amazingly memorable stays, especially the nicest one I’ve had (so far!) detailed in the next post.
Sounds great. What do I need to do?
Engage them! Build a relationship with the people responsible for your benefits.
Before Your Trip
- First, call customer service and the hotel or airline directly, and convey the situation (birthday? anniversary?), or note an issue that arose during a past stay and Ask about possible options towards rectifying that experience.
- If successful in securing a benefit, ensure they note it in the reservation or send you some sort of confirmation, to minimize any confusion or miscommunication upon checkin or during your trip. Thank them for their assistance and fill out any post-call surveys to help them out.
During Your Trip
- Ensure you receive at least everything that was committed to or promised. Don’t be afraid to be assertive, but remain polite and cordial. Approach it from a collaborative standpoint to work together to your satisfaction (and ultimately theirs as well).
- If you are able to build a connection from previous emails or calls, be sure to ask for the associate or manager by name. Introduce yourself, shake hands, and establish that face to face connection. This will be of benefit during your trip and afterwards (should you return!)
- Thank them upon checkout, speak with their manager, communicate your gratitude with a tip or a reward certificate designed for that purpose.
After Your Trip
- Follow up! Take a brief moment to thank them in a material way – such as filling out the customer service survey, or send an email to their manager or GM of the property, recognizing their outstanding service. The value of a call or email to express thanks is limitless.
- Bring any issues to the attention of management, communicate via phone or in a detailed email. Provide your experience to ensure it is improved and doesn’t happen to other guests in the future.
This series walks through how to establish a rapport to ensure good service and perks for guests. The first post touched upon how to ask for benefits or compensation when something doesn’t go quite right. The second post in the three part series delves into further questions, detailing other possible Ask situations, and the benefits, costs, and ramifications of the Ask.
Above all, be respectful and confident, and it will carry through and improve your experience.
Who knows? Sometimes they’ll surprise you. They may just give you something you never expected to get.
Featured Image from Unsplash.
Have you Asked successfully before? Let me know what perks you got! Got any other tips? Have a question? Post below in the comments, or reach me directly at TheHotelion@gmail.com! Like my posts? See more here, on TravelUpdate! Follow me on Facebook (The Hotelion) or on Twitter and Instagram: @TheHotelion