I recently read a blog on the site of a hotel software supplier. They were writing about 15 ways and ideas to improve the hotel guest experience.
I had a quick look down the list and I’m pleased to say that we already do all of them at The 25 Boutique B&B so no wonder our guests love us and we get such great TripAdvisor reviews.
1. Touch base with guests’ pre-arrival
We send out a pre-arrival email with all the details you’ll need to get here and links to things to do, and of course our favourite places to eat and drink so you can do all your planning ahead of time and just need to enjoy your stay once you arrive.
2. Provide an early check-in option
We do this and even better, if you’re a VIP member (join on our website) you get a £5 discount. We also offer a late check-out option for the same price.
3. Ensure a seamless check-in process
Everything is very slick – we ensure we have all your details before you arrive so there’s no paperwork to sign or anything to fill in. We are ready to greet you at the door by your names and invite you in like old friends.
4. A smile goes a long way
It goes without saying that we’re always smiling. How can you not be when your job is making people’s happy memories?
5. Make it easy for your guests to get in touch
How many ways would you like? Email us, send a message on Facebook or Instagram, comment on a post, WhatsApp or text us. If you’re on site, just ring the bell on reception if we’re not there.
6. Be an insider of your local area
If you follow us on social media, you’ll know that we’re always reposting interesting things to do or showing you great meals we’ve had or places to visit. We’ve got all the inside knowledge on the local area, plus I’m a Director on the board for the local tourism body (English Riviera BID) so I have all the knowledge on things coming up too.
7. Build partnerships with local vendors and attractions
If you’ve stayed here before then you’ll know that we champion local. Whether it’s our food, our drinks or the places we recommend you go, as much of it as possible is local (as long as it meets the grade and is excellent quality / service).
8. Offer personalised stays to guests
I’m not quite sure what the blogger meant here. If they mean make sure you have a choice of pillows and milks and rooms then we fit the bill. We have our “Make it Special” page to offer items like flowers, chocolates and bubbly to personalise your stay too.
9. Provide free and fast Wi-Fi
Our free wifi is superfast and in ten years we’ve never had a guest not be able to get on or complain about the speed. All our Smart TVs have a network cable to them so you’ll never see “buffering” whilst in the middle of your favourite Netflix show. Netflix and the other main streaming sites are of course already signed in so you don’t have to, which is a real pain and often the case when we go to stay elsewhere.
10. Celebrate special occasions
As I’ve mentioned, we have a whole list of items you can add to make your stay even more special, but if we’re made aware ahead of time then you’ll find a personalised greetings card and a little surprise from us too.
11. Track your guests’ preferences
If you are a regular guest then just like they do in 5 star London hotels like the Savoy, we will no doubt have made a note if you have a particular preference. If for instance you have requested feather pillows instead of our anti-allergenic ones, then we'll make a note so the next time you stay, they will already be on your bed without having to ask!
12. Give guests the option to refuse housekeeping
We know that some of our guests don’t want or need their bedroom cleaning every day. Most will use our tick list system and maybe have a clean every other day, then use the tick list to just have a few items replenished the next. As I’m still recovering from my cancer treatment and cleaning rooms is rather exhausting, it does help to have less bathrooms to clean on a daily basis. If guests don’t request towel changes then it obviously helps the environment. We try and be as “green” as possible (see our Environmental Policy) and this reduces the amount that goes to our laundry company, requiring transport, water, electricity and gas, and chemicals.
13. Develop strategies for resolving guest complaints
This is a tricky one as we don’t receive complaints! We occasionally might get some feedback so we’ll make sure we are approachable and there are several ways that guests can feedback to us. We like to put things right immediately. If you found our squishy "sleeping on a cloud" type pillows too soft, then I can offer a host of firmer alternatives, or feather, or memory foam. If you want more milk, you only have to ask. Feedback is what helps us improve.
14. Offer clear directions around the property
Well, we’re not a massive property so you won’t need many directions, but we personally let everyone know where their room is, the drawing room with the honesty bar, the terrace for relaxing in the sun, the breakfast room for our award winning breakfasts, and the directions to the seafront and into the harbour / Torquay town.
15. Seek feedback from guests
As I’ve mentioned above in point 13, we ask for feedback on several occasions in different ways, including our feedback form in the room on the back of the welcome letter. We’ve done this for 16 years now, and as we’ve received feedback, we’ve taken action and tweaked and amended what we do, helping create the excellent place we have today. Only the other day, we had a guest come back to stay who hadn’t been since before Covid. I was able to report that we now have privacy blinds on all windows which was her suggestion.
As you can see, we’re already doing everything they are suggesting to make the guest experience better. That must be why so many of our guests are repeat guests or here by recommendation. They love what we offer here at The 25 Boutique B&B.
If you’ve not been to stay with us in Torquay before, then you’re missing out. Not only on a luxury stay at our bed and breakfast, but all the things the English Riviera has to offer too. Always book on our own website for the best deal and join our VIP Guest List to keep up to date with the latest deals and news.