Staying in a hotel should be a treat for all guests, whether they’re business travelers or vacationers. For them, it’s an opportunity to have all their needs attended to by friendly professionals who live to provide good customer service! They can expect smiles around every corner, clean living spaces and more from you. And you’ve trained your staff to provide just that. And sure, when your employees know that you’re going to be walking around with a fine-tooth comb — and trust me, word does get around, no matter how big your staff is — everything is spotless. Everyone has their biggest, most sparkling smiles on. Things run like clockwork.
But what about the other times, when your staff isn’t expecting an inspection? You can hope that they’ll be on your best behavior because they care about their jobs and providing good customer service to everyone who walks through your doors, but the truth of the matter is that some employees just won’t. And that’s where mystery shoppers come in.
When you hire a mystery shopping company, it will hire and train people to visit your hotel and go through all the motions of ordinary customers, with one notable extra: Packed among their toothbrushes and swimsuits will be a list of questions, criteria and other things to look for throughout their stay at your hotel. After they’ve finished “shopping” during their time with you, they’ll compile a comprehensive report based on their experiences that should help you determine what you’re doing well and what could use a little more improvement.
Here are a few things they might look for:
Friendliness and helpfulness of front desk staff Cleanliness and organization of lobby Time it takes to check in (and check out) Quality of concierge services Cleanliness of rooms
It’s important to do shops like these at all times during the year, not just during your busy season. With so many different types of customers and so many rooms in just a single hotel, your results will obviously vary! But varied results from real customers visiting your hotel under real circumstances — not “Hey, the owner’s coming!” circumstances — will provide a better snapshot and insight into your business. The more, the better!