97% of travelers say cleanliness is an important factor when booking accommodations, and two-thirds of guests cite dirty rooms as the main reason for a bad hotel experience. Therein lies just a portion of the value that housekeeping teams bring to their organizations and a big reason why we celebrate housekeeping appreciation week!
Each year, hotels across the world set aside housekeeping appreciation week to celebrate their hardworking housekeeping colleagues, and we would like to take a moment to do so as well. Providing guests with clean, secure rooms is the core of the hotel industry, and though their names don’t often appear in reviews, your housekeepers’ attention to detail and dedication to ensuring the best for your guests plays an integral role in both your day-to-day operations as well as in building and maintaining a top-notch reputation.
Superb Housekeeping Services Are Virtually Undetectable
Perhaps the biggest challenge when it comes to housekeeping and online reviews is that when your team is at their best, their work is nearly invisible. Guests don’t notice dust-free headboards, they expect them, and they certainly don’t ooh and aah over the clean grout lines that your staff works so hard to maintain. However, something as small as a penny on the floor will instantly catch a guest’s eye and make them question the cleanliness of the entire room. A soap left in a shower or a stain on a sheet can destroy a guest’s trust in your hotel, instantly souring what could have otherwise been a five-star stay and potentially losing their business.
Since cleanliness is anticipated, guests often forget to comment on their well-cleaned room when sharing an online review, though it is typically reflected in the overall score. However, when guests experience a housekeeping hiccup, there is often no amount of room moves and free breakfasts that can make them forget it. While your team may have satisfied the guest through recovery measures and earned a high score, guests will still often note these experiences in surveys and online reviews. Studies show that creating a consistently positive experience, including a clean room, is key to building loyalty, and that 90% of travelers will avoid booking a hotel described as “dirty” in reviews, your housekeeping team’s actions, during before and after Housekeeping Appreciation Week, have the potential to influence consumer purchasing behavior almost more than any other department.
Housekeeping’s Ability to Create a Five-Star Experience Goes Beyond Cleaning Rooms
Out of all employees, it is housekeepers who spend the most time in guest rooms as well as many other public areas, allowing them to quickly identify any issues as they arise. Testing the TV remote and replacing a dead battery takes just a moment, but saves a guest from frustration, a phone call to the front desk, and a wait for a new remote or battery to be delivered. Letting maintenance know about a dripping sink ensures a good night’s sleep for the next guest who enters the room. Through these small proactive measures, your housekeeping team creates a seamless experience for your guests, which, again, they may not always put their finger on, but this enhances their overall perception of the hotel. Conversely, if these items were not addressed, the guest would certainly feel the effects and most likely leave with a more negative impression of the property.
Although much of their job takes place behind the scenes, housekeepers still have plenty of opportunities to shine in the public eye. In the hallways and social areas of hotels, your housekeepers will encounter many travelers throughout the day, and simply offering a smile and warm “hello” can elevate the guest experience. While friendly service is expected at the front desk, guests often perceive it to be more indicative of management’s commitment to customer service when a housekeeper goes the extra mile to start a conversation or accommodate a request. As these interactions are more unexpected and memorable, they are often shared in reviews, giving your thoughtful team members some well-deserved public praise long after housekeeping appreciation week has gone.
Getting Your Housekeeping Team's Work Lauded in Guest Feedback
As 86% of consumers say cleanliness is the main thing they’re looking for when they read reviews, it is in the best interest of hotels to make sure that their housekeepers and clean accommodations often appear in guest feedback. As a manager, there are many strategies that you can implement to help achieve this:
Hotels often provide a business card or note in rooms introducing the housekeeper who cleans the unit. Consider adding a request for online feedback or a QR code which links to a survey or review site.
Set aside time each week to share and celebrate the scores and comments that your housekeeping team receives in online reviews. Everyone wants to feel pride in their work and knowing that they are appreciated can inspire your team to continue these efforts.
Include your housekeeping team in customer service training, or create a specific training, based on their needs, to allow them to feel more comfortable engaging with guests.
Enlist your entire front-line staff to assist in these efforts by teaching them to go beyond asking guests the standard questions, such as “how did you enjoy your stay?” This so often generates a generic response, whereas more targeted open-ended questions reveal genuine and detailed feedback, often including their housekeeping experience, priming them to share this information in an online review.
Respond to all reviews, and, when applicable, reinforce your hotel’s dedication to providing clean, comfortable, secure accommodations in your management replies.
We've seen hospitality teams implement just one or two of the above strategies and immediately see upticks in their housekeeping team's morale and in positive remarks.
From Our Team to Yours, Happy Housekeeping Appreciation Week
While the success of your hotel’s online reputation depends on many factors, housekeeping certainly plays an important role. So, when you are thanking your team for keeping your hotel spic and span during this housekeeping appreciation week, remember to also recognize them for the role they play in keeping your reputation squeaky clean.
At The Reputation Lab, we work with hotels and restaurants to facilitate a reputation management strategy aimed at increasing online visibility, engaging your customers, and converting more shoppers to future guests and revenue producers. If you are interested in learning how a reputation management strategy can benefit your business, we invite you to email us via our secure contact form to set up a no pressure consultation or call us at 855-979-6800.