The only way to reliably earn positive reviews 

Plus: I'll be back in two weeks :)

Hospitality Daily shares stories for busy people who want to get better each day at providing hospitality.

Tomorrow, I’m taking a 2-week break from publishing Hospitality Daily because I’m getting married and looking forward to experiencing some great hotels during my honeymoon.

Before I go, I wanted to share the rest of the story we started with Adele Gutman of how the Nantucket Hotel & Resort became the #1-rated hotel on TripAdvisor and remains among the very top of the list today.

The only way to reliably earn positive reviews 

The only way to reliably earn positive guest reviews is to deliver a positive, memorable experience for your customer. “The review a guest provides is a reflection of whether you delivered on your promise and your brand’s value proposition,” says general manager Jamie Holmes. 

Guests feel special from the moment they step on the property. “Great hospitality begins with the way someone is greeted at the door,” owner Gwenn Snider said. “Friendliness and kindness go a long way to shifting a person from the stress of getting to their destination to suddenly relaxing.”

“Our hotel is in a destination that people are so happy to arrive at. It is our job to make sure that we fulfill that anticipation. And it’s in the details. It’s in those small moments.” 

Unlike some properties looking to automate the check-in process, the Nantucket Hotel & Resort team put in extra effort to make guests feel welcome. “No guest goes to their room without our staff taking them to the room and engaging them all the way there,” says Holmes.

Once they check-in they’ll find a gift waiting for them. “We have a handwritten note to every single guest who arrives and we have a crafted box of chocolates that are chocolate-covered cranberries because Nantucket is famous for our cranberries.”

The results

Money is made in hotels when demand for that property is high, and the Nantucket Hotel & Resort has been able to achieve this by keeping their guests so happy. 

“There are so many fantastic hotels around the country that are more glamorous. But our guest satisfaction is what drives our very high occupancy. People love the Nantucket Hotel. They think ‘that was different,’” Snider shared.

But it’s not just occupancy, better service enables charging a higher rate. “We may be expensive, but we often exceed people’s expectations because we don’t just assume they’re going to spend that money with us.”

Holmes goes further. “Anybody who’s been in the business for a while knows how expensive it is to get a new customer. It’s so much less expensive to get a repeat customer and get their family and their friends.”

That’s why loyalty is so important. “When a guest is loyal and you make a mistake, they’ll defend you,” Holmes says. “They’ll come to see you and say, ‘We love this place, but you need to do something about this. That room #38 – my favorite room – has something wrong with the chairs you need to fix.’ They feel like they’re partnering with you on making certain their vacation is good. Our customers want our hotel to be good because they want to have a place that they can go and feel at home.”

Besides repeat business, advocacy from guests has also become a big driver of new business for the hotel. “TripAdvisor is the number one place we get new customers,” Holmes shared. 

“If you take care of your staff, they’ll take care of the guests”

As a hotel owner, Snider believes success is dependent on how well a hotel team can take care of its guests. “I can’t imagine how you’re going to be successful with a hotel if you’re not interested in delighting your guests because there are so many choices that people can make about where they’re spending their money if you do not.”

Delighting guests starts with hiring and developing the right team, Holmes believes. “If you take care of your staff, they’ll take care of the guests and the guests will take care of the owners.” 

How do you achieve this? In the words of Snider, “Everybody wants to be part of something. Everybody wants to feel that they are working towards something for the greater good.”

At the Nantucket Hotel & Resort, that goal is being realized each day.

[read the full case study here]

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And that’s it for the next two weeks, folks! Go out there and make someone’s day today.