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While we often discuss how technologies and new innovations are the foundation for greater guest satisfaction and increased guest loyalty, there are certain things that a hotelier can do – outside of technology – that prevent a guest’s experience from turning sour.

According to a recent Hotel News Now editorial, it is often the overlooked little things, which add up quickly, that can turn a guest off.  In many cases, complaints about these small events are only made to family and friends, leaving hoteliers in the dark when it comes to taking corrective actions.

The article has listed 10 of these “occurrences” that could easily ruin a guest’s stay. Below are a few that are major red flags for any hotelier.  In no particular order, here they are:

  • Bottled water missing in the guest floor vending machines:  Hotels should always keep their water stocked. No one wants to have to travel down to the front desk just for water. An even better solution is offering free water in the guestroom.
  • Rude valet attendants:  Attendants are the first and last impression of your hotel. Enough said.
  • Billing errors:  The guest will always place blame on the hotel regardless how they booked the room (i.e. Expedia, Orbitz, etc). It is the hotel’s responsibility to see billing errors before they occur.
  • Keys expiring:  The last thing a guest wants after a long day is to finally reach their room and the key doesn’t work.
  • Saying “no” to late check-out requests:  The cost of annoying a guest outweighs the benefit of getting a guestroom back by 11 a.m. versus 3 p.m.

In a business as competitive as the hotel industry, it is often the little things that really do matter.  When using both traditional customer service techniques, loyalty programs and new guest experience innovations, hoteliers can make great strides in leading the pack.