USA Today Article About Guests Noticing Hotel Cutbacks

USA Today posted a pretty good article titled ‘As Hotels Struggle For Business, Some Guests Find An Upside’. Click on the link to read the entire article on their website.

The article talks about how guests are finding much better deals on hotel rooms now than ever before, especially at luxury hotels.  But the most important part of the article is the section titled ‘Guests Notice Cutbacks’.  From the article: Hotels cannot hide all the cutbacks. Some frequent travelers say they’re starting to notice little things.  From the article:

usatodaySome amenities — such as a bottle of water in the room or a newspaper delivered to the door — are gone. The quality of complimentary food and beverages has diminished in some club rooms or lobbies, or at hotel managers’ guest receptions, they say.

Because many hotels have cut their staffs, frequent travelers say they’re waiting longer to check in and out, have rooms made up and have cars retrieved by valets.

“There are fewer people to provide basic services, answer questions and make suggestions for restaurants and activities,” says Howard Knoff, an education consultant in Little Rock.

Our Mystery Shoppers have also noticed the cutbacks.  In fact, many hotels have already cut back too far.  Our shoppers have waited in lines to check in and check out where there used to never be lines.  The phone calls that used to always be answered within 3 rings are now being placed on hold by the automated attendant.  Many outlets are now closed or are operating at reduced staffing levels and reduced hours.

What should you be doing now?  We understand the need to make cuts to maintain a profit level, however, don’t take it too far that the guest experience today is different than the guest experience in the past.  Keep in mind that hotel revenues and profits come and go.  You cannot keep cutting to maintain the same pre-recession profits.  Most hotels have made great profits prior to the recession.  Hopefully, some of those profits were saved to get your hotel past these rainy days. The main focus should be on keeping guest service at the same level.  Your competition is.  Guests are more price sensitive than ever before.  Any slight decrease in guest service will have your guests looking for better options.