In order to give people the confidence to book and to protect guests and staff from the virus, hotels and lodging operators are implementing a range of new safety and hygiene protocols to maintain guest satisfaction.

While "clean" is the terminology of choice, the underlying message is "virus-free." A recent survey of nearly 4,600 respondents from Oliver Wyman found that improved health and cleaning is the chief factor impacting the decision to stay at a hotel.

Source: Shiji ReviewProSource: Shiji ReviewPro
Source: Shiji ReviewPro

In a recent ReviewPro webinar, we asked the hundreds of hoteliers from around the world in attendance to indicate the safety protocols they have implemented or plan to implement. Here are the results:

Source: Shiji ReviewProSource: Shiji ReviewPro
Source: Shiji ReviewPro

Here are seven ways to uphold guest satisfaction:

1) Set expectations prior to arrival.

Outline safety procedures on your website and in reservation confirmations so there are no surprises when guests arrive at your door.

2) Show flexibility.

Give travelers the confidence to book and earn their trust by offering flexible cancellation and refund policies while there is uncertainty about travel.

3) Train employees.

Ensure that employees understand the importance of hygiene protocols and their responsibilities for keeping guests, colleagues, and spaces safe.

4) Provide assistance.

Avoid confusion on the property by posting signage and instructions and having employees available to greet guests and answer questions.

5) Shift interactions to digital channels.

Give guests the option of communicating with staff on digital channels as SMS, messaging, and webchat.

6) Monitor feedback.

Pay close attention to feedback related to Covid-19 and use it to guide improvements. Respond quickly to complaints, reaffirming your commitment to providing a clean and safe environment for all guests and employees.

7) Build your recovery reputation.

Traveler planners will consult reviews for reassurance that your property is clean, safe, and flexible. Earn positive reviews and recommendations by exceeding expectations in these areas.

Source: Shiji ReviewProSource: Shiji ReviewPro
Source: Shiji ReviewPro

Employees will need to work extra hard to ensure that guests feel not just safe but also welcome and comfortable. This means earning the cooperation and understanding of guests, limiting inconveniences, and resolving issues quickly when they arise.