Industry Update
Opinion Article25 April 2018

How Valet Parking Can Enhance Your Hotel’s Brand

By Stephanie Bixeman, Business Development at Towne Park

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We are living in a day and age where a guest has more hotel brands to choose from when booking a stay than ever before. With the rise in supply and competition such as Airbnb, hoteliers are constantly evaluating how to build brand loyalty and increase guest retention.

A frequently overlooked opportunity to capture and build brand loyalty are those individuals who stand outside of your hotel's front door 24 hours per day—your hotel's valet attendants. Let's take a look at three reasons why your parking department just might be the next reason your guests book their upcoming stay.

Time Spent With Guests

Your valet attendants typically spend the most amount of time interacting with a guest compared to any other department in the hotel. In other words, your valet attendants have the most amount of opportunities to create a memorable and lasting impression with a guest. This may involve learning that a guest has checked in to celebrate a birthday and in turn the valet coordinates a cake delivery to the room. Or it could be an interaction as simple as informing the guest of the uniqueness, history, and charm of the building they're staying in. Whatever the occasion, ensure that your valet attendants are trained appropriately to capitalize on these prime opportunities of guest interaction.

Extension of Your Team

Just as you would survey how likely a guest is to return to your hotel, you should also consider how likely a guest is to use your hotel's valet service. Ask the right questions in order to evaluate how a valet experience can be improved during the guest's next stay. In today's world there is plenty of new technology on the market to ensure this is completed within minutes of a guest leaving their keys with the valet department. Make sure that the survey is brand focused and quick and easy to complete.

Appearance and Dialect

Whether your brand standards involve ensuring the guest feels like they are in a hip, trendy environment, or on a terrace in the South of France, the way your valet attendants look and act start to create this experience from the moment the guest steps foot onto your property (all before entering the hotel!). Will your attendants wear black vests and ties or salmon colored polos and khaki shorts? Will they great incoming guests with a "How's it going?" or a Bonjour!" Each of these examples are touch points the guest registers during their stay and it's important that each interaction stays consistent throughout your brand.

When it comes to how likely a guest is to return to the hotel, all factors have to be considered including certain departments that may become overlooked, such as parking. With the right attention and energy, parking is a sure way to capture your guest's attention and leave them ready to return.

Stephanie Bixeman

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