Exceptional guest experiences require exceptional communication

In the ever-evolving landscape of the hospitality industry, staying ahead isn’t just a choice; it’s a necessity. The essence of luxury has evolved beyond opulent furnishings and gourmet meals to become an intimate dance of seamless experiences. For luxury hospitality providers, adapting to changing expectations is crucial. The modern concept of luxury is shifting from material possessions to memorable experiences.  

So how do you achieve this new level of operational excellence? By empowering your teams to communicate.

Every moment counts, the ability to make informed decisions in real-time is invaluable for a full service luxury environment. Imagine a seamless hospitality experience, the valet cues the front desk and concierge of guest arrival, the front desk is able to greet them by name while the concierge messages the onsite restaurant that they would like a bottle of wine sent up to the room. Guest services can alert the closest available staff to deliver the bottle up to the room so it can be waiting for the guests the moment they open their door. 

That’s the goal, but how do you get there? Here is how you can uplevel how your team communicates. 

First you must cultivate a culture of open communication. As one general manager at a well known southeastern United States luxury hotel put it, “if you see something, say something.” This simple, but effective mantra can encourage your team to speak up no matter how insignificant of a detail it might be. Never make an employee feel bad or embarrassed for anything they bring up because if you do, next time they might just keep critical information to themselves. You need the eyes and ears of every employee to deliver the personalization, attention to detail and privacy that your guests demand. 

Exceptional communication is also discrete. The idea of quiet luxury stems from something that looks lux without being too loud and in your face. Using your phones around guests leaves them to think you’re distracted and that they are not valued. For your guests, hearing constant loud, muffled chatter from a radio while they are at the front desk resembles checking into the principal’s office rather than a stay at a five star resort. If a guest heard their name and room number on your radio conversation, that could feel more like an invasion of privacy than an attempt at high level service. Discretion in how and when you communicate will add more magic to the feeling guests get when you deliver a memorable personalized experience. 

Communication doesn’t mean that your team must be constantly talking. It can mean having clear protocols in place to set important outcomes in motion. For instance, the example from earlier about a valet informing the front desk of a guest’s arrival would be a protocol repeated dozens of times a day. Once initiated, everyone involved knows their part and can operate independently. Clear protocols can also mean that you leverage technology so that you don’t need to communicate. If you’re able to track the location of all employees, you can send the nearest team member for a guest need without putting all employees on blast to see who is closest. Technology can also enable you to put recorded messages out to your team to communicate shift changes or other important reminders automatically. Sometimes the most effective communication is when you’re so in sync that you don’t have to communicate. 

Lastly, celebrate success, replicate it, and constantly train your team. Recognizing and celebrating achievements fosters a positive team culture, motivating members to consistently deliver outstanding service. By replicating successful practices and providing continuous training, you empower your team to adapt and excel in an ever-changing luxury hospitality landscape. Exceptional communication, combined with a commitment to improvement, sets the stage for a level of service that goes beyond luxury – it creates unforgettable experiences for your guests.

What your team uses to communicate everyday should be the most helpful tool they have in creating exceptional guest experiences. Relay, a sleek and discrete next generation walkie talkie is a communication platform built for luxury hotels. Click here to learn more about how Relay can empower your teams to communicate more effectively. 

Author Bios: 

Derek Pando is the Director of Product Marketing at Relay. Prior to Relay he worked at various high-growth enterprise software companies including Zoom, Salesforce and LinkedIn, where he held a variety of different marketing roles. He holds an undergraduate degree in Political Science and an MBA from Brigham Young University. He also holds a MPA from Harvard’s Kennedy School.

Sarah Santoro Thor leads Marketing Execution at Relay, drawing from her rich experience in tech and hospitality, including roles at IBM and Lenovo. A seasoned writer and restaurateur, she blends creativity with business acumen. Sarah holds a dual undergraduate business degree from North Carolina State University, specializing in Finance and Marketing.