bed and two pillows at bed and breakfast

What do Guests Want from Your Inn?

This is the million dollar question, frequently asked at association gatherings.

Industry studies and guest surveys repeatedly offer the same answer – YOU, the innkeeper are the single most important attribute in guest satisfaction.

The innkeeper separates independent lodging from all of the other accommodation types.

The innkeeper is also what separates independent lodging from all of the other accommodation types competing for reservations. Small inns have a distinct advantage because of increased opportunities to interact with guests, which creates very personal impressions. Whereas impersonal hotels, vacation rentals, or distant AirBnB hosts can’t create those same connections.

Recent surveys on guest satisfaction make clear that most of the top-10 qualities yielding highest ratings are actually service oriented. This is where innkeepers can absolutely shine.

Try some of these for establishing personal rapport:

  • Try to accommodate special needs, diets, check-in times (within reason).
  • Show personal interest in lives, stories, & families.
  • Take the time to make small talk.
  • Offer local dining and activity recommendations.
  • Remember names.
  • Offer compliments.
  • Have a few jokes on hand.
  • Have a few interesting stories or legends to tell about the area or property.
  • Check in on their stay with a text.
  • Gift printouts of the breakfast recipes that you serve them.
  • Offer to take photos in front of the inn (they’ll post these later).
  • Offer a small gift upon guest departure.
  • Follow up with a personal thank you email (and review request).
  • Connect on social media.

Let us know in the comments any of your tips for creating connections with your guests.