What Hoteliers Can Learn from Hurricane Disasters

Setbacks are a normal part of running any business.

Sometimes, they can be prevented. At other times, they are entirely outside of your control, such as with natural disasters.

The one thing we can all control is how we respond. You can make the most of a difficult situation if you’re able to see the positive in it.

Many hotel businesses – especially those in areas directly affected by the recent Hurricane disasters  – are learning from the experience and are becoming better for it.

Here is how hotel management can learn from Hurricane disasters.

Offering Support To The Community

There are many reasons to support efforts in your community as a business, whether it’s volunteering or donating to charitable causes. This can help you build your brand image and help define your brand voice to better impact your business’s community.

This, of course, isn’t the only reason to offer support, and can appear opportunistic if done incorrectly.

Many hotels have reduced rates during this time of need, accommodating more guests that were affected by the disaster. Increased demand often causes hotels to raise rates, but many hoteliers chose to drop prices to help those affected.

This is an important lesson in quality customer service. When you strive to delight your guests, you’ll create more loyalty for your brand and keep them coming back.

Being Flexible

Per Hotel Management, hotels in Texas were encouraged to be more flexible with their rules, such as with the Holiday Express and Suites in Katy, Texas, a location that initially refused to allow dogs into their hotel during this time of crisis.

Relaxing the rules might include allowing pets in, or accommodating more people than normal in a single room. This may require housekeeping to spend more time cleaning, and it can put additional strain on other staff, but can ultimately yield positive results for your property. Just think – you might have someone important staying at your hotel and not even know it. Serving them well could mean getting more of their business down the line.

Naturally, being flexible isn’t all about breaking rules and policies or bending backwards to meet the needs of customers, particularly for hoteliers who aren’t assisting those in crisis. But you may want to look at each scenario on a case-by-case basis, deciding as to whether showing more understanding for your guests could help you encourage loyalty and repeat business.

Helping The Community Can Be Mutually Beneficial

With increased demand, there’s a better chance your room inventory will be full or near full. Even while charging discounted rates, you can end up driving a lot more revenue and even profit from this, especially over the long haul.

It has often been said that business is a matter of supply and demand. With demand increasing, and not enough supply, this will be the new status quo in affected areas for some time to come.

As with other lessons already talked about, the main thing hoteliers can learn is to be conscientious of their guests and their needs. Better customer service takes effort. It requires a strong corporate culture. It may even require a bit of sacrifice. But the long-term effect of committing to quality customer service often means more demand and more revenue.

Conclusion

The unexpected can happen. Disaster may strike and you may find yourself in a position to help those affected by it. Ultimately, it comes down to what you’re willing to do for your guests and customers. It may be necessary to adjust your strategies, booking systems, and automation to better serve guests based on the situation. But if you focus on the long-term payoff and do what’s necessary to support your community, you may discover there are many benefits to serving those in urgent need.