Hospitality Industry Professionals: 8 Reasons to Elevate Your Customer Service Levels

The hospitality industry is very broad, offering customers endless options in 2018 and beyond. It’s also arguably the most competitive industry on the plane — being at the center of entertainment, accommodations, food, drink, pampering services, and often at the center-point of people’s travel plans. Hospitality services include hotels, motels, resorts, spas, theme parks, bars, pubs, restaurants, nightclubs, coffee shops, etcetera — and all who work in these industries.

Monopolies in the hospitality sector only exist for those who provide the best customer service possible. The best customer service includes offering the best bang-for-buck in terms of quality and service, while never letting the customer leave without feeling they got more than they paid for.

Businesses who treat their customers like kings and queens will inevitably dominate their market. Those who do not will close their doors quickly in this hyper-competitive world dominated by social media. Continue reading to learn eight reasons to elevate the customer service levels in your hospitality business.

Sustainable hospitality business

Fact # 1: Twice as many people will hear about a negative experience as they will a positive.

Those who work in hospitality work so hard to get positive reviews of their business. However, keep in mind that most people dwell on and share the negative customer service encounters they have twice as much as the positives. Plus, service often needs to be way above and beyond the call to prompt a recommendation to others.

Fact #2: Four out of ten unhappy customers will not complain.

Put in another perspective, for every dissatisfied customer who complains, twenty-six will keep their mouths zipped shut. When you don’t ask every guest if they’re completely satisfied, the ninety-six-percent of customers who feel slighted will simply never spend money at your business again. Consider how many you could retain simply by asking how you could improve their experience.

Fact #3: Only one-quarter of Americans have posted an online review about the service they’ve received.

Making the assumption that customers will post a review on your site or a popular review site is foolish. Three-quarters of the customers who grace your business will not leave a review — unless you wow them with your service and kindly ask and/or incentivize them to do so. Incentives can include entry into a draw for free or discounted services or another prize of some sort.

Busy kitchen hand

Fact #4: You have to work ten times as hard to make up for a bad customer experience.

In actuality, you’ll have to work on average, twelve times harder to rebound from a single bad review. It’s estimated that it takes twelve positive reviews of your hospitality business to make up for a single unhappy customer voicing their experience.

Fact #5: It only takes one.

It only takes one good experience to bring a customer back through the door. It also only takes one bad experience to lose a customer forever. Nearly ninety-percent of consumers will walk out your door forever if they feel slighted.

Fact #6: Eighty-percent will bail if they smell the possibility of a bad experience.

Front-of-house is a customer’s first impression of the hospitality experience you can offer. A poor greeting at the front desk or reservation booth is all it takes to miss out on a chance to win a customer over. A bad experience here is also likely to result in a negative review even when the customer never pulled their wallet out.

Fact #7: Seventy-percent of customers are willing to spend more for exceptional service.

The reality is that people will pay more to minimize the likelihood of a bad service experience. If you’re finding it hard to raise your prices due to the risk of being less competitive, try raising your service levels to justify higher prices. Plus, if customer service satisfaction levels rise, so too will the caliber of your customers.

Fact #8: Acquisition is at least five times more expensive than retention.

People look for accommodation, food, beverages, and entertainment way more than they buy automobiles. Yet, a good car salesman will always check in with their past customers knowing a new car purchase is inevitable. If you’re in the hospitality or any other service industry, know that it costs anywhere from five to twenty-five-percent to gain new loyal customers as it does to hang onto those you have currently. Never give a customer a reason to look elsewhere. Get all the contact information you can before checkout and keep in touch, offering useful information and loyalty rewards.


Ignore any of the eight customer service facts listed above and your business will always suffer, and be doomed to eventual failure. No business can hide inside their respective bubble in the digital age. It doesn’t matter if you offer the best food, drink, linens, etcetera. The way the customer feels throughout the service process is the number one factor in determining if they come back and how they’ll talk about you to others.