A preventative maintenance plan is essential to the continued smooth operation of a hotel and the satisfaction of guests. But which areas are under the most guest scrutiny, even from before the start of their stay?
To determine this, we looked at the most frequently asked questions on the Q&A section of the TripAdvisor profile for the top 10 hotels in 8 different cities: Paris, London, New York, Los Angeles, Sydney, Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro, and Istanbul. Using these questions and noting that many were asked for multiple hotels in every city, we narrowed down the guest questions/concerns that could most be affected by an strong preventative maintenance plan, ideally leading to a better stay for the guest and a good review from them on TripAdvisor.
What are your in-room amenities?
Some of the desired amenities could include a coffee maker, kettle, microwave, mini-fridge, ironing board, hairdryer, robes/slippers, in-room safe, shampoo, DVD player, and body lotion. This can be an easy area to overlook, as even if an item is broken or not functioning properly, if the room’s previous occupants did not use or did not report that the item is not working, the staff may not be aware until the current guests complain. It is much easier to ensure everything is working via a preventative maintenance plan, so all amenities are checked regularly.
Is there Wi-Fi, and is it free?
In today’s connected world, Wi-Fi is no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity for most travelers. As most people are traveling without a data plan on their phones, they expect the hotel Wi-Fi to be able to keep them in touch with friends and family back home. If a hotel is large, networks should be checked regularly to ensure that if different floors have different routers, all are working properly.
Does your hotel have air conditioning?
This is a question asked much more frequently by guests from Western countries who are not used to life without air conditioning, but can also be a massive problem for a hotel if air conditioning is promised and then is not functioning properly. An air conditioner malfunction can cause guests to leave a hotel during their stay, so it should be a key area for preventative maintenance.
The bottom line is that if a guest has already asked about something at the hotel and gotten confirmation that it exists and is available to them, they expect it to work perfectly from the moment they arrive to the moment they leave. Being proactive to potential problems instead of reactive once they occur will give a hotel the edge needed to exceed guest expectations.