For lodging, the customer expectations bar keeps getting raised higher and higher. It wasn’t too long ago that, when customers checked into hotels, they expected simply a bed, bathroom and television with a few local channels. Today, many hotel amenities that once were considered luxuries are now standard features in hotels of all price ranges.
Hotel Perks Today
The 2016 Lodging Survey by the American Hotel & Lodging Association showed that hotel guest services perks are now quite common. For example, the survey indicated that:
- Complimentary breakfast is served at 62% of overall hotels and in 96% of midscale properties.
- Free airport shuttle service is provided by 85% of hotels located at an airport location.
- 73% of hotels overall offer dry cleaning while almost all luxury, upper-upscale and upscale properties offer dry cleaning convenience to customers.
- Popular amenities include free fitness facilities in 85% of hotels.
- 88% of United States hotel rooms have high-definition and/or flat-screen televisions.
- Pets are even allowed in 75% of luxury, midscale and economy hotels today, according to the results.
When an online International Luxury Hotel Association article asked concierges how the hotel guest experience has evolved, many cited the need for technology and connectivity, as well as recreating the comfort of home for guests. Personal service and anticipating guests’ needs was also mentioned as being important in lodging experience expectations.
Amid the enhancement of hotel amenities and services over the years, one guest expectation that has stayed consistent is the desire for cleanliness. Despite offering a wide array of conveniences and extras, if the guest rooms and common areas aren’t clean and well maintained, the hotel has not met guest expectations. Customers want a clean place to sleep, eat and relax.
Pests in Hotels
Even if a hotel is spotless, the sighting of one small pest can ruin a guest’s perception of cleanliness. Bed bugs, the small parasitic insects that feed on the blood of sleeping people, are probably the most feared hotel pest. Causing itchy and sometimes painful bites, bed bugs are notoriously hard to spot and can be transported by travelers. As scary as the thought of bed bugs can be to travelers and to hotel managers, there are many other pests that can be just as disruptive to a hotel customer’s experience:
- Cockroaches can be unsightly, spread bacteria and trigger allergens. Just one cockroach creeping from behind a crack in the bathroom or crawling across a hotel’s eating area can ruin a hotel’s reputation.
- Rodents can spread disease and cause damage by gnawing. Even a tiny mouse scurrying down a hotel corridor can be a big turnoff to customers.
- Flies are unsanitary and annoying. Their buzzing can ruin a good night’s sleep for customers and spoil a dining experience.
- Mosquitoes are a nuisance and can transmit mosquito-borne diseases. Their itchy bites can ruin a restful night and relaxing hotel stay for customers.
These and a variety of other bothersome pests can call into question a hotel’s cleanliness more quickly than an unmade bed and towels on the bathroom floor. Lodging properties concerned with meeting — and exceeding — customers’ expectations need professional commercial pest control solutions to keep pests at bay. One of the best ways to raise expectations for hotel customers is to lower the boom on pests.