Running a hotel or bed and breakfast can be hard work. Today’s guests demand more for less, what with budget hotel chains offering rock-bottom prices, and high-end hotel chains offering an unbeatable service and delivering luxury fixtures and fittings. One of the best ways to stand out and ensure that your guests return time and time again is to deliver a good service. Below, we have rounded up five of the best ways to do exactly that, and keep your occupancy rates high.

Give them a warm welcome

First impressions count, so make sure you give your hotel guests a very warm welcome when they turn up at your establishment. Bright smiles, a friendly handshake, and a prompt check in should do it. Remember that guests want to get to their rooms as soon as possible – don’t ask them a million and one questions, and don’t keep them talking for too long, especially if there’s a queue and you’ve got other guests to check in and welcome.

Be flexible on check in

Most hotels have a strict 3PM check in policy, but if your rooms are ready and a guest turns up at 2PM, let them in! Sure, you’ll have to look after them for an extra hour, and they may cost you a little more in extra electricity and water bills, but that flexible approach can set you apart from other hotels – especially for business travellers who want to relax and unwind after a day of traveling before meeting their next client. Doesn’t be a Scrooge; just do the right thing.

Offer complimentary toiletries

Forgetting your toiletries is no fun, which is why so many hotels offer complimentary shampoos, shower gels and soaps. You can buy affordable branded toiletries for just a couple of pennies per guest, but the effort you go to will show guests that you care about their time at your hotel. It’s the little things that make the biggest difference, and this is certainly one of those.

Give your guests a parting gift

They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but we’re sure you’ve already got that one covered. Before your guests check out and head off onto their next adventure, you should consider giving them a parting gift; a small token of your appreciation for their visit. You could work with a company that specializes in hospitality confectionery, for example, and have custom bags created full of sweets and chocolates that will put a smile on guests’ faces.

Send them a thank you

A couple of days after your guests depart from your hotel, send them a quick thank you message via email, or give them a complimentary phone call to thank them for their visit. Not only will this help to round out your service, but it will ensure they keep you in mind when they next visit your location – and who knows, they might book there and then on the phone!

There you have it – five ways to make sure your guests return to your hotel. There are lots of other things we didn’t mention in this article, like cutting prices, offering a loyalty scheme or partnering with local businesses to create holiday packages. See what works for you, and remember that the customer is always right. Good luck with your hotel or bed and breakfast!