Imagine the scene. It’s a beautiful summer evening and a happily married couple pulls their brand-new BMW up to the front curb of an upscale steakhouse. As they exit the car and hand the keys to the valet, they both can’t help but notice that he seems a little distracted and somewhat rude. This small inattentive interaction alone might be enough to change the entire tone of the night. But even worse, what if that same valet returned their new car with bumps and scratches in the bodywork?
There is no steak on the planet juicy enough to pave over that situation.
This is almost exactly the same experience one customer had at the Las Vegas Golden Nugget. After the valet service damaged a customer’s car but refused to acknowledge liability in the situation, the customer vowed not only to never return to the establishment, but planned on broadcasting it to all as a warning to avoid the casino and hotel, or at the very least, the Nugget’s valet service. What if you were Tilman Fertitta, owner of the Houston Rockets and Golden Nugget? You’ve worked hard to build a billion-dollar brand, only to have a rude valet and damaged car ruin an entire guest experience that resulted in bad press.
When guests and customers arrive at a location, whether it’s a steakhouse, hotel, casino, or other property, their first and last interactions are almost always with the valet. It is critical that these exchanges are positive, quick, and efficient. We all know that long waiting times or damaged property are undeniable killers of the customer experience. But what are some other possible adjustments or changes that can be easily incorporated to ensure your valet system is running like clockwork?
EMPATHIZE & ENVISION
Creating an ideal experience for your guests is not rocket science. It begins by understanding the customer journey and being empathetic about what their needs are. Put yourself in their shoes. What would you expect from the perfect evening?
EVALUATE & EDUCATE
Examining the health of your valet program on a recurrent basis is essential. Like many service industry positions, there is a high turnover among valets. In addition, many services also provide a distinct lack of training for employees. It is important to invest in employee education materials that will standardize service and prevent easy-to-correct mistakes.
ENCOURAGE & INSPIRE
When customers pull up to the valet, they expect speedy service and a smile. Be a motivational example for your team. And remind your valets that their energy and enthusiasm will not only make for happier guests, but in the long run, better tips.
UPDATE & MODERNIZE
A ticketless valet system can also improve the guest experience through improved communication and convenience. SMS Valet is an intuitive system that allows guests to register their vehicles by simply replying to a welcome text message received at check-in. It’s really that easy, and compatible with both iPhone and Android devices! This system also provides the opportunity to extend the guest experience through promotion messages about products and services. Additionally, your team can clearly mark existing damage on incoming vehicles or verify any property damage that does occur onsite via SMS Valet’s damage reporting capabilities.
Above all, be sure to humanize the experience! Both your valet team and guests are people, and the more you can do to facilitate positive interactions, the better your eventual outcomes will be.
Fast, convenient SMS Valet optimizes the customer experience. Learn more about the features of SMS Valet and how to request a demo.