UK hotels offer the best customer service in Europe, according to new research examining which aspects of a hotel are most likely to influence a guest’s impressions.
The findings from the Independent Hotel Show
, in partnership with Travelzoo, are the result of a survey of more than 1,000 adults. UK hotels were rated number one for service, with hotels in Spain and Italy ranked second and third. Hotels in France fared worst, and were rated lowest for customer service.
Nine out of ten respondents said that good service could rectify their impression of a "bad hotel" and is the top reason why two-thirds of customers would rebook. Good hotel service also has huge positive word-of-mouth potential, with 40 per cent of respondents saying it would make them recommend a hotel to friends and family, second only to the cleanliness of a hotel.
Despite coming out on top, the UK’s hospitality establishments were shown to induce wildly different perceptions among consumers. British service is viewed as "formal and polite" by 35 per cent of respondents, while 18 per cent described the hospitality as "warm and generous".
Respondents' biggest bugbears regarding hotel service were flagged as "surly or condescending staff" (38 per cent), "not following up on requests" (21 per cent) and "struggling to get staff's attention" (15 per cent).
Meanwhile, boutique and luxury hotels were identified as the preferred hotel of choice for 42 per cent of respondents, followed by chain hotels (29 per cent) and budget hotels (10 per cent).
"Nothing can be more important at the luxury / boutique end of the market than service,” said Peter Hancock, chief executive of Pride of Britain Hotels.
“Our guests already have pleasant homes and access to good food and wines, so the one thing we can offer that justifies our prices is great hospitality delivered by friendly, courteous professionals."