Although hotel housekeepers work behind the scenes, a survey from the professional division of Miele has revealed that making them more customer-facing could be the secret to a top-notch guest experience.
Getting feedback and having the chance to meet customers is what makes housekeeping staff most happy in their roles, suggesting this is a win-win opportunity for hotels and their guests.
In the survey, 96 per cent of housekeepers said they like receiving positive feedback and 86 per cent want to meet hotel guests – these being the two most commonly sought-after aspects of the job.
Eighty per cent also said that they liked taking responsibility for customer experience – suggesting that housekeeping staff may have as much to offer in this area as front of house staff do.
In comparison, only 54 per cent of housekeepers said they liked the cleaning side to their job. This topped the list of the most frequently disliked aspects of the role along with the working hours and the level of benefits they receive.
When compared to chefs, receptionists, waiting staff and the hotel management, 63 per cent of housekeepers said they were right at the forefront of the guest experience. Seventy-three per cent also felt that they are becoming more accountable for the happiness of the guests.
Looking after customers is not without challenges. Guests checking out late and customers in general are two of the top challenges of the housekeeping role. Twice as many cited these as issues compared to managing staff.
The research findings also highlight that housekeeping related tasks such as laundry are a key part of guest experience. Sam Bailey, Sales and Marketing Director at the Professional Division of Miele, commented: “With our survey also showing that the bedroom is the area of a hotel that has the biggest impact on guest experience, it’s perhaps no surprise that the housekeeper has such a crucial role to play. From turning around rooms quickly to ensuring bedlinen is washed to the highest cleanliness standards, the housekeeper is central to customer service. Hotels can benefit from raising the level of importance they place on housekeeping roles and processes.”