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Liz Smith-Mills on achieving a spotless reputation

Decotel Ambassador and Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality, Liz Smith-Mills recently wrote about reputation in the hospitality sector.

13th Jan 2020

Often overlooked as the ‘hygiene factor’, cleanliness can in fact build customer loyalty and repeat business. Granted, fancy food or a prime location might first spring to mind as top reasons to book a particular hotel, yet research* by P&G Professional (the away-from-home division of Procter & Gamble), found that nearly three quarters of those surveyed (72%) would leave a bad online review if their hotel room was unclean. This should be worrying news for establishments that are less than spotless as 93% of guests polled claim to read online reviews before making a booking.

So what can be done to build customer loyalty, improve ratings and ensure guests keep coming back? From my years in the hospitality sector, I’ve seen the business benefits of cleaning-up, which can include increasing sales. Some of my suggested tips to ensure a spotless reputation:  

1. People Power
Continued investment in training programmes pays dividends. Employees are the heart and soul of your business, driving success and delivering quality experiences to guests. Regular investment in these employees with both time and attention can revitalise your housekeeping team, and can also increase productivity and retention rates.

2. It’s the Thought that Counts
Housekeeping teams are your secret weapon, covering the largest physical area of your property. They have the ability, with their attention to detail, to maintain high standards of cleanliness along with little touches which can make all the difference. Frazzled hotel guests may feel more comfortable if they’re in a clean environment, and it’s the ‘behind the scenes’ teams who go the extra mile that will prompt those great online customer reviews. This is how you create a positive “word of mouth” programme, when guests tell others of their experience and return time and again.

3. Safe, Simple and Effective Tools of the Trade
As businesses fall under scrutiny for their hygiene standards, the hospitality industry can’t afford to get it wrong when it comes to choosing products and equipment. A less than spotless experience can damage your hotel’s reputation, from negative reviews to the risk of losing repeat business.

*Research carried out by OnePoll in July 2019 amongst a sample of 2000 British adults.


Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality, Liz Smith-Mills is also an Expert Advisory Council member for P&G Professional. With over 35 years’ experience in 4 and 5 star properties in all hotel departments, Liz specialises in housekeeping, training, mystery guest inspections and assisting with new openings. Here she talks about how to achieve a spotless reputation.

P&G Professional has the trusted brands and products that are not only easy to use, but require only simple training – helping staff deliver great first time results. By developing innovative products and systems that are simple to use, P&G Professional can help streamline cleaning practices to get the job done right the first time. And that can lead to a better customer experience and repeat business!

To learn more about P&G Professional and its professional cleaning systems please or call 0800 716 854.

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