“This validates everything we do, everything we represent. It is a reflection of the hard work of our dedicated staff and management who take pride in their work and strive daily to care for our guests so they return to Florence again and again,” said Hoagland Properties president Craig Sanders.
“Our outstanding customer service has increased overnight stays for new and repeat customers, bringing more people to the Florence area for longer periods of time. As a result, our online rankings for both The Old Town Inn and The River House Inn have improved so much that we gained two coveted awards from TripAdvisor,” Sanders explained.
“The Old Town Inn earned the #11 ranking for the entire United States on TripAdvisor’s ‘2015 Traveler’s Choice 25 Best Bargain Hotels in the US.’ The River House Inn won TripAdvisor’s 2015 Hall of Fame Award for earning TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence five years in a row. Both of these prestigious designations are based on customer reviews, and both and have brought more customers and attention to Florence as a result,” he added.
As a result of their constant care and attention to detail, investment in continual improvements and maintenance, as well as their very competitive pricing, the two inns have also won local recognition as two of the area’s favorite overnight accommodations for local people to recommend to their out-of-town guests.
Sanders said hotel guests are among the most demanding of all customer types; that’s why the company’s mission statement is to “exceed customer expectations with a spotless, reasonably-priced, well-appointed room and exceptional customer service.”
Sanders asks employees to read some their competitors’ negative online reviews, then roll-play these scenarios and discuss what to do if faced with that particular situation. Staff also hold competitions for the cleanest rooms and quickest turn-arounds, and are rewarded for positive feedback on guest comment cards and online reviews. Managers will not release a room for use until they personally inspect it thoroughly, even to the extent of getting down on their hands and knees with a flashlight to check under beds and chairs, and behind dressers and armoires.
“Great customer service also means having staff serve like a big-time hotel concierge, recommending places to eat, shop, and things to do while in Florence,” explains Sanders. “They print maps, menus, and tide charts; make restaurant reservations; coordinate dune buggy, horseback, or airplane rides; and organize golf foursomes. Staff stay up-to-date on all the great stops for families or business travelers on the coast, and will research anything, down to what each local restaurant has on special each evening. Guests mention these services in online reviews.”