When guests arrive at your hotel or resort it is likely their first contact with the hotel. First impressions last. A warm and inviting greeting together with a seamless check-in procedure is paramount in any hotel experience. Our Hotel Consultants suggest you focus on warmly welcoming all your guests.
Marketing, sales or hospitality services employees realize the first 30 seconds of any impression is your window to wow your guests, or lose them forever. The impression you leave in the first 30 seconds will be the impression that lasts in a guests mind. You create a base line at the first experience, and all experiences from there, will draw the total impression either up or down. But you create a baseline.
If you are among the 20% best hospitality driven hotels, guests will have heard from you even before they arrive – learn more about that in this article.
It’s Not Just About Holding the Door It should be very simple to open a door, but there are many ways to do it. First of all, you need to make sure you have a doorman that really loves his job. Guests at 5 Star properties should not have to open the entrance door at any time. During a stay, this is, to many guests, the only time guests are in contact with the hotel staff, besides at check-in and checkout.
Make sure that the door is always opened with a smile and a greeting. “Welcome back sir, do you need any help with the shopping bags?” Use the doorman to be the communicator letting guests know this is a hotel offering service to their guests at any time. Let your guests feel they are honored before they even get in the door. This is a benchmark of premium service expected of a 5 star resort. When guests arrive by car, they are to be greeted at their car. The doorman should open the car door and warmly welcome the guest, assisting with baggage and other needs as the guests arrive.
A greeting should only include a handshake if the guest offers the handshake first. If a well-meaning doorman offers a handshake that is unwanted it may taint the experience before the guest even gets in the door of your resort. The ideal situation is a doorman who is observant and can get a good read on the guest instinctively. He is the first line of greeting and is therefore extremely valuable to the hotel experience.
A warm and inviting reception area will create a good feeling for the hotel. You will need to be sure that the reception area is in keeping with the rest of the hotel. Rooms, reception area, and the remainder of the hotel need to adhere to the same quality standards. A stellar and extravagant reception area means nothing if the rooms are sub-par, and in need of renovation. If your guests don’t have a clean, comfortable, up-to date room, they will NOT even if your reception area is paved in gold!
The check-in procedure should be fast and effective, and offer the guest positive experience. If you run a resort, you should try to check people in in the calm surroundings of a sofa area where guests can sit down and relax with a complimentary drink. Let them relax and come to them, instead of having them stand in a line at the reception desk. You are there for them, not the other way round.
If you run a hotel, please also remember to offer a welcome beverage. Guests may have been travelling for a while and need to have the option at least. Going that extra mile will long be remembered by your guests. Needless to say, the service level of the receptionist has to be perfect – Always smiles and no stress. Make sure the uniforms are spotless, desk area clean etc. The Check-in is where you have the possibility to show people you remember them. Make sure to keep a database system where you keep track of your guests, so you can welcome them back. This is what creates good ambassadors and regular guests. Make sure to tell guests that come back that you appreciate them and their loyalty. Do something extra for them. If you upgrade guests in general, do it for the ones who come back. Leave a bottle of wine in their room and a personal note from the manager – or something else to show your appreciation.
The check-in is also where you have the chance of selling up, and creating additional revenue. Make sure to create a list every morning of how many premier rooms you have, and what the prices are to upgrade. Make sure all guests are offered an upgrade at a relatively small amount, like 30-100 USD, depending on room type and your extra room costs for premium rooms. Your goal should be to get all premier rooms filled, and create that extra revenue.
If you do not already have sell-up products, you should create these as well. It could be anything from a deluxe package with daily shoeshine, newspaper in the morning and fresh fruits to a special SPA package at a special price. However, make sure the amounts are not big, since it has to be something the guests can decide while checking in. Where is the room? Some hotels are more complicated than others. To guests, there is nothing more frustrating than arriving to a hotel, tired and exhausted, having to look for the hotel room. If you have the capacity in the reception or with your bell boys, follow the guests to their room and walk through the room with them, showing where the minibar is etc. Settle your guests into their room and explain any amenities. Be sure the guest knows that you can call upon them at any time and their needs will be met.
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We have helped many hotels create a perfect arrival flow that has created happier guests and generated extra bottom-line revenue. Contact us today to learn more and to discuss how we can help your hotel or resort excel. Learn to be the best at BEING the BEST!