In most cases, arriving at a hotel or resort is the very first contact the guest have to a hotel. First impression lasts, and that is why the greeting and check-in procedure is so important to any hotel – this is how our Hotel Consultants suggest you work
Everyone having worked with marketing, sales or hospitality services knows how important the first 30 seconds of any impression is. 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
Opening 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 checkin 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.
Guests arriving by car naturally has to be greeted by the car, and the cardoor opened to them, with help to bring out the luggage or shopping bags. A few times I have seen well-meaning doormen greeting guests by a hand shake. It should be unnecessary to say that staff never offer a handshake first – the guest may not like to shake the hand of the doorman.
The impression you create at the reception area, will also be the expectations you create for the entire hotel experience. Having a reception area that is many classes higher than the rooms or other areas, will typically create unhappy guests. I have seen this issue at many hotels. A complete renovation was too expensive, so the focus was put on the reception area. Room complaints can easily go up, since people think rooms should be nicer compared to the reception area. So, try to keep the reception area in the same quality and design level as the rest of the hotel.
The check-in procedure should be fast and effective, and offer the guest a nice and 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 for a while 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 drink or beverage. Guests may have been travelling for a while and needs to have the option at least.
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 to see them again, and 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 very big amounts of 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 creating that extra revenue.
If you do not already have sell-up products, you should create such 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.
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We have helped many hotels create a perfect arrival flow, that has created happier guests and has generated extra bottom-line revenue. Contact us today to learn more and to discuss how we can help your hotel or resort become even better.