Hotel guests can potentially spend a lot of money on their room, depending on the hotel brand, hotel type, and hotel location. With the evolution of social media, you cannot afford to give anything but your 100% to make the guest feel at home. Bad reviews on TripAdvisor, bad experiences tweeted by influential Twitter users, and prominent Facebook users with a lot of fans can easily mention the hotel's name, while tens of thousands of people can see what was said simultaneously. One big mistake can be detrimental to a business with the power of social media. While there are some situations beyond your control or there are extremely difficult guests, often looking to see how far they can push for a refund, those situations are rare, and you have to keep your cool regardless if it seems like you are to blame for things you did not even do.
For the remaining guests, start by doing these simple things:
- Smile and acknowledge the guest if they are approaching the desk or walking close by the desk. Try to remember their first or last name if it is not a large property. People feel a sense of self-worth if someone knows who they are.
- If the guest is checking in, review all the details of their reservation. Make sure it is accurate so there is no confusion later if it was not. If there is an error when the guest is checking in, approach the error in a calm manner, and accommodate the situation the best you can. If this prompts the guest to wait for a few extra minutes, offer them a complementary drink or snack from your gift shop for the inconvenience. Most guests will appreciate the gesture, and they will momentarily concentrate on the gift shop item instead of standing by the desk staring at you with frustration building every second they are not checked in as you try to fix the error as fast as you can. The same situation holds true if your computers are running slow. Sometimes you can read body language, and engage in conversation with the guest about local sports teams or the city they are from if they look like they are in a pleasant mood. Always talk with a calm and somewhat soothing tone in a situation that looks like it could go bad, without crossing the lines of being fake or condescending. If the guest does not appear to be in a hurry, introduce your amenities, and describe the location. Encourage the guest to participate in Happy Hour or special events your hotel might be holding for everybody in house.
- Once a guest gets to their room, especially ones who may not have the smoothest check in experience, it would be courteous to give them a call to make sure they are satisfied with the room. Offer your help for any questions the guest may have. This may be difficult if you are busy, and have to talk on phone, in addition to checking guests in.
- When there are issues, such as the rooms not being up to standards when a guest checks in, listen to the exact the problem. Resolve it by switching the room, possibly to an upgrade if available or treating the guest to a complimentary amenity for service recovery.
- Let the positive aspects of your personality shine. You do have to be professional, but people generally enjoy real human interaction over robotic personalities. The robotic personalities show the guests you are just trying to get by doing your job, and not putting in the extra effort to make them feel at home. You can be somebody that people soon will not forget. Often, the staff is a big reason why people become repeat guests. Outside of reward programs, if somebody cannot choose a hotel because a few choices in the area are about the same in price and comfort, the positive reviews about the staff may be the deciding factor for the guest to choose your hotel.
- Upon checkout, make sure everything went well for the guest, wish them a safe trip, and say something like “We hope to see you soon!” These simple things can go a long way to providing a very positive experience for your guests and keeping the negative experiences at bay.