Hotel guests can get a warm feeling from something simple like a smile from the doorman. The question is; “how can you inject the “WOW” factor into a welcome that makes your hotel stand out from the crowd?” People quickly notice when you are not giving them your full attention. It’s about greeting them by name, adapting to their mood and really taking an interest. The use of the guest’s name is crucial. Guests are usually surprised when we know their name.
What to Do Before Guests Arrive
Before guests arrive, it’s important to contact them via email, phone or social media channels to ask if they have any special requirements and the reason for their stay. If you identify any guest preferences then we aim to deliver these. This contact also gives the team an opportunity to tell guests about the other aspects of the hotel, such as specialty restaurant, entertainment spots etc. Feedback from your guests tells you that your seasonal welcome display is the first thing they notice and that it makes your hotel stand out from the competition.
With self-check-in hotels, the welcome is going to come from what the guest can see as well as what experience they have with your technology. Ensure the exterior and interior of your property is immaculate and the self-check-in facility is easy to use. First impressions are crucial. Ensure your hotel is clean and presentable outside and inside. Ensure the paths are swept and flower boxes are watered. The hotel should be in a good state of repair with clean windows.
At The Reception
Make sure the hotel door is opened for the guest by a courteous member of staff who smiles and warmly greets them with a “Good morning” or “Good afternoon”. If a guest is staying, escort them to the reception desk and introduce them to the receptionist who will take them through the check-in process without fuss, using their name to build a rapport. The desk should look professional and uncluttered. The receptionist should be able to locate booking details easily, have a room ready and be able to clearly explain how to get there. If your hotel has a concierge team, they should be on-hand to help with luggage.
The following are the best brand standard practices on guest arrival into a hotel
Your pledge: To make guests feel a warm welcomed to the hotel.
• At the hotel entrance, all guests whether driving or walking are welcomed by the doorman with a warm and friendly smile.
• The doorman will open the car door and direct guests accordingly, either to the meeting room’s front desk, restaurants or any other function and where necessary the doorman will offer to park the vehicle.
• While checking in at the hotel front desk, no guest waits longer than 3 minutes in a queue before being served. If the line of guests is long, additional staff will be brought in to assist.
• Reception – cashier should always be looking up all around the reception foyer and proactively let guests know they will be attended to as soon as possible.
• Guests will be welcomed, using the name of the hotel and guest’s name if known.
• Porters to offer towels and welcome juice as guests fill the registration card.
• Room type, meal plan, departure date rate and mode of payment will be confirmed. Front desk staff may choose to “up-sell” guest to possibly a suite depending on initial requirement.
• If the guest has previously stayed at the hotel, the team member will express recognition by highlighting some information from the guest history, making the guest feel valued and appreciated.
• The whole check-in process at the front desk should take in the range of 3 minutes.
• Porters shall be on standby upon completion of check-in to take the guest to their room.
• The receptionist – cashier will introduce the porter to the guest i.e. “Mr. KYZ, this is Juma our porter who will show you to your room.”
• Porter will acknowledge the guest and offer assistance.
• The porter will politely ask the guest to identify his luggage.
• On the way to the room, the porter will point out the F&B Outlets en-route to the room. He will explain to the guest where they can have their meals and drinks.
• The porter on reaching the room will highlight the different facilities and how they function e.g., lighting, air conditioning, the television and or the fridge.
• The porter will then wish the guest a pleasant stay and inform him that should he require any assistance he can dial room service extension reception or guest relations (giving extension number where applicable).
• Guest luggage for groups shall be delivered to the respective room within 5 minutes of the guest check-in.
• Guest luggage under hotel’s storage shall be handled with care and safely stored in a neat and orderly manner with security.
N/B: Each hotel has different check-in policies formulated by top management. Some hotels take more time for check-in than the others. But as a hotelier, making efforts to value every minute spent by your guest goes a long way. Hence the need for the guest arrival brand standard.