Are we losing the opportunity to create that personal connection with guests?
In today’s online world it is becoming harder to create a personal connection with guests. Along with automated check-in machines and bigger hotels that don’t want housekeeping/maintenance staff to be seen, are we losing the opportunity to formulate that personal connection with guests?
Have you ever thought about how you greet guests as they enter your accommodation? Have you ever watched your staff interact with guests during their stay, whether it be domestic, gardeners, or maintenance staff? Do they stop what they are doing and greet your guests with a smile, enthusiasm and a friendly welcome?
If you think of it from a guest point of view, it is a hard decision when choosing accommodation online. All the photos are bright and sunny, pools are blue and lush gardens, rooms looking the absolute best, the options are endless. It’s hard to find that perfect getaway using online booking agents or even your own website. Then, the guest makes the decision and has booked your motel or resort. The first person they see is at check-in time, is either yourself or your staff. Think of this as your first opportunity to create a personal connection with guests. It is your opportunity to boost guest satisfaction, keep them coming back and telling as many people as they can about what a great friendly place they stayed at. This, of course, leads to favorable reviews and direct bookings and in turn repeat guests.
Your accommodation doesn’t have to be the best of the best.
Imagine again, from the eyes of a guest who has travelled all day and is tired and weary, to not be acknowledged at either at check-in and during their stay. At times, ourselves and our staff are so involved with the daily tasks of running a motel that we forget who the most important person is. A friendly Hi, how has your day been today? It’s not that hard to take an interest in the guests, that have chosen to stay with you. You would be amazed if you took the time to get to know your guests of the personal connection you can make. After all, everyone has a story to tell, don’t they. A friendly face in a strange new place is sometimes all it takes for the weary traveller to start to relax and enjoy their surroundings.
Sometimes we all seem to forget what the most important part of our job is –
Greeting each and every guest on arrival and acknowledging them throughout their stay! Now with everything being online it now seems the only way to differentiate yourself is by what the reviews say. I have read reviews with the focus on the welcome that was received at the time of arrival and staff friendliness throughout the stay. How hard can that be?
Big smiles and enthusiasm can’t be taught, it needs to be natural.
You can teach an employee every facet of your business but when we buy a motel or hire staff, do we forget the meaning of the industry? After all, it is called the “hospitality industry”. Do we forget to show our personality and friendliness?
Smiling releases endorphin’s which makes us happier and people around you happy as well. It makes you more approachable so when you are walking around your property if guests see you smiling they will smile and begin to enjoy their surroundings and why shouldn’t they want to smile, they are on holidays. Your staff need to be confident enough to interact with guests as well. If they are seen with a sour look on their faces, a guest will think they don’t enjoy their job, and it must be a miserable place to work in.
Everyone from the owners, front desk, gardeners, maintenance and housekeeping staff can instigate a conversation and everyone needs to be. A friendly Hello, how is your day going? can be enough for that guest to mention something they are unhappy about, it then can be easily rectified. It is so much better to find out during the guests stay then after they have left because they have felt that no one is approachable to mention it to. If they feel no one is interested, they go home and they tell family, friends, work colleagues or put it on a review.
Being approachable allows your guest the opportunity to talk to you about it.
Always make eye contact and smile at all your guests and you will be surprised at the outcome. Making every guest feel like they are important, that you care and are genuinely interested in them and you will be rewarded.