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The hotel’s anticipation of the guest

I wish I could romanticize this publication mentioning initiatives hoteliers should take into account before guests arrive (room set-up, team preparation for "that" guest, etc). No, this article is about the opposite: the (often harmful) effect on hotel teams that prior exchange of contact with the guest will dictate on the relationship with the guest. What effect does early communication with the customer have on welcoming them?

Photos by TH2 team (Raquel Andrade) at Herdade da Malhadinha - Unique Stays® charm hotels

We don't need to have extensive experience in management and contact with people to know that we can intuit when a client is going to be "complicated". Do you ask questions about topics that we explained in the previous email or are described on the website? How distracted! Question about amenities, turn-down service and other luxuries not included in our service? What nitpicking! Well, labels aside... Our management of expectations is prohibited from the worst-case scenario, imagining reviews and stress. And we are often our own worst enemy, projecting scenarios that have not (yet) happened and may not even happen. The magic of hospitality involves accepting people lightly, without prior judgments, complexes or presumptions that will condition my performance as a host . Here are some tips to unblock this feeling, not suffer in advance and adopt a good attitude:

  1. The challenge of unfurling . Take it as a game whose prize will be to get a smile from the guest, a frown and relaxed shoulders. Understand that one of the main reasons for going on vacation is because we want to rest and de-stress. Which means that before they start (or at the moment they start) we are exhausted, fed up, in autopilot mode, tired, sensitive and hanging on by a thread. Added to this is the exhausting accumulation of having traveled to get there, which, although fantastic, is tiring. Practice the principle of good faith.

  2. Talk to me . I don't want the excuse of "let's leave the customer because he doesn't want to be bothered" - that's lazy talk! Let me simplify...among the range of mandatory questions and interactions are:

    1. explain where you are specifically... having arrived by taxi, Uber, metro or helicopter, frame it by highlighting walking-distance places of interest from your accommodation

    2. question: did you sleep well?

    3. Did you like the recommendation, experience a, b, c? (assuming you do them regularly while you are hosting or through a first contact and recommendation made by email)

    4. Know what you would most like to see here, what made you choose our destination?

    5. offer something for the reservation: if you reserve a table at the restaurant, mentioning that as you are a guest you will be offered a dessert. Invoice €100 for the investment of €4, or better yet, for the investment of the contact initiative. The sales suggestion (whether upselling or crossselling) here is perceived by the guest as a concern. That extra-mile for the extra smile . We are also showing that we have a lot, which impacts the review of the "facilities" topic.

  3. Mind-set: As in a love relationship ... if you don't want to suffer the disappointment of bad reviews in parameters such as "value for the money" or "staff", do it! Treat your guest thinking as you would in a (good) romantic relationship: there is the act of charming and seducing that begins with online communication, including exchanging emails, chats and the language used to communicate on networks, websites and even in simple policies. When you arrive, you should feel that you were anticipated, that they were waiting for you and took care to plan your arrival. While you're here, keep in touch, just like in a love relationship there's praise, here there's concern, recommendations, follow-ups. And when will you leave? Wow, how we miss you! And how we invoke and remember together that "a year ago, you were here with us" expressed in an email, postcard, discount voucher or satisfaction questionnaire.

Photos by TH2 team (Raquel Andrade) at Herdade da Malhadinha - Unique Stays® charm hotels

Get Ready: TH2 supports hoteliers in training their managers, enabling them to delegate and also prepare teams: from Mentoring to One-on-One Coaching, we are present on the ground to train and closely monitor employees with On-Site training . This service includes review of the Procedures Manual and includes in-person work at your hotel and live online. Contact us and schedule a quick call to find out everything ;)

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