Show Them You Know Them!
One crucial aspect of guest relations is knowing our guests. This allows us to anticipate a guest’s need before they have to ask, which is what hospitality is all about. Showing them we know them helps with guest relations, guest retention and allows us to interact confidently with them throughout their stay. Being a dynamic hotelier, you need to know how to know your guest – your audience. Here are just a few tactics to do so:
Listen, listen and listen some more – First and foremost, you need to pay attention to what your guests are telling you. From the moment they call to book a reservation at your hotel to checking them out at reception, actively listen. I know it can be challenging when you’re trying to remember your hotelier spiel and wondering in the back of your head if the housekeeper turned that room. But you want to. Where are they coming from? Are they celebrating a birthday? Do they dislike low floors? Listen!
Notate everything – During my time with Four Seasons, we were taught to listen to every guest detail and notate everything. If someone mentioned they were coming in for their husband’s birthday, we instinctively notated that on their profile notes. This allowed us to wow them when they come back on the same date and we put an amenity in their room. If your PMS interface does not come with a guest profile notes section, you can easily create a Google doc with their name, preferences, allergies and birthdays. ALWAYS review these notes when guests are returning to you.
Utilize guest ‘touch-points’ – By ‘touch-points’ I mean when you’re booking with them, checking them in at reception, conversing with them around dinner time and definitely upon checkout. Learn to actively listen during these guest touch-points. Carry a small notepad around with you to make notes if you have to. I promise, once you start getting in the habit of this, it will become second nature.
Leverage your recon – Once you have been doing recon on your guest’s preferences for a while, start using that knowledge as a tool to wow your guests when they surely return, because you are a rockstar hotelier. It’s their anniversary this visit, like last year? No problem, you’ve got a handwritten card and chocolates for them upon arrival. They mentioned daffodils during dinner time? You’ve got this; daffodils on the bed at turndown service.
Showing them we know them creates a second-home atmosphere for our guests. As humans we instinctively wish to belong somewhere, and when our host and their staff know us that well, that is the feeling that is created. THAT makes for an incredible guest experience.