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Make More Money - Don't Ask the Guest What Can You Do:  
Just Tell the Guest What You Will Do!

by Lisa Miller
September 14, 2011

What are the last words we often teach the front line staff to speak with the guest?  How often do we still hear:  “Is there anything else I may assist you with?”  It is a good thing to ask, but there is a better conversation to have with the guest.  Engage the guest in a conversation that better serves the guest and a conversation that better benefits the hotel.

Instead of asking what can we do for you, why not tell the guest what we can do for them?  The front line team members are the experts in being able to recognize what each guest in front of them might need.  Team members know what will benefit a single traveler, a couple celebrating an anniversary, or the family arriving for a holiday.  Instead of asking each guest what else can I do for you, tell the guest what you can do for them and make it a suggestion to benefit the hotel.  One favorite area that is a common topic in conversations with the guest is offering to make dinner reservations.  This is a great place to begin the practice of meeting the guest’s need by letting the guest know what the hotel can offer for them rather than the more generic conversation dropper of asking what can we do for you?  We know what we can do for you and this is it!  And it benefits not only the guest but also the hotel – a guest is coming to dinner.

AAA and Forbes also recognize the need to better serve the guest in the best manner possible.  The current AAA guidelines point to the front line staff anticipating the guest need.  Take a look at each service area of the AAA guidelines – every time a guest is to receive service, the staff should think of a precise way to meet the guest’s need.  AAA’s previous guidelines saw the front line staff asking the question of what further can be done, but now a stronger service for the guest is the expectation of AAA’s guidelines, what the staff can specifically do for each guest.  As a leader and mentor to the front line team members, make certain each of your staff know the many ways to offer the best service to the guest that also benefits each of them and the hotel. 

Explore with your team, all of the different ways to offer the highest level of service to the guest – not only can the front line staff ask about the need for dinner reservations at the hotel, but also recommend a hotel amenity such as a pool or beach cabana or the kids’ program. 

Never let the guest turn to leave without having heard about a benefit of the hotel.  Tell the guest all of the amenities that are available, just don’t ask them what they want to do!

Lisa Miller is President of Advisors Hospitality Consulting, (AHC). She is a former AAA inspector and AAA Inspections Manager. Lisa and the AHC team provide expert advice on AAA, Forbes, and the inspection processes. AHC has also received acclaim in working with hotels, restaurants, spas, and golf clubs around the world in teaching staff not only how to reach higher service levels, but how to garner more revenue in each guest engagement and to create and maintain guest advocates. Lisa welcomes questions to:


Lisa Miller


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Other Articles by Lisa Miller
Teach the Front Line Staff to Generate Revenue - Extending hospitality and generating revenue in each guest engagement go hand in hand. / Lisa Miller / August 2011
You've Got Mail.....From AAA / Lisa Miller / July 2011


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