By Kacey Bradley
Half the fun of working in the hospitality industry is that you never know who’s going to walk into your hotel. It’s an especially exciting scenario when you’ve done all you can to ensure a stay at your accommodation will suit every single guest who visits.
Of course, doing so many seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some simple ways you can go above and beyond for anyone who checks into your hotel:
1. Always Correct Errors With Haste
First and foremost, you have to put the customer first. Imagine, for example, that they made a request in their booking that you forgot when finalizing the reservation. Your best bet is to fix the problem immediately. If you can’t, then offer your guest gifts, free services or upgrades during their stay. That way, they’ll know you value their business and their stay with you. If you make a big gesture to fix your mistake, then you probably won’t lose them as a future customer.
2. Anticipate Their Questions
If a guest approaches the concierge desk at 4 p.m., what might they want? You can assume they’re seeking dinner arrangements or perhaps entertainment for the evening. By asking them a related question right away, you’ll impress them with your foresight.
Of course, you can’t handle such requests without proper planning and research. Make sure you have a list of go-to places to eat nearby, and know what each one offers. That way, you’re not sending a family with young children to an age-inappropriate restaurant, for instance.
Swankier hotels have even more extravagant extras at the ready for their customers. For example, the St. Regis in Beverly Hills has a Bentley service, wherein guests can rent the fancy ride to cruise around Hollywood. Having the keys ready for VIP guests would make quite the impression.
3. Accept Their Mail
Guests who travel to your hotel on business might need to have an important document delivered, and it’s your job to accept the post when it arrives. Allowing visitors to rely on your front desk staff for such matters will make you stand out among the rest of their lodging options.
Of course, this rings true in more than one way. Perhaps someone who isn’t staying at your hotel would like to send a special gift through you to a loved one who’s there. Again, all you can do is accommodate such a request, whether they want to send flowers, a bottle of champagne or another sweet token.
4. Choose a Welcome Gift
On that note, you might want to consider preparing a welcome gift with which you’ll greet your guests or, at the very least, VIP customers. Plenty of hotels do this already, and the presents they give go above and beyond the ordinary. Paris’s Hotel de Crillon provides stuffed animals and coloring books for children. You can paint on the in-room easel that awaits you post-check-in at the Rosewood San Miguel de Allende’s Artesana Private Residences. Even something as simple as a box of chocolate or bottle of wine can do the trick.
5. Go Beyond With the Basics
You could hang that towel in the bathroom, or you could make it into a little piece of art that’s sure to delight your guests. Disney resorts have been folding up towel animals for their guests for years, and plenty of other cruise lines and hotels have followed suit. It’s a small gesture, but it’s one that your guests will remember, whether they’re kids or kids at heart. The pictures they share of the towel swan or dangling monkey might spark an interest in their friends to stay with you, too.
Of course, you don’t have to stick to towels. Can you put the toiletries in an eye-catching shape? Can you arrange the guest’s stuffed animals on the bed so they look like they’re hanging out when the humans leave? There is certainly something clever to do to surprise your guests upon their return to the room.
If whimsy fun isn’t your hotel’s M.O., don’t fret — you can still make an impression by going above and beyond with something simple. As an example, some valets will wipe down a car’s dash or give it a quick rinse before returning it to the owner. Again, it’s not a huge to-do, but it’s something that will leave a good impression with the guest who has handed you their keys.
Accommodate Them All
No matter who stays with you, it’s easy to make their visit pleasant. The above are just a handful of ways to exceed your guests’ expectations — and have them coming back again and again for the same exceptional service.