First impressions can make or break a guest’s experience, and the way in which you are greeting guests is very important as it is the first point of onsite contact. Your greeting is a way of making a hotel guest feel at home right away, so make sure you make it count. It’s a way of starting conversation and breaking down barriers established by the unknown, and is an opportunity to connect with people that can bring about great results and create a personal bond.
Some of the simplest tricks to provide the perfect welcome are to smile, attend to the guest as soon as possible, and if you’re busy, recognize their presence and then go back to what you’re doing until you can help them. Asking and anticipating questions that they may have will help make a guest feel comfortable and like they’ve made the right choice when deciding where to stay.
In this article we will discuss the 10 best ways of greeting guests in order to provide the perfect hotel welcoming.
Best practices for greeting guests in your hotel
We’ve briefly mentioned some strategies for welcoming guests, but now well look more in detail about some of the best ways of greeting guests.
Dress to impress
Since first impressions are so important, it’s important to make sure your staff is dressed to impress. One way to do this is by providing uniforms for staff so that customers can quickly identify who they need to go to for help. Uniforms also provide a sense of professionality that simply cannot be portrayed when everyone is dressed differently.
Psychologically speaking, when your staff feels good about what they’re wearing or how they look, they feel a sense of confidence, which is reflected in their work. It can also help them provide top-notch service and do their work more smoothly simply because they feel good about themselves and want to represent the hotel’s brand in the best way possible. If the style and brand of your property is very informal and a traditional uniform doesn’t make sense, make sure staff have a clear, visible name tag or something else that immediately identifies them.
Questions are a great way to connect with guests quickly. People love to talk about themselves so giving them a chance to do so will help guests feel at home right away. Since there’s typically a lot of paperwork to take care of upon arrival (well, there doesn’t need to be if you’re with Mews), asking questions can make the process more pleasant by asking questions about their journey and what plans they have while they’re visiting; this way you can also capitalize on opportunities to upsell your services, tours and amenities. Asking questions is essentially a quick way to do market research and find out what your guests want.
A smile goes a long way
The saying goes “when I smile, the world smiles back at me.” Incorporate this way of life into your welcome greeting. There’s nothing better than being greeted after a long trip with a warm smile and someone asking genuinely how you are doing. A smile is also a great icebreaker.
Offer to help
Offering to help someone can also go a long way, even if many times your offer will be politely declined. See if they need help with their baggage or if they want to be shown around the premises. Helping your guests is a great way to go above and beyond and leave a lasting impression.
Be cordial even if you’re busy
The hospitality industry is extremely fast-paced so it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the work you need to do. Don’t let the stress get to you, and most importantly, don’t let the guests see your stress. Even if you’re busy, make sure to be cordial to the guests and let them know you’re busy and that you’ll try to be with them as quickly as possible. In this way they will feel reassured and not mind the wait.
Make guests feel special
There’s always enough time to make your guests feel special. Consult the booking to find out if there’s a birthday or special occasion they are celebrating. If so, acknowledge the special occasion upon check-in. This will go a long way. If you want to go even further, why not have a bottle of champagne or flowers in their room to greet them?
Indicate points of interest within the hotel
Make a guest feel at home when they check in by providing information about important points of interest within the hotel like the bathroom, restaurant, pool and other services and amenities you offer. The information can be easily conveyed without feeling like an upsell but at the same time it’s a great way of informing guests that you have different services available.
Anticipate the questions guests will ask and answer them before they do
Everyone loves the feeling that you read their mind. Tourists all have similar doubts and questions so make sure to answer the most common doubts when you’re welcoming new arrivals. Mews’ virtual concierge is a great way of making your customers feel like their needs can be met at all times
With a digital concierge, guests are in charge of their experience. They can contact you with real-time messaging, and you can react quickly to questions so that you can provide outstanding service even if it’s just answering a simple question. Plus check-in and check-outs can be anticipated, allowing guests to check in and out from their cell phones and laptops, helping to reduce lines at the hotel front desk.
Provide accurate wait times
You may be busy, but you should never be too busy to let the customer know how long you need before you can attend to them. By providing accurate wait times, guests will not get frustrated by having to wait and they can even get a more realistic picture if they have time to do other things such as get information from the concierge or go to the bathroom while they wait for help. Communication is key to reassuring your clients and making sure they know that you care.
Find a point of contact between you and the guest
Compliments go a long way, so if you like someone’s earrings or they’re wearing a sweatshirt with your college logo on it, tell them. Complimenting people is a great way to strike up a conversation and establish a point of connection. It’s also a way of making them feel good.
We’ve discussed in detail how important first impressions are when guests arrive at your hotel, and the way they are greeted can provide great results. This first connection serves as the basis for the rest of their hotel experience, so make sure you are greeting guests like it matters. Start by finding a point of contact, asking questions, or providing information that they are likely to want to know such as important points of interest within the hotel. Make sure to be cordial no matter how busy you are, and to let people know how long they will need to wait before you can help them.
Managing expectations and providing a good first impression is an important part of providing a top-notch hotel experience. Making guests feel special by smiling at them and offering to help them will leave a lasting impression, and thereby improve retention rates and boost your hotel’s reputation both on and offline. Most importantly, don’t underestimate the power of first contact in order to ensure lifelong clients.
Perfecting how you talk to guests
Learn how to perfect your guest messaging across multiple channels and it will help you increase loyalty, boost revenue, and ultimately achieve a higher lifetime value for guests.
Our guide to Perfecting Guest Communication will show you how.
Eva Lacalle | 9 May 2021
Eva has over a decade of international experience in marketing, communication, events and digital marketing. When she's not at work, she's probably surfing, dancing, or exploring the world.
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