“Ms Koch, your room is on the 4th floor. Please take the elevator to the left around the corner. We wish you a pleasant stay.” The receptionist says as the bellhop kindly helps me with my luggage. I believe that the check-in process is a very important part for guests; whether it’s people staying for business, the honeymoon couple, a walk-in who doesn’t speak the local language or the mayor of the city.
It’s a perfect opportunity to set the tone for the guests stay. If the guest has a pleasant check-in experience and there is a blunder in the room, the guest is more likely to not over react. Some guests will even oversee blunders or not mention them because they had such a pleasant check-in experience.
Check in sets the tone for the guests and determines their mood for the rest of the stay. Guests remember how you make them feel once they arrive.
For the perfect check-in experience you need to be able to read the guests in front of you and as soon as they walk through the entrance. Eye contact at this point is crucial. Show the guests you notice them, a soft smile and attentive eyes are very welcoming. The guests don’t know you have a hundred other things to do on the computer in between check-in and check-out. Don’t look down on your screen waiting for the guest to come to you to say something. Be the first to greet the guest.
Don’t look down on your screen waiting for the guest to come to you to say something. Be the first to greet the guest and welcome them.
Woman in business dress, high heels, on the phone, small carry-on suitcase and laptop bag. Most business guests don’t want to talk about the weather, their arrival or the purpose of their visit. They want you to be quick, read profile notes to avoid mistakes that’ll take extra time. The usual quiet room with a coffee machine and usual newspaper on the desk.
Young couple, large luggage, city map and booking information ready in hand, cheerful and talkative. First time in the city and excited about their stay. Ask about their arrival, the purpose of their visit, make conversation and share the excitement with them. Small talk with your guests is a great way to find out what you can offer them during their stay: couples massage and a champagne treatment to the room for a special occasion, bus tour and popular sights to see for the explorers. These guests appreciate the little gestures like a birthday card to the room or complimentary tea in the afternoon after a day out in the city.
Learn to read people. It’ll make your job so much easier. It’s usually a lot of clichés.
Check-In Charm Checklist
- YOU represent the hotel. A clean uniform, a nice hairdo, manicured nails, fresh breath etc. all portrait the hotels image. When the employees look good and feel good, it’ll show in their work and the guests will notice.
- “Welcome at first sight!” Eye contact is very important when you work at a hotel front office. Don’t look down on your screen waiting for the guest to come to you to say something. Be the first to greet the guest and welcome them.
- Wonder Woman undercover. Guests mostly come to you for everything. From complaints, to special requests, to city maps, feminine products and emergencies. Know where everything is so you can act quickly to prevent long waiting time. Before or after your shift, make sure everything is where it’s supposed to be.
My Little Emergency Kit
Over the years I’ve learned to be prepared for everything. I started taking a little “emergency kit” with me to every shift that I’d leave in the back office for example. I’d have things like glasses wipes, lip liner, cough drops, hand lotion, hand sanitizer, a comb, bandaids, mini deodorant etc.
After working in a hotel for over three years, I feel like I’ve seen it all. You encounter so many people and situations and it helps you grow as a person. These blog posts “how hotels inspire me” will be about my experiences, my opinions and thoughts. You can read more about me and my hotel management training here.
xoxo Shannon Laura