How Do You Give You Customer A World Class Welcome?
Any customer checking into a hotel can get a warm, fussy feeling from something as simple as a smile from the bellboys, but how can you provide the wow factor into a welcome that makes your hotel highlight from the competition. It is always good to have a smiley face because it costs nothing.
Besides a smile it is important to always fully engage with the customer to make them feel that they are valued, despite it a new customer or a returning customer. The customer will swiftly notice when they are not given the full attention. It is all about addressing the customer by name so they feel a personalized service, adopting to their mood and really taking an interest.
In Colombo Court Hotel & Spa, rated as one of the best hotels in Colombo Sri Lanka, the valet drivers who are picking up the guests from the airport or a different destination, calls the front desk 10 minutes before they reach the hotel so the Public Relations Executive or a senior member of the front office can be standing in the lobby, ready to welcome the customer and add that extra pizazz. During the check in registration process, the guest experiences a complementary foot rub from the world class spa therapists at Amber Spa. This is where the journey at Colombo Court Hotel & Spa begins. After the warm welcome and the introduction of this beautiful boutique hotel in Colombo, the staff will take full control of the situation leaving no space for the guest to feel unsure of where to go next or to feel unwelcome.
Mohomed Zulfikar, a senior member of the front office strongly believes that all guests has to be treated as individuals and it should never be a “cookie- cutter” welcome. A lot of Mohomed’s flair is down to his personality. Mohomed always has a gigantic smile on his face, that already projects a warm and welcoming appearance. He gives his guests his attention, maintaining eye contact and being fully engaged with what they are saying. He is an expert in noticing guest’s body language and adapting to the behavior appropriately.
At Colombo Court Hotel & Spa, the welcome starts earlier still. The reservations team try and discreetly gather information about the guest when they confirm the booking – the estimated time of arrival for the team to be better prepared, whether the visit is for a celebration, if the customer has special requirements, and so on. The rest of the team then anticipate any needs during their stay.
Classic mistakes when welcoming guests
Do not assume – all guests are individual and have different expectations and needs.
Use of language sets the tone of the hotel. “Good morning” or “good afternoon” is more professional than “hello” or “hi”.
When you have shown the guest their room, ask: “If there is anything else I can do, please let me know”, or “I hope you enjoy your stay with us”. This shows you are open to assisting your guest further. Conversely, saying: “Thanks, bye”, gives the impression you want to get rid of them.
Try and refer to the guest by Mr./ Mrs./ Ms. Surname and never by the room number.
Not providing common courtesy – opening a door, and offering assistance with luggage is part of being hospitable, even if some guests are more independent now.
Training for a warm welcome
While employee training create confidence, the first impression is critical, how well the staff are dressed, how clean and presentable they are, if the staff can listen and remember the names. After all, if the employee is not confident they will not be successful in handling the customer. While the staff needs to know when to stop talking some good phrases to use would be, “How was your journey?” or “What are your plans while you stay with us?”. Another good initiative is to check in the customer into the room and ring back in 15 minutes to check and see if they need anything. This pre-empts the guest and gets their visit off to a good start.
It is all about walking in the customer’s. You welcome the customer as if he or she is the only customer in the hotel.