Building the guest relationship starts before your hotel guests arrive. Have you ever made a reservation somewhere and then suffered from ‘buyer’s remorse’ as you then get a bad feeling about the venue?
If taking bookings in person ask questions about their visit that might help you offer a more personal service. What is the purpose of their visit, what time will they be arriving, have they been before, how will they be travelling, do they have any special requirements for their room, dietary, access, etc? Anticipate their needs for the type of event. If a restaurant booking for a birthday party, would they like a cake or champagne, if a training event would they like bacon sandwiches on arrival, if a leisure break would they like reservations made for local events?
Give a great welcome and first impression by confirming their booking in a personalised email. Then keep in contact providing information relevant for the nature of their visit. Act like a tourist office and send details of the events and activities happening locally during their stay so they can plan ahead. Offer to make dinner, theatre or event reservations for them. Send them directions and journey times from their home or office postcode to reach you (this also helps reduce the risk of stressed late arrivals).
Nearer the arrival time or day send through a welcome, and any hot off the press information e.g. advise them of any traffic problems by email or text. Get them looking forward to their visit by telling them of tonight’s special menu items or today’s activities.
Tomorrow we’ll look at how to continue to build on this relationship once your guest arrives.
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