15 Feb 2017

Helping the front desk to make a good first impression.

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Just like any business, first impressions are a very big deal in hospitality. Hotels spend huge amounts on their lobbies, because guests often draw conclusions about how their rooms will look based on the appearance of the lobby. But arguably the greatest investment a hotel can make is in its front desk team.
Research finds that customer service is by far the most influential factor on TripAdvisor scores, so making guests feel welcome immediately has exponential value. And the time to start influencing first impressions is during the check-in process.
The way a guest is treated in those first few minutes can sway an opinion of the entire hotel, and a well-trained team can ensure this golden opportunity isn’t missed, setting the entire tone for the experience ahead. And it’s important to avoid the worst guest experience-killer: an agent on the phone with a guest at the front desk.
It’s vital that as agents efficiently work through standard check-in procedures, they can become attuned to the unique needs of each guest. One guest might be exhausted from a long flight and want to reach the room as fast as possible, while another might be relaxed and eager to learn about hotel amenities or potential sightseeing trips. Being attuned to body language and asking relevant questions can ensure each guest receives a more tailored level of service.
Greeting guests by name, thanking them for their booking, and asking about their journey can all help further build initial rapport. To help agents do this the right way, hotel management must ensure that the front desk phone can be answered by other means while guests are at the front desk. This simple adjustment will add tens of thousands of dollars to a hotel’s bottom line.
While it might last just a few minutes, the front desk team has a unique opportunity to make a crucial first impression as early opinions are being formed. Given the huge importance guests place on great service, investing in this part of the hotel experience has vast disproportionate value.

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