One of the biggest areas of struggle during our Service Experience Audits is the use of the guest name. The use of the guest name is one of the most important tools you have to build loyalty with your guests. Rather than providing your associates with general instructions such as ‘use the guest’s name during every interaction’, focus on the key areas of when the name should be used. Our method is simple but very effective.
Use the guest’s name once to open the conversation and once to close the conversation.
By doing this, it will become second nature to your associates. They won’t even have to think about using the guest’s name. They will just do it.
Here are some examples for a few departments on how to use the guest name:
Phone Calls: As soon as the phone rings, the PBX operator should pull up the guest’s information on the computer and get ready to use the name. The PBX operator should immediately greet the guest by name. After handling the call, the operator should end the call by using the guest name.
Check In & Check Out: As soon as the guest gives the name or room number, the GSA should immediately use the name once. The GSA should close the conversation with “have a great stay, Mr. Smith.”
In Room Dining: The server should double check the name just prior to knocking on the door. Once the analyst opens the door and invites them in, the server should greet the guest by name. Then once the guest signs the check, the server should thank the analyst by name on their way out of the room.
Housekeeping & Engineering: The associates should double check the name just prior to knocking on the door. Once the analyst opens the door and invites them in, the server should greet the guest by name. To close the conversation, the associate should say something like “enjoy the rest of your stay, Mr. Smith.”
The real key to the successful use of the guest name is repetition. If you require all associates to use the name once during the greeting and once during the closing it is very easy to monitor and it won’t be long until everyone on your team is using guest names.
Thank you for your great articles. Just came into the site today and impressed with the content thus far.
I have a question: How can one implement a use of guest name in the different restaurant in a hotel e.g. buffet, fine dining, fast foods etc
Thank you in advance
Thanks for the question. I am glad you are enjoying our articles. As far as using the guest name in a restaurant, there are a couple of different approaches. Most fine dining restaurants either have the guest name from the reservation or they ask for the name upon arrival. Then it is a simple matter of passing it along to the server. As far as buffets or quick serve restaurants (and bars), it is very easy to either get the name of the guest from the credit card or their room charge. Of course, that means waiting until the end of the visit. At least you do get to thank the guest by name when processing the payment. For bars, we usually want bartenders to introduce themselves and get the guest name at the beginning of the visit.
Thanks! Interesting article about the strong link between using guest name and guest loyalty. I would rather say that this is guest recognition. Guest recognition = face recognition + guest name.
It’s hard to do a personalized service when you don’t recognize your client ! You can ask him his name of course… but we are thinking of using some cool smart/intelligent key card ! We are currently deploying our first installation : Every employee in this hotel (at the bar and also restaurant) will be able to welcome each guest by name, and access their preferences to offer them the best of the best (we hope!) service !
You can find some more details on our website : http://www.onelab-hospitality.com