The Ultimate Arrival Experience

Many hotels have valet service, bell service, and a good team at the front desk but still, fail to provide a great arrival experience. The main problem is that the three teams do not work together as one team with the guest’s interest at heart.  While the valet attendant, the bellman, and the guest service agent may all do a great job individually, the guest sees the arrival as one experience and may be frustrated.

The solution is communication…  communication between associates and the guest.  Here is how the ultimate arrival experience takes place:

A guest pulls up to the hotel and is immediately greeted by the valet attendant. The valet attendant welcomes the guest to the hotel and offers luggage assistance.  The valet attendant does the normal tasks such as filling out a luggage ticket and asking the guest his/her name.  The valet attendant loads up all of the luggage onto a bell cart and escorts the guest to the front entrance of the hotel.  The valet attendant is then ready to hand off the guest to the waiting bellman.

Here is where the first important communication is required.  The valet attendant should introduce the guest to the bellman and the bellman to the guest by saying something like “Mr. Smith, this is John.  He is going to assist you with the check-in and then escort you up to your room”.  We also recommend that the valet attendant discretely hands the bellman a small card with the guest’s name on it.  Hopefully, the valet attendant got the guest’s name when the guest first pulled up.

Now the bellman can escort the guest to the front desk to check-in.  Again, here is where communication is key.  The bellman should introduce the guest to the GSA and the GSA to the guest by saying something like “Hello Lisa, this is Mr. Smith.  He has a reservation for this evening.”  Again, the bellman can refer to the card the valet attendant gave him if the name is difficult.  Lisa can then handle the check-in while the bellman waits off to the side.  Once the guest is checked in, the bellman is ready to escort the guest to the room.  The bellman can escort the guest to the room, tell the guest about the hotel’s amenities, and thank him/her for staying at the hotel.

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Hotel ‘Hidden Charges’ Under Attack This Summer

Parking Picture

Maybe it is just a sign of the weakening economy, but the major news outlets are attacking hotel hidden charges this summer. Just last week, I saw two different morning news channels run pieces on how to avoid hidden hotel fees.  This article has appeared in the main section on MSN as well.

Hotels have been notorious for high fees since the beginning of time.  Who doesn’t know that picking up a phone in the hotel room is disastrous for your wallet?  I remember once staying at a resort and calling to reserve a time to go horseback riding.  The hotel charged over $18 for the 2-minute phone call…. and the horse stable was on the resort’s property!

How badly do these ‘hidden fees’ impact your guest service?  More than you can imagine.  The $18 phone call was almost 10 years ago and I am still a bit bitter today.  The real reason for my anger was that not only was I taken for $18 but then I was insulted when I asked about the fee at check out.  The snobby GSA responded with ‘phone calls come at a real premium at the resort.’

Charges for parking, internet access, phone calls, and resort fees are part of hotel life.  How can your hotel charge the fees without hurting guest service?

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