You walk into a hotel, and it has a terrific lobby – clean, comfortable, well-kept, and inviting. So far, so good.
You walk up to the check-in desk for the next layer of hospitality opportunities. This is your first opportunity to see the hotel’s true colors:
- Do you greet me and make me feel welcome?
- Is my reservation correct, and is my room ready as expected?
- If something is not quite right, do you apologize and try to make it better?
I’ve found that most unsatisfactory hotel stays begin with an unsatisfactory check-in experience.
Lobby vs. rooms
As a frequent traveler, another common experience is the "fancy lobby, cruddy room" scenario. Sometimes it’s the condition of the room (my non-smoking room obviously hasn’t always been non-smoking, the room furniture is worn out or dirty, etc.).
Sometimes, it’s that the room is just not set up for business travel (when I travel, I really need a place to work and some hotels misrepresent certain business amenities on their web sites). Have you ever stayed in a hotel room that has a desk, but the only phone is on the nightstand and the cord won’t reach the desk? Or "in-room internet access" is really a dial-up data port on the phone? It’s the 21st century, and I expect more.
I could go on, but my point is that these experiences often drive me to "write off" a hotel or even a hotel chain, and I will avoid staying there in the future.
How does your lobby compare to your guest rooms?
We all know first impressions are important. However, does your first presentation to others reflect what you’ll be like down the road?
- What are you like when things don’t go as expected?
- Do you take extra effort to be welcoming and comfortable throughout your guests "stay" with you?
- Do you set the appropriate expectations with others, and stand behind your commitments?
- If you fall short, do you take responsibility and try to make it right?
- Do you update your "amenities" when you find that they are not working for your "guests?"
If you were a hotel, how many stars would you receive?
Our Guest Author: Dwayne Melancon is the author of Genuine Curiosity, where he is always on the lookout for new things to learn.
Dwayne is quite the seasoned traveler and road warrior, and lodging establishments everywhere would take heed in learning about those true signs of hospitality he looks for!