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This is how I make the best guest experience - how do you do it?

Dear booking.com colleagues,

 

I would like to hear your stories how you make your guest experiences amazing and memorable?

 

Our approaches so far, besides the typical explaining the city map and escorting them to their room, includes the following: 

- welcoming the guest by his/her name before he/she even says the first words (when it is possible of course. If we have only one Italian for example arriving today, we know who it is as soon as we see the car license plate and greet him by his name "Hello and welcome Mr. Marinetti" before he even says hello - every time very strong and effective);

- offering them a free welcome drink - a fresh glass of water with one fresh leaf of spice inside of it - very refreshing, economic and ecologic at the same time - win-win situation;

- personalizing their room - you can see on our Instagram how se do that;

- even if the guest comes from Mongolia, it does not matter, we great them in their language - we learn those few basic words if we have to, to show them respect;

- we always ask yourself "what will make the guest say "I can`t believe they did that""; this is our spark for new and creative approaches;

- VERY IMPPORTANT - Express heart-warmth and sincere appreciation for their arrival - hard to describe this one since it is all the the attitude and energy;

- doing weekly reflections on the newly received ratings with my reception team - to see where are our weaknesses and strong points.

 

Thank you for your feedbacks, shares and stories. I appreciate this dialog so we can all improve our sevices even more. 

 

Best regards from Bled, Slovenia,

 

Grega

Front Office Manager

VILA ALPINA

32 Replies

7
Aaltje B.

Hi Grega.

This is an impressive read of professional hosting! Well done! :)

Wishing you a great smooth season.

Greetings

Aaltje B.

3 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

Dear Grega welcome to the forum.

Excellent work all the way.

This is my way of making guests feel at home away from home!!!

  1. After my message thanking for the reservation, I try to have some contact with the guests to get knowing them before they arrive.
  2. I send messages informing them for the weather, the location, driving instructions, arrival time, asking if they have any special requests.
  3. A couple of hours before guests arrive I double check to make sure my Studio is spotless clean and everything in the right place. If it is too hot I turn on the air conditioner.
  4. First impression is very important. I am always present when guests arrive. Give a very friendly welcome with a nice smile and offer a welcoming drink. If they are tired from a long trip I try to cheer them up.
  5. The private parking door is wide opened and I stand there to show them the way.
  6. I treat my guests like family and they love it, especially kids.
  7. I have a white board and my grandaughter draws a nice painting and I write a welcome note. (guests love it and leave thanks note when departing).
  8. After the first day I always find a way to ask my guests if everything is ok and up to their standards.
  9. As extra I cook for my guests a Greek specialty using fresh and local products.
  10. I never enter the space once it is occupied or if they are absent. I let them know that I am available any time and are very discreet (highly appreciated by guests, mention it in reviews).
  11. In the key chain I give them, I have my husbands and my iphone numbers if they need to call us. Sometimes we become friends in facebook right away.
  12. I am flexible in checking out and always there to give them a farewell gift with herbs, homemade marmalade or almonds from my garden.
  13. As soon as they leave I send them a message thanking them for the great experience and for leaving my Studio so tidy and clean.
  14. I am always polite, never use the word “no” and try to resolve any issue with the guests first no matter how hard the situation might be.

Hosting can be fun if both parties cooperate.

Happy posting!!!

3 months ago
1
Grega Čufer
thank you for your wonderful post and for sharing with us your way of an amazing guest experience. I learned many things and got me thinking about new aspects to improve it. It means a lot to me that we can exchange experiences and help eachother with new ideas and ways to keep the spark hot.
I wish you an amazing story going forward and hope we can exchange even more tips.
Greetings from Bled!
3 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

Grega
Massive pleasure. This Forum is the right place for Exchanging experience and tips and tricks.
Have a great evening....

3 months ago
2
Lindiewhite143

Hi Grega

You offer some practical and very professional ideas, thank you. And M Andamapoulou, any Greek greeting makes everyone feel welcome.

As we arrange our affairs remotely (we live 150 km from the self-catering vacation rental), there are some challenges to our rapport with guests. We try to build a cordial relationship via email, phone and WhatsApp, but I realise not everyone has time/interest to read everything I send them (favourite things to do, sights to see, restaurants to eat at). We always make sure the cleaning service leaves a Welcome package in the kitchen (including some peanuts, date balls coffee, milk, sparkling wine).

Hearing how others greet people in their language, makes me realise we can do much more.

We live to improve :-o

Lindie

Festina Lente In Onrus

3 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

Lindie Thank you and of course there’s always room for improvement. This forum has so much helpful information for everyone...
Keep on the good work...

3 months ago
1
Grega Čufer

Dear Lindiewhite143,

thank you for your post and feedback. I am very pleased we are sharing experiences between each other and thinking of new ways to improve our guest service.

Your situation has special challenges indeed and requires additional creativity and being innovative.

In case I come accross any additional ideas, I Will share them with you.

Best regards,

Grega

3 months ago
1
Cleaningupbop

We greet our guests by name, in person.

We offer a pillow menu

We ask why they are here and if they have plans.

We keep a display of local information and things to do, guests can take any brochure for local places to see, go to.... large tourist attractions (Hobbiton for example) that are close but a 30 min+ drive we tell guests about and keep a small selection of brochures for those places.

If we know a guest is going to a particular place and we know of a good place to eat that's close we offer that information to make their day more complete.

3 months ago
7
Katerinka12

Hi Grega,

It seems that you are doing great, anyone would love to be welcomed by his name :)

I honestly believe that communication is a key to success. My guests can message me and my staff any moment of time. They really appreciate it. After the booking I send almost immediately our numbers on WhatsApp and Viber. That's why we receive best reviews such as "host is very responsive" and many of the guests are coming back. They don't look for any other place, they book directly and we experience overbookings. I keep good relationships with other hosts in my area, because I always send my guests to them. Everyone is happy. And I believe it is all because of good communication.

2 months ago
1
Cleaningupbop

We greet our guests by name, in person.

We offer a pillow menu

We ask why they are here and if they have plans.

We keep a display of local information and things to do, guests can take any brochure for local places to see, go to.... large tourist attractions (Hobbiton for example) that are close but a 30 min+ drive we tell guests about and keep a small selection of brochures for those places.

If we know a guest is going to a particular place and we know of a good place to eat that's close we offer that information to make their day more complete.

2 months ago
7
Katerinka12

"never use the word “no”"

This is what my staff is doing. Just because they are scared of me. The result of it verbal abuse by the guests and treating them as slaves.

I use the word "no" often, when needed. To say politely no is an art. The result - guests clean after themselves, leave fantastic reviews, buy me gifts and write me after several months.

2 months ago
1
Grega Čufer

Dear Katerinka12 ,

thank you for your share.

Do I understand you correctly? You treat your staff as slaves? Probably not but this can be understood from your post therefore be careful how you form sentances. You probably meant to say that guest treat your staff as slaves since they never say no to them. Why are they scared of you?

Best regards,

Grega

2 months ago
7
Katerinka12

Not me, of course. I corrected the sentence. My workers are my loyal soldiers. I teach them every day and encourage them, inspire them. I hope they are growing, but I can't change their attitude completely.

I told them to deny an entry to any guest, who raises his voice. But I am not sure, if they report to me all cases.

Their too kind attitude and inability to handle stressful situations lead to more anger. A person who pleases too much and always says "Yes, Sir" is a good target for a problematic guest.

In addition to that we have a cultural problem, who think of Filipinos as maids.

Unfortunately we had some unpleasant situations. One German lady asked (demanded actually) the security guard to call for a taxi, but he said he is alone and can't leave his duty (despite it's not his responsibility). She got very angry and the rest is a history.

2 months ago
7
Katerinka12

By the way the cubes are excellent idea, very instagramable. What I really like, they are unique, because everyone has personalization, flowers, welcome drink... I have been to so many hotels around the world and what do I remember, that someone has, but others don't? People. Personal butlers. And wonderful smell of Shangri-la.

2 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

Filipinos are very polite and trustworthy people and its not their fault that some rude people take advantage of them.

I never use the word "no".... meaning I always try to service my guests in a positive way. Even sometimes I cannot meet their needs I find nice polite words and ways and not negative ones as "no". Even though they might not be satisfied they dont leave my place with heartbreaking feelings but with very kind reviews for the Studio and the host.

Of course communication is very importand in hosting....

2 months ago
1
Tessar

Using Whatsapp I provide my guests with the daily weather forecast and I also ask if their accommodation is good, and if they require anything from me to make their stay even better. Based on the feedback I get from my guests they appreciate this gesture greatly.

2 months ago
1
Deirdrelbaker

Reading these tips is most helpful to a newcomer in letting our 3 bedroom apartment on the Gold Coast. Deirdre

2 months ago
7
Katerinka12

Hi Deidre,

Thank you for warm words and would you mind to share your experience? What's the status now? :)

I wish when I was setting my apartment, someone was there to guide me, to say "hey, you are doing well".

Only my staff helped me though they were overworking and not capable of a good advise, and Maria did.

2 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

Katerinka thanks!!! Its a pleasure...I am very happy that you feel that way.

You have given so much to me and other partners in this forum.

Wish you a delightful day....

2 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

Hi Deidre and welcome to the forum.

This forum is full of interesting helpful information that partners are mostly willing to

share with us.

Do share your experiences with us and have a nice day...

2 months ago
2
Brendan Kerchoff

Hi Grega,

Very interesting read indeed and thoroughly roped in some ideas here while I was at it, hope you don't mind.

From my point of view, Hosting and ensuring that the guest remains happy has always been a key vital element to the success of the industry. I've been in this industry for about 8 odd years now, where I can honestly conclude and therefore confirm by means of first hand experience, that guests seek one thing:

Simplicity.

Whether it be in the services offered, the additions to the property, or services offered to them really. However, with saying this, it doesn't mean that one needs to be plain jane and offer to absolute basic standards, it means reaching beyond what is not normal and offering a guests a unique visit which can be identified as simplistic, hassle free, but most importantly, you as the host ensuring you offer that warm loving touch.

2 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

Brendan, Simplicity and warm loving touch.... I like that very much...

My favorite moto Luxury in Simplicity!!!!

Keep well...

2 months ago
2
Stevew407

So should I comment and repeat if really cannot add anything new? Communication is the key and then the relating comments to that. Many comments are raising and improving which all gets down to education and personal involvement on the right levels.

2 months ago
1
Grega Čufer

Dear Brandan,

Thank you for your post. Simplicity is indeed very important - I will keep your advice in mind and think where do I need to aply it more.

Katerinka - I understand completely what you mean that being to kind to the guest easily makes you a target. But only experience through the years teaches you where is that thin line.

Maria - luxury in simplicity - I like this moto already!

Thank you for your shares! Very interesting read!

2 months ago
2
Leannemccarty23

I treat every guest with total respect, I always try and have a good conversation with them, find out where they are from, why they are here and give them information on where to go and what to do in our area, sometimes I will put on a bbq so we can sit around and chat to them, get to know them and give them great kiwi hospitality at its best 😊

2 months ago
2
Leannemccarty23

We had guest here all the way from the UK, found out they were on their honeymoon, so I put roses in the room, chocolates and s bottle of bubbles to celebrate their marriage, they where so appreciative of that, I also cooked them s lovely meal, we had a lovely night getting to know them and now still keep in touch 🤗

2 months ago
3
Pat

I agree with so many of these useful tips - Making the guest feel like they did not only book a room but an experience is so important. We often get personal notes saying our warm welcome made them feel relaxed and welcome and that the extra touches made their stay special.

The journey begins from the time they book until they hopefully write a review for us online..... and then we still encourage guests to keep in touch via our Facebook page etc.

2 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

Pat I fully agree... and keeping in touch via Facebook helps a lot...
Keep well...

2 months ago
1
Ellie

Our BnB is set on a mountainside in the Waterberg in Limpopo, South Africa. We get a very diverse set of guests, different cultures and religions. But we always treat them the same. We make sure that, on top of all the essentials in their rooms, if they need anything then they just need to ask.

We also occasionally have a noise problem - and there are strict noise regulations on the estate, but we handle these as diplomatically as possible. We have not yet had to eject anyone from the house. The rules are clearly set out in their rooms.

We find out their food preferences in advance - we are a 30-minute drive on a gravel road from the nearest supermarket - so that all the food bases are covered. We bake fresh bread rolls every morning, which is highly appreciated. I guess that anyone can toast bread in a toaster, but not everyone can bake fresh bread. I also try to vary the full English breakfasts from day-to-day.

We are going into winter here in South Africa so I am inviting special guests for a Christmas in July event. We love what we do, and we are good at it, taking pride in everything we do.

2 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

Ellie...Fresh bread rolls very morning...wow...you guests must be so grateful for your services and hospitality...
I bake spinach pies for my guests when they arrive and the whole house smells so divine nobody can resist to have a piece...
Keep up the excellent work...

2 months ago
5
Mashi Niwarthana

Nice coments. Those will be so important me. Specially the first comment of Ms. M. You are so honest. Thank you so much again.

Cheers

2 months ago