10 Things you should never do during a checkin (Part 1)

Don’t judge a book by its cover = the opinion of someone or something cannot be formed solely by seeing what’s on the surface.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but it doesn’t go this way in real life! The guests of your hotel will never say:

<I had a horrible check-in experience, but never mind, I’m sure the rest of the stay will be delightful, and I will certainly stay here in the future>

The check-in is such a crucial moment because it’s where guests will get their first impression of your hotel and staff. During the check in-process they will decide whether they like your place or not and, if something goes wrong, it will be arduous if not impossible to change their mind in the future. 

Here is my ‘Never Do at Check-in’ list of tips, to help you make an absolute great first impression:

1) Ignore the guests in line

I’m sure you have this kind of situation every day at reception: you’re talking on the phone or assisting a guest at the desk, when someone comes to check in. You cannot help two people at the same time, but you can’t be rude either and hang up the phone, or talk to the second person ignoring the guest already at the desk.

So how can you acknowledge a waiting guest without upsetting anyone? 

Eye contact followed by a smile are the essential steps, they will know you noticed them. You can also add “Good morning/ afternoon, I’ll be with you shortly”. 

If there is a sitting area you can offer them to take a sit while they wait (make sure you point to the sitting area with an open hand, otherwise the guest will get confused or lost). 

2) Not look the guests in the eyes – No eye contact

Your guests want to feel important and, not maintaining eye contact during guest interaction, makes them feel you don’t value them and what they have to say. Moreover, being checked in by a person that has no time to look at you in the eyes is not really welcoming, so their experience starts off on the wrong foot.

3) Forget to smile while talking

Eye contact is good but, without a genuine smile, it does not transmit positive vibes to your guests. Smiling is important because, when you do, you’re seen as friendly and approachable, and looking at a smiley face has been shown to elicit feelings of warmth – in other words people’s happiness intensifies when they see a happy face. 

Your smile has to be natural though, don’t force it!

Guests notice if your smile is authentic, because the area around your eyes creases forming the so-called “laughter lines”.

Especially now that you have to wear a mask at work you need to put more thought into communicating your feelings, smiling genuinely is more important than ever.

4) Give the registration card without any explanation

<<Your address, email, and signature at the bottom>> – while passing the registration card to the other side of the desk. 

The guests are lost most of the time, trying to understand what goes where while thinking:

– “What do they need again from me?” 

– “Should I also write my passport number and nationality?” 

– “Should I write the details of the people travelling with me?”

…they will end up only writing their address, or maybe just signing at the bottom of the page and giving you an incomplete registration card. At that point, you have to hand the piece of paper back to them and ask them again to fill in the required information. 

The above can be easily avoided if, while giving the registration form to guests, you explain exactly what information they have to write and where they have to write them, making sure you have everything you need to proceed with the check-in. It’s quicker and easier, and your guests will appreciate you guiding them through the process.

5) Tell guests about personal matters to start a conversation

Engaging with your guests is essential for building rapport and win their loyalty. The best moment is during check in, when you can have a nice chat and get to know them better. However, you need to be careful about the topics you chose for the conversation. Guests don’t need and don’t want to know about your personal life: that you are going through a break up, that you’re not happy with your salary, that your pet has recently died – and believe me, I have heard even worst at times during check-ins.

It’s unprofessional to share such informations with your guests, it will make them feel uncomfortable and it will reduce the quality of their experience.

Stay tuned for “Part 2” of this blog post. In the meantime, check out this video about a delightful customer experience!

#hotels #check-in #customer service

Credit: Photo by Moose Photos from Pexels