I’d like to talk about the importance of the Warmth of Welcome in hospitality and in any service-based business.
Take a moment to think about a time when you have gone into a shop, restaurant, bank or maybe even a clinic. Those times when you were met by a sullen faced, un-smiling member of staff.
A person who appeared to be totally without human emotion or warmth?
How did you feel?
Afterwards did you mentally say to yourself
“I will never come back here again?”
We have all had many occasions similar to that. And it must happen thousands of times a day, the world over.
From a business point of view, these people should never be employed in frontline customer contact positions. The problem is made even worse if the person is employed in a chain of shops, hotels, banks etc.
Well, when a customer has a bad experience in one location they will assume, wrongly, that all the other outlets or branches of that chain are the same. And they will most likely avoid them too!
They seem to forget that without these customers there would not be a business. In turn, that means no job for them!
In not showing any Warmth of Welcome they are not doing themselves, their employer and more importantly their customers any favors.
The Importance of Warmth of Welcome
Wherever you are employed in Hospitality, Tourism or Services it is important to ensure that you deliver exemplary customer service, or a memorable experience.
Remember that more than any other industry the hospitality business has more prior information on their guests, before they even set foot in our premises.
We know all of this from their registration and bookings, including the all important factor; their name.
But do we use that information to our advantage? Generally, no!
And whilst we have a lot of information about them available to us, we have absolutely no idea what they have gone through before they arrive at our Reception or Front Desk.
For example: their taxi may have been late collecting them. They may have been stuck in terrible traffic on the way to, or from, the airport.
Or they may have been sat next to screaming children on the flight. They might have had a problem with missing luggage or any other myriad of problems or stresses, which they could have encountered before they arrived.
Then there is their reason for staying. Not everyone stays in a hotel because they are on holiday.
Some people may be visiting to deal with stressful family situations, such as a funeral. They might be in your country or city for the first time. They may be feeling uncomfortable because they do not speak the language. Or they could be apprehensive about an important business meeting they have to attend.
Imagine the impact of being met with a sullen faced Concierge, Receptionist or Front Desk Agent! Their bad day or journey just got worse. And that sullen “welcome” colors the start of their Guest experience.
It could even color their whole stay experience!
Apply a Warmth of Welcome To Everyone
It is your job to do this. It doesn’t matter where you work in the Hotel.
Whenever you meet a Guest be warm, understanding and welcoming. You are not expected to be a psychiatrist and know all of their problems. But you can greet them warmly, with a smile. And you can demonstrate understanding and empathy of any problems they could be facing, just by asking if you can help, or be of further assistance.
Guests will remember how you made them feel long after they have forgotten the hotel’s décor or the food.
It’s up to you to create that special “Warmth of Welcome”