Question of the Week: How do you check in with your guests during their stay?

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17 comments

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    M Adamopoulou

    Laura that’s a very nice topic. I personally don’t want to interfere with my guests. I mostly wait for them to get in touch with me if by the next day they haven’t I always bake them fresh cake or cookies and when I offer them I have the chance to have a little chat with them giving any information needed.

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    Chefallan57

    I do up most to meet my guest and show them around my home so they know where everything is how to the hot water works  for the show as I work every day until about 11:00 

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    Bandara Hotels & Resorts

    We always greet them when they walk pass. If there need any help they will come to us, or we can see and tell whom is need help then we will approach them.

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    Katerinka12

    Some guests do not know about right balance. They care about their needs first. Some are over serious about privacy, some are by nature complainers ;)

    So, the message should be send very clear: We take your privacy very seriously. But if you need any assistance, do not hesitate to contact us. We are just a message or call away.

    As soon as I receive the booking, I answer almost immediately to the client. Immediately means in minutes. Fast - up to 4 hours. More than 4hours - then something is not right in our operations and we have to correct it.

    I send welcome message, give instructions on shuttle and transportation. I try to be both professional and friendly, so the client can choose the style of communication himself.

    I also offer to add our numbers on Viber and WhatsApp. For unknown reason many clients do not do that, but some found it very helpful and thanked us for that. I observed that those people are traveling with their wives and already had problems in their past travels. That's why they prefer to book in advance and communicate with hosts to see how responsive they are BEFORE the trip.

    Communication is easy for us. And our guests can't forget about it, because many stay for short time. Most of our reviews say that communication is our strong point.

    If the guest stays longer than 3 days, on the 3rd day I send follow up message to him. Something like this: Hello, X, I hope you enjoy your stay and everything is ok. If you need any help, message or call us. Thank you.

    I once saw it in the office of the General "Communication is key to success". I memorize it. When I have confusion on how to react in different situations with different people, I just try to communicate, even though I have to start conversation first (regardless if I am the client, guest, friend, etc:)) Communication really helps to solve many problems and secures a good review as well!

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    Jeyhun Ahmadov

    hello everybody... in the rooms have little information paper, where they can put his phone. then in phone look questions... what you need what you want and do you like...during the stay guest write what he want and what he not like. we try to solve his problem during the his stay...

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    Akwador

    We have a communal dining area and roof terrace where our guests tend to appear now and then. If we see them there we always greet them and ask if everything is alright. Asking where they went the previous day or if they are doing anything interesting today can have two results:

    1) The 'I like to be left alone' guest - body language such as smiling and returning your greeting but followed by studying their phone or moving to the furthest table away means they like their space. Don't bug them, but always smile and greet - just drop the questions.

    2) The 'I want to show you my 150 photos on my phone' guest - the complete opposite to the above. This guest seeks you out and asks umpteen questions, wants to know your life history and wants you to know theirs. By all means have a long conversation, but don't blur the position by being their best friends. A friendly helpful host remains the host and they remain the guest. I generally will accept a glass of wine if pushed and then excuse myself rather than stay the night emptying a few bottles. 

    These of course are the extremes - most guests are in the middle somewhere. The main thing is that when a guest leaves they feel you acknowledged their presence, assisted them when they asked, found you always to be approachable but never such that they do a runner when they see you approaching.

    Top tip: NEVER discuss a guest with another guest. It is bad form and the guest may wonder if you discuss them with the other guests too! We extend this to our cleaning staff too - they are never to discuss guests with each other. We had a cleaner with a booming voice who came to me in the communal kitchen to announce with disgust that Room 23 never takes a shower. The guest was seated in the kitchen but fortunately did not understand Maltese! 

    I would like to add that we actually live in the accommodation so we have installed a service bell with a green sign saying "We are in - please ring for service" , this can be flipped to a red sign which reads "Sorry - we are out. For emergencies phone ........".  We explain this on arrival - the third is the sign removed which means we have gone to bed - always gets a laugh and no-one rings when the sign is down.

    This is a useful way for us to be summoned whilst we are in to assist guests with booking tours, buying wine or water, asking for additional pillows or a blanket, to book transfer to the airport or to report a light bulb that has blown etc.

    In short - we are always on hand if the guest needs us and we always come down stairs to answer their summons with a smile. 

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    Adagio Accommodation - Nera

    We welcome our guests personal, regardless the time of their arrival. This way we have o port unity to explain everything in the apartment, answer all their question and leave them our contacts on mob, viber, what's up pointing out they can contact us 24/7.

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    Graham Fisher

    Since I cook and serve their breakfasts each morning - checking with the guests is unavoidable ;>))

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    Bandara Hotels & Resorts

    Akwador Thank you for sharing your experience. It does helpful.

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    Sara Jarvis

    I always meet guests and ‘feel’ if they want to share a cup of coffee or be left alone, this happens when I give them the WiFi code.My latest guest said she felt ‘safe’ knowing I was around morning and evening, and she loved to tell her stories from the daily conference.If they go out really early I put their milk and any perishable breakfast stuff near their plate...so they know I am in the house.Part of hosting is when the guest and I want sharing family stories etc.....only ten per cent don’t want to see anyone.

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    M Adamopoulou

    Katerinka12 “ Communication is key to success “ You said it all. I absolutely agree.

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    Judy Gathiru

    I personally check in my guests, so we chat and get to know each other and learn what kind of guests they are, i offer my number incase of anything they contact me anytime. This has also been a positive impact because i get more direct bookings. 

    I also check them out personally, just to check if anything is wrong or in place and offer to help with bags or kids if possible. most of them find that very helpful.

    If long stay, when the cleaner goes i make a point of popping in to check if he house is in order or they would like some assistance.

     

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    Zoinks

    Thanks Laura  for opening up this topic and thank you all others for insights into your way of doing things.What I often see in these fora is that some things some hosts do are only particular to their situation as there are dozens of different set ups we all have. For example in my case I meet all guests on check in- though check in just means showing them to their room, explaining how things are switched on, how the breakfast system works etc. With guests who stay for more than a couple of days I usually tell them that we should have each other's numbers on whatsapp and when they ask me for advice on which beach they should go to or things like that I sometimes send a message some time later saying " I hope you found the beach and are enjoying it". I ONLY do this with guests who show me that they want to ' bond'. I also find whatsapp useful to communicate as it is much less intrusive than a knock on the door. 

    On the other hand you get guests who show you that they want to be left alone. I find this a little difficult as I like to ask basic questions like "Did you have a good night?" - I want to ask such questions so that they will have no excuse to write a review that there was a mosquito in the room/ it was too warm/ too cold etc. 

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    Merch Gymreig / Welsh Lady

    As we live in our B & B property we are here to meet and greet on arrival. We explain what and where each room is, dining room, sitting room - maps, books, brochures. Within each bedroom we have a comprehensive guest book with details of walks, eating places, culture etc etc. We tell our guests where we are within the property and if they require anything just to knock on the door. If for any reason we are away from the property we leave a notice on our hall desk with our mobile telephone numbers if we are required in an emergency. We also serve (if the guests wish) tea/coffee with home made cakes on arrival. We also have a chance to chat during breakfast in the morning again only if the guests are open to this. 

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    k2u

    We offer complimentary coffee, tea and snacks in our office. On a busy week/weekend.. which is majority of the year, we have store bought bagels and muffins complimentary as well, ect. because we are not certified to serve meals... most are not in the area (we are a Motel).  So guests come in the office for this. At this time, as well as when they check in,  we also are able to have great conversations, help them find places to go, we have brochures, ect.  We have beautiful grounds and sitting areas for the guests to sit at outside (weather permitting) Right now its the Fall season, however its snowing out, so they may not want to sit outside.

    As soon as I receive a booking, I immediately respond.. see below (If during business hours, our office is not open 24 hours) I see Katrina sees if its not sent within 4 hours, something is wrong with our operations. I have to disagree, because we are not 24 hours only. If we were open 24 hours, absolutely I would agree with her. See, I am here 6 days a week from 8am-10pm and Sunday we open at 9am (I have someone cover me for a portion of that day so I get to have a "day off"...partially. I come back at 7pm and work the other 3 hours we are open, so that is 87 hours a week. So there are times when a booking comes in after hours for future dates at that point... when I am sleeping. As soon as I wake I check to see what bookings come in overnight. Then I send out below:

    I send out a thank you & welcome message.

    In the message it also gives them the information they may need if they did not Read all important info at the time of booking (most do not read anything). Important info meaning: Check in and Check out times, if they plan on arriving past our check in times, then they must contact us by the day of arrival by phone before check in times end... When they contact us, we then make special arrangements with them regarding payment and room entry so the guest does not have to rush in. They tend to love that we do this. In the morning they come in to register and sign slips... I, on the phone, with them have a great conversation. They feel very welcome and very grateful we offer this. When most places in our area do not. 

    Also In the message, I also state: If you any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us. We will be more than happy to assist you the best we can. I also remind them of our cancellation policy. 

    As for privacy... If a guest is planning on staying more than 1 night, we have on our room doors a hanging sign that reads on one side Do Not Disturb and on the other Housekeeping needed. If the DND sign is on, we cannot enter that room for any other reason except in case of emergency. 

    As for emergency reasons and for the guests to feel comfortable, I let the guests know that I live here... in the main house (The office is inside our home which is locked up at closing) and to please knock on the door if they need help. I do not give out my personal phone number.  I also have a maintenance man and housekeeper living on the property.. they are told where they are as well. And my maintenance man and housekeeper have my personal number, they contact me when needed. We have security cameras all over the property. Luckily, we are in an area that is very safe. 

     

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    Alex Cameron

    We live on the premises, but the guests have the main entrance to the property.  I respond as soon as I receive a booking, well, within a few minutes and I always greet the guests on their arrival.  In the room I leave a card with my name, address and mobile nos. They can put it in their wallet in case they need to call or order an uber/taxi.  I feel that if the guest feels there is easy communication, they will have no problem to call.  It makes for a happy guest and a happy stay.  It also sets a boundary....call if you need me.  Our rooms are serviced daily, so the guest may leave a note for me or we may see the guests, a pleasant "good morning" or 'hello', but I do not become over friendly unless they want to chat.  People have stories, some are long, some are short. I care.

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    Chrisdela

    If I meet the guests I will send them a short text the next morning after 10am to see ithar they had a comfortable night.
    If they self checkin I will text them around 6pm to check that they are settled.
    All guests receive a welcome letter too.
    On morning of departure I send a Thank you text to them .

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