Be Patient! (How to handle a late arrival)

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    Martin

    Hi!

    First of all, congratulations! I have just put myself into that guest's shoes and I felt you are amazing, caring and concerned about comfort, and peace while at your property. Keep it up!

    Remember the guest is King - thats business. But for us in hospitality, accomodation goes beyond financial relationship. It is also about friendship, family atmosphere and the experience of happinness which every guest sets out to pursue.

    Policies are good but should be measured gainst reality. There are times when, as policy makers, we are called be more pragmatic - to embrace that which works - in order to overcome hurdles. I am glad you welcomed your guest in this way, regardless of the rain and the time.

    I am conviced you will receive more guests at your facility, for he/she who can be trusted in small matters can be trusted even in bigger ones.

    Martin.

     

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    Zoinks

    I think I'm taking a middle of the road approach. Guests who do not communicate with me even after reapeated messages are treated strictly as per conditions. Those who communicate and give me flight numbers, I'm ready to stay up an hour or two but I will never wait 5 hours last time i did did this i ended up with a bad review for my troubles/ I suppose because I was so drowsy that I was not my friendly self). So bend the rules just a little but beyond a certain point enforce the rules. 

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    Torrdarach

    Haha, that is all well and good when your establishment is a hotel with a 24 hour reception desk.

    For us at Torrdarach House, this is our home and we go to bed at 10pm at the latest.

    Our check-in is between 4pm- 7pm only, unless they have contacted us prior to the arrival date and then we can do up to 9pm.

    There would be no way on earth that I would open the door at midnight.

    If our guests do not turn up before 9pm then they are marked as a no-show, their card is charged for the full amount and they have to find alternative accommodation.

    Isn't it amazing that we are all in the same business but our policies are so different!

    In all of the years that we have provided accommodation, we have only had 1 couple turn up late.

     

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    CML

    Hi Joey, I relate so to your thinking ...

    Thomas, we have had a few of these and I guess it is all down to experience at the end of the day.

    It is good to treat the guests with the utmost respect, but Joey you are so right, we should value ourselves as much as we value the next "man"...

    We are all in this game because we like people, and like to serve yet not be anyone's SERVANT!

    After time with so many people, we realise that every situation is different, and every person is different ... it's about judgement balance and common sense, at the end of the day.

    Good luck to all you amazing Hospitality Gurus and Best Regards 

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    Zoinks

    When I read about hosts complianing because you stayed up till 11 pm or so I must repeat that I once had to stay up till 5 am as the flight kept getting delayed and I could not go to bed. I even fetched the two young guests from the airport - and the first sign of what kind of people they were (this is usually a very telling sign for me) is when they both squeezed in the back seat and none sat near me - showing me that I was being treated as a driver.They spent 5 hours at my place, did not leave a security deposit and wrote a negative review because they did not sleep well, etc. BTW they escaped without checking out. 

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    Leandri Klopper

    Hey Torrdarach 

    It's crazy right? So many different people, so many different ways of doing things. 

    Every property owner handles it differently and are successful in their own ways. 

    Have a stunning day!

     

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    Thomas (Austria)

    I waited until 11 pm for a reserved family a few days ago.our  check in is from 4pm to 8pm.

    Then i left a note at the entrance door: Dear family xy please call me 0043xxxxxx.
    At 1am whilst my deepest sleep my mobile rang and i found out not the awaited family but an idiot with a bike (!) standing in front of the house is calling me. He saw my mobile number on that tiny sticky note. Although a big sign outside said, that we are fully booked up. I didnt answer the phone but had to wait until he moved on. Conclusio: the family was a no show, and the biker tore me out of my deepest sleep for nothing.

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    Makombatzel1

    We just offer a free drink to guests that are checking in on time....

    Tal

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    Maria Eugenia

    Hi

    And how do you manage when for example the guest wants to arrive much earlier than the check in time which is  2pm (sometimes 8 hours prior to it!) and they pretend you to give them the bungalow at 6am for the same price just because they have a kid of 2 years old and their flight arrives at 5:30 am?

    ...Even when i explain prior they arrival it might be a check out of a previous guest of the bungalow at 11am on the day of their arrival and it would be better to pay for an extra pre-night for avoiding it, they keep insisting and then of course when i say it is not possible to enter that early i get a big bad score afterwards and all my rating comes down

    ....They forget all the great things we offered them during their stay such as private pool with an amazing ocean view, their own full equipped kitchen, daily cleaning of their bungalow, buying their shopping list in the market for them not to move from the relax  mode of their bungalow,etc,etc) and they only remember they could not enter into the Bungalow 8 hours prior the check in time for free!!

    As somebody said before in the chat..."cheap" guests are the most demanding and they are never happy.

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    Zoinks

    Hosts be aware that there is a brilliant website (Thanks CML for telling me about it) which allows us hosts to report  guests. The information is spread around the World. I have registered and it is brilliant and it does what hosting sites are not doing. Please, all of you take a look at it. I have already used it to report a guest whom BDC is not helping me with and they have sent worldwide alerts about him. I have been arguing about this guest with BDC for almost two months - he didn't pay me a security deposit, he booked a taxi in my name and sneaked out before the taxi arrived so I was faced with the bill, he said that he paid me twice, he booked in the name of a company which does not exist and lots of other things. When I reported him to BDC he left me an evil score with no comments so I could not reply and BDC have not been of any help until now. But 24 hours after I had reported him to guestchek dot com alerts were sent to their 40, 000 worldwide hosts around the world including his name and details. Don't be mislead into thinking that this site can be abused. The site has all my details including the name and place of my property. So no one in his right mind would use it irresponsibly. 

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    Craigmoniecottage

    Hi Joey just read about this site earlier and have now registered as everyone should because you are right BDC do absolutely nothing about false, irrelevant, reviews or troublesome guests.  I had a guest call me the other evening screaming and swearing  at me down the phone, telling me that 'he knew who and where I was but I did not know him' and that I had better watch out.  BDC response 'oh we are sorry about that' So yes everyone should sign up to this site as it can only force the OTA's  to sit up and take notice and action

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    Waikoninihomestead

    I was having problems with guests arriving after 10pm (up to about 3am) for no reason at all so and not communicating with me.   I do not mind if I am told they are going to be late.   So now those who check in/out late without communicating with me they will be charged and so far so good, it is working.

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    Leandri Klopper

    Hi!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Getting to our property can be challenging. In the sense of the length of the journey and the state of the road. By the time our guests arrive at our reception, they have been sitting in a car, rattling up and down for hours. We constantly remind everyone who comes into contact with the guests to be patient and remember what they had to go through to make it to us. 

    It's a great gesture, running out with an umbrella in the pouring rain. I'm sure the guests appreciated it! I'm sure you were also stressed when you couldn't get a hold of them. 

    We do arrival checks before the guests travel to our property, just to ensure they have everything they need and that they know where they are going. So far, only only guest got a bit lost this year. I was making her laugh and kept her on the phone all the way up the passes. It was bound to happen though, it was the most misty night I hear. 

    Keep up the good service!

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    Zoinks

    Reception  BDC gives me the option to demand a telephone number and even an address with every booking. I chose to ask for only a telephone. In your case you probably accept guests without a telephone. Perhaps you should consider changing your settings. Moreover I consider it common courtesy for a guest to call or send a message if they are going to be very late. I just tell myself that I am here to serve guests but I am not their servant.

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    CML

    Have you heard of Guestchek (dot com) ... it is upcoming and growing in popularity ... this may ease the tensions a bit!

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    Zoinks

    Thanks for this CML. I already like that their slogan is ' Restoring The Balance'. 

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    CML

    Great, thanks Joey : )

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    Enidrichmond

    I’m just a small rural B andB . I only ask that guests let me know if they will be later than 18:30. Unfortunately many guests do not read my welcome email or chose to ignore it. I try and remain calm and wait until 22:00 if I have had no communication. I then send a text and email explaining that unless they arrive by 22:30 I will mark them as no show. However I do not charge them.

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    Clairelouiseduplessis

    I also live at my B&B.  I have had so many instances of guests informing me of their arrival time only to arrive hours later.  I I received one bad review (like Joey) for "not being friendly" given they checked in at 1:30am and I was woken up (I was informed they would arrive at 11pm!).

    I struggle with this quite a lot during high season especially.  I am based in South Africa and flights from Europe land late usually around 10.30pm so after car hire etc they always arrive late.

    I do try and be accommodating but it does get exhausting after a few months!

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    Boss of the Hotel ;-)

    and when you did stay up late, and force yourself into a big smile and a warm welcome and you bring up the luggage to the room.  Seems they brought enough clothes to stay till then end of the year, but you manage and everyone is happy that all ended well.

    And then comes the inevitable question from the guests : you still do serve food, do you ?

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    Clairelouiseduplessis

    I have also signed up for Guestchek.  Thanks CML!

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    Craigmoniecottage

    Have to agree with Joey and Torrdarach 100%.  The worst time of course is High Season and although you make allowances for late arrivals - anyone arriving outwith your advertised times without prior arrangement has absolutely no respect for the other guests that are going to be disturbed by their very noisy, late arrival let alone the host.  I allow a 1 hour window after my cut off time (7pm) and after that there is no furthr check in option and the guest is recorded as a 'no show' and charged.  At the end of the day if the guest turns up late for his flight/train/bus does it wait for him - no does he get his money back - no why should the bed and breakfast industry be expected to operate any differenty.  I have often gone to a shop door and found it locked and the staff do not re-open the doors.

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    Craigmoniecottage

    Hi Richard good luck with your first season

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    Reception

    Wow ... I've been amazed at the comments following on from my initial post 2 months ago. And so many valid and worthwhile points have been made.

    I should explain a little more about us.

    We own and operate our accommodation business in southern Tasmania, the island state of Australia. We operate at two separate locations ... our mainland site has a 2 bedroom apartment and a one bed studio cottage. Our other site ( a self contained cottage) is on an island called Bruny Island off the coast near Hobart, the capital city of Tasmania. I manage, clean and maintain both sites. The Bruny Island cottage is basically a 5 hour round trip. I do this full time for a living and have no staff. My partner, Sue, works in her own career full time and assists when she can.

    We've been doing this for 8 years! 14 hour days are common and during the peak season (which is getting longer each year) I work non-stop ... and I'm 62 years old.

    We have a really broad range of guests, with travelers from the UK, Europe, USA, South America, India, China, Singapore and mainland Australia as well as a strong local market.

    99% of our guests are amazing and the other 1% aren't really a problem ... they just have their own peculiar issues.

    Our investment in our business is huge and our return is average, despite really healthy occupancy rates.

    There has been a huge upsurge of competition in the short term rental market in our region especially with platforms such as AirBnB and HomeAway.

    We use a channel manager/reservation system and Booking.com has been an outstanding channel for us. Our own web site is also proving to be a solid performer and we spend a lot of time working on our social media presence as well as our Google presence. We can't stress strongly enough how important social media/blogging and small Adwords campaigns are. These contribute to market presence and brand awareness.

    Even if you don't have the interest to spend money on Adwords at least think about blogging. It works well for us not only in bookings but also in our visibility.

    I wish Booking.com would permit video to be added to our pages ... maybe one day!

    As far as treating our guests patiently goes we still believe strongly in this. We will always treat our guests the way we want to be treated.

    In short the hospitality industry is hard work but the rewards are massive. We love the industry and we love being able to share our part of the world. But please don't feel we let ourselves be treated as door mats. We will stand up to those extremely rare guests who are just plain difficult ... with a smile of course!

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    Craigmoniecottage

    Hi all - well that is the 'Public' for you. Unfortunately, the websites (all websites but especially the Booking.Com, Expedia, Airbnb etc.) and the way we live our lives (shopping, visiting theatres etc) encourage the Public to be vocal on every issue of our lives and to plaster our thoughts whether ( well informed, ill or just downright nasty) all over the internet.. Genuine issues are very rarely commented on but those that arrise through lack of preparation (from the guest point of view) prior to booking always command the most negative of reviews with the responsibility of guest actions being conveniently put to one side thereby justifying their placing the blame for all shortcomings at the door of the host.  The websites should take much more responsibility in removing reviews that are based soley on the shortcomings of the guests inability to ensure that the services and facilities provided meet their requirements prior to booking and reviews that reflect this should not be allowed and removed. I am 100% behind valid reviews of a business provided they are an accurate refelection of a guests visit and not because they were too arrogant to take the time to ensure what they were booking was right for them.

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    Zoinks

    I will repeat CML 's main point. Since booking.com (Yes I know you're reading this BDC) have weighted the balance so much in favour of the guest (or no guest in the case of no show),do yourself and other hosts worldwide a favour and register with the site s/he recommended. It is free. Somehow I feel that our inability to leave comments after ' reviews' with no comments is not an official BDC decision but just a programming issue since booking.com is probably the largest such company in the world and in the world of IT we know companies often grow faster than their websites. 

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    Craigmoniecottage

    Have to disagree -In the 8 years I have been affiliated with BDC their policy on reviews have changed little. However, they can and do alter their website pages at the drop of a hat when it suits them i.e. implementing guest request boxes (whether your property wants the facility added to their page or not), terms and conditions (protecting them against their affiliate partners) etc.   This together with the fact that they are probably the largest in the world will have at their disposal the latest IT softwear that will enable them to alter whatever they like whenever they like.  BDC have had at least 8 years that I know of to address the situation - they choose not to as they favour the guest instead of us - their actual customer

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    Dandmtrainor

    Yes an interesting read. It seems some hosts have very long days and a late arrival can add more stress. Particularly if you care about looking after a guest that may have had a stressful journey with late or cancelled flights, car problem, pet goat issues, it happens to all of us, good with the bad and if its real bad we have to ask how to make it easier. More support for the host maybe?

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    Zoinks

    CML - you just gave us two brilliant tips (1) leave any important information that you want guests to read in front of the TV and (2) tell them that we will be leaving feedback on them too.

    I love it when we get really helpful comments like these so thanks once again! 

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    Apartments

    Joey and CML

    thank you very much for the tips. I will certainly use them:-)

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