Everyday we are dealing with thousands of different request, beginning with the small ones, ending on extravagant whims rich people can easily afford. With a certain request comes a particular expectation. The way it is handled tells the guest whom he is dealing with. I am sure we all experienced requesting salt in restaurant that came without pepper…. or from other point of view – we were asked to deliver an extra towel to the room and than we received a call for extra tooth brush and than we received another call for extra pair of slippers (and we dared to think “couldn`t she tell all that the first time?????”).
Let me show you in the next few steps how to professionally take a guest request and end up being praised till infinity.
- Understand what the guest needs.
It could be a pack of cigarettes, hangers, coca cola or Zhen Zhu Nai Cha (珍珠茶). Yes, we all know what are all the first 3 items but Zhen Zhu Nai Cha? You can`t just simply nod your head and leave the guest with a fake smile and try to figure out what is this thing because if you don`t have it spelled on paper and you don`t have the understanding – you simply won`t even google it, and nobody will help you.
Never be afraid of asking, you are allowed to be unaware of favorite chinese snacks/drinks! Comon, we all learn! Tip: (I assume you always carry with you a tiny notebook and a pen) Simply ask :
“Mr. Jones, pardon me but I am not familiar with Zhenzhunaicha, could you kindly spell this for me?” *than the guest will spell it, if he is not talkative ask one more question helping you to verify the the item* “Sir, is it a drink, or some type of food, or any personal use item?” *then the guest will tell you exactly what it is and you can now find out how to arrange it.*
- Ask about the details.
Do you know which cigarettes the guest smoke? (Well, if your Guest Relations team is working perfectly they should have this preference so you should only say “Mr. Smith, Marlboro Lights in soft pack is on the way”). But if this is the guest`s first time shouldn`t you proactively ask the guest if he would like to have Coca Cola Regular, Zero, Light? Cold or room temperature? What about hangers? How many? Silk or with clips? Tip: No tip – this is common sense, you need to precisely know what is needed. Still afraid of asking? Think what will happen if you bring a fitnessaddict a regular coke…
Anticipation does not exist without empathy, creativity and natural sincerity. It makes you distinctive, valuable, precious.You need to have inner need of assisting others, inner passion, if you don`t have it – sorry, change your job. Anticipating staff is the biggest luxury a hotel could ever offer. Let`s say that Ms. Jones request scissors from you. 99% of these requests end up with “I will deliver it to your room in 5 minutes” (sad to say, is this a standard?) Nooooo! We, professionals – anticipate!
“Ms. Jones would you like to have a glue and tape as well?” – does it take higher intelligence or less laziness? Mr. Robinson called for extra Shower gel. How can we anticipate? Simply by asking if he would like to have extra body lotion as well! Tip: Think ahead of the requester. Connect items, for example bottler opener + bucket with ice, water + extra teabags etc. As a manager combine a list of possible requested items and put anticipated ones next to it. Now on every briefing play a game with your team, when you say bottle opener, they say bucket with ice etc. It works.
*4* Pamper and delight. This is a higher level of anticipation. It cannot actually happen with every guest request. A most common situation would be when the guest asks you for instance for wrapping paper, glue & ribbons, now to clearly anticipate and wow the guest we should do this ” Allow me Ms. Jackson to do the gift wrapping for you”. So this point as mentioned above can be done only by the well experienced.
- Time & place.
Tell the guest approximate time for delivery. Usually it is up to 10 minutes or if you can deliver it straight away – than just do it. Some guests expect their items to be delivered at particular time. There is nothing more irritating that waiting and waiting and waiting. Time is MONEY. There is also a certain preference on the item placement. Some guests want to have it delivered on their desk, some want to be not disturbed so valet closet is the perfect place. Agree on the item placement with the guest. Tip: Remember what the agreement was.
- Offer assistance.
A golden “Is there anything else I may assist you with” is expected in luxurious hotels. Guests want to be spoiled, they want you to take care and guarantee the highest attention.
- Thank the guest.
P.S. Forbes & LQA standards clearly warn you from making the guest repeat themselves, so listening carefully & taking ownership is the key.
A proper handling of guest request is a pure luxury. This actually defines the quality of your teams` service. This defines the real quality of you hotel. This is called Service Excellence – to have people able to think ahead – anticipate = pamper & delight.
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