I don’t know how many times guests have checked in at the hotel with their confirmation numbers and their entitlement. You can feel their energy before they reach the front desk. Our hair stands on end, we take a deep breath, and plant a firm smile on our lips as a reminder to ourselves to remain professional and to be a problem solver as much as possible. We do after all strive to make our guests stay relaxing and problem free. We understand that tires blow out, radiators break, family and friends pass away, brides and grooms get married, and we want to be the place where you can unwind, rest, and catch your breath. Here are a few simple ways to make sure everyone at the hotel is enjoying their stay as much as you are enjoying yours.
Check, double check and triple check your online reservation
I cannot tell you how many times guests have confidently walked up to the front desk sure they have a reservation, and it is nowhere in our system. It is most common when guests have used a third party such as Expedia, Orbitz, or Kayak. While these companies help save you money, they can also come with expensive cancelation fees. Since I know this is often the case, I immediately ask if I can please see their reservation. Sure enough either the location or date is wrong. My heart goes out to them. They are usually embarrassed and mad (which is completely understandable). I, however, cannot call the third party to cancel the reservation. It must be done by the person who made the reservation. I can waive the cancelation fee, so they can get their money back and stay at our hotel if that is what they choose to do. Once you have made your online reservation give the hotel a quick call to make sure the transaction went through as you had planned. Confirm the correct date and type of room you had specified.
Another scenario that happens frequently is when guests think they have a reservation with us when it is actually at a different reservation. In this case, I call around to the various hotels in town and attempt to locate the reservation.
Respect the hotel’s business policies
Every business on the planet has policies in place to protect their guest’s and employee’s safety, as well as to protect their property investment. The policies ensure that everyone at the hotel is having fun. It’s great if you want to pay for your family or friend’s hotel room, but they will need a credit card authorization. In this day in age, it is easy, peasy for credit card fraud to happen. Hotels want to protect you, but they also want to get paid. A quick form can be emailed or faxed to you. Remember the front desk attendant is the enforcer, not the rule maker. When issues arise please speak with the employees respectfully. If you storm up to the desk, the employees are automatically put on edge. If you handle it in the best way possible, you will get quicker, faster results.
Did you know manners have flown out the window and not everyone carries their common sense with them everywhere they go? Similar to what I tell my kids. It’s ok to have fun, but it’s not ok to be crazy. Monitor your alcohol content. It is not up to the hotel employees to take your drunk ass up to your room. They will because they want you to be safe, but it is not the highlight of their night. Similar to if you live in an apartment keep your voice volume and the tv volume at a respectful level. If there is a continental breakfast, be patient. Often the breakfast attendees are using microwaves to prepare the food. They have two to three hours to feed hundreds of tired, crappy people.
Be the smiling face that encourages them to finish their shift strong. Tip your breakfast attendants and housekeepers. They have a hard job, and they deserve to be rewarded for keeping your room clean and restocked. Did you know it is amazing what people can do to a room in less than 24 hours? It is disgusting. If you have excess garbage, ask for a garbage bag. They will be happy to give you one and will even come up to take it out to the dumpsters for you. It keeps your room from smelling and makes their job easier.
Be patient, be patient, be patient
Be patient with other guests. If your neighbor is making too much noise, the baby is crying too loud, the ice machine keeps clanking or any numerous other issues that can arise. Make sure to call the front desk. They would be happy to either move you to a quieter location or to give your neighbor a call and ask them to pipe down. This is all part of working at the front desk, and they would be happy to take care of any issues you may be having.
THESE ARE SUCH GREAT TIPS AND YES–AS A FREQUENT TRAVELER I HAVE SEEN A LOT OF FOLKS WHO HAVE LOST THEIR MANNERS. IT IS EMBARRASSING AT TIMES AND I FEEL FOR THE STAFF. I ALWAYS TRY TO BE PLEASANT AND ENGAGING AND COGNIZANT OF THE FACT THAT SOMETIMES THINGS ARE OUT OF THE CONTROL OF THE STAFF . THANSK FOR A THOUGHTFUL AND HELPFUL POST!
It has reinforced to me as a traveler how important it is to make my reservations through the business and not a third party. The level of customer service the front desk is able to give at that point is minimal. Although we do try to accommodate our guests and help them problem solve.