Use a city map to build a guest relationship

A city map is a nice tool to build a guest relationship right at check-in. As you know, building a guest relationship is one of the hotel owners’ / managers’ goals. A guest relationship has many advantages. Some of the advantages are that guests are more likely to return to your accommodation, and if something is not working in the room or something is missing the guests will not get too annoyed by it. Of course, guests also like to talk about their hotel relationship and talk with their peers.

For instance, after a guest relationship has been established during check-in and the guests go to their room and realize that a towel is missing, they do not immediately scream at the staff. They take it easy and talk smoothly with the staff. Guests with a guest relationship take mistakes as a minor failure (and mistakes do happen).

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On the contrary, when a guest relationship is lacking, most of the guests react to mistakes and failures and regard the hotel service in a very different way. Guests with no guest relationship get annoyed quicker and do not turn a blind eye so easily. 

Now here is some decent advice on how to avoid bad feedback and bad temper if you or your staff made a mistake. In your reception have a city map handy where you can show your arriving guests where to find nice places to go. It is pretty easy to make a transition after you’ve confirmed all the details of the guests, provided a Wi-Fi access code, explained the amenities, and handed over the room key. The transition takes place by saying, “Dear XYZ, if you are planning to have lunch / dinner I can recommend to you the following restaurants. The food served is really tasty and I have been there a couple of times as well.” This intro usually leads to small talk or even to a conversation. The guests start to talk about their favourite dish, what they would love to try out, what their spouse is looking for, and what they are curious about in the city centre. There are a couple of topics that can come up simply by giving a quick recommendation. 

To intensify the guest relationship process I get out of the reception and guide the guests to our big city map that is attached to a wall close to the entrance. With this move I am getting closer to my guests and they realize that I am there to support them. I am tearing down an invisible barrier between us (another example of a barrier is the reception).

While standing next to my guests it often happens that new topics arise and we keep on talking until I bring them to their room. As you can see it makes the check-in process somewhat unique and amicable. In fact, the city map is a hook to get the guest relationship started; on the next day you can deepen it and ask questions like “how was the food”, “how was your experience”, “where did you finally go”, etc. Everything that happens after these questions is a no-brainer and you will have certainly gained new satisfied guests. 

In short:       

• Have a city map close to your reception

• Use the city map as a hook to build a guest relationship

• Get out of your comfort zone

• Do follow-ups