Expect the unexpected ? guests do
The guest is jet-lagged and tired as he enters the room, fumbles for a light and throws the luggage on the bed, and then it begins: the room exam process — a.k.a., the first impression, as well as the highly crucial, make-or-break lasting impression. Yes. One guest. Two impressions.
Let’s examine the first impression, the process that includes meeting the guest’s expectations. Lighting level — check. Overall room aura and cleanliness — check. Inviting bedding — check. Desk with comfy chair — check. Decent-sized TV screen — check. Coffeemaker — check. Bath amenities — check. Soft towels — check. Quickly, in a matter of 60 rapid seconds, that initial room inspection is deemed over, and your first impression is finished. Let the guest comment cards begin.
Enter the second impression phase, the infamous lifelong impression the room has forever imbedded in the mind of your guest. You know the one. The impression that, unfortunately, doesn’t end up on too many evaluation cards. Let’s just refer to this impression as the long-lasting memory bank, and for good reason.
I’m talking about what’s trending today in the small touches category — those unexpected, often quirky surprises that rack up the “yes” checkmarks under the “will the guest return to the property” column. Like a fabulous fine-dining experience, these lasting impressions are derived and require only a few one-offs. In the restaurant world, it would be the unique water goblet, the clever napkin fold, the menu cover that resembles a piece of art or the mini dessert ensemble. The unexpected pop-ups not only catch the diner off-guard, they wow the fascination level to the point the diner instantly enters the repeat customer pool and becomes a priceless recruiting tool!
Some of the best conversation-generating products for hotels are found in guestrooms, and today, many are phrased, and phrased very cleverly. They include decorative bed pillows embroidered with smile-generating slogans such as “5 more minutes,” “I take my coffee green” coffee packages or shower gels labeled “Clean on Me.” Simply said, guests respond positively to creative feel-good phrasing. It’s the icing on the cake of a great room experience.
I recently encountered incredibly clever guestroom notepads containing the catch phrase “For My Doodles” and two-sided door hangers tabbed with, “I’m out taking on the world/I refuse to get out of this fabulous bed!” Immediately, I was feeling happy-go-lucky and truly enjoyed the feel-good moment.
The impact of using contemporary language displayed unexpectedly in guestrooms is not only a great visual touch, but also one of great profitability, especially when you factor in the cost of generating repeat business.
It’s a positive amenity that will generate a vibrant and rewarding return!