Steps to Building Relationships

In How to Win Friends and Influence People Dale Carnegie wrote, "Remember that a person's name is to that person thesweetest and most important sound in any language." It is just as true today as when Mr. Carnegie first wrote it back in 1936.

But personalization goes far beyond simply communicating with customers and prospects by name. Hoteliers need to understand who is in their database and provide them with information each individual finds relevant. Consumers need to feel as though the hotel knows them, understands them and is talking directly to them. That's how strong relationships are built and that's how hotels can increase the percentage of profitable direct business it receives.

Here are some great ways to build relationships with your guests:

  1. Introduce yourself, get the guest’s name, and repeat for pronunciation and memory.     
  2. Express pleasure at meeting the guest.
  3. Introduce the guest to your manager and/or fellow staff members.
  4. Express pleasure at meeting the guest.
  5. Discover some of the guest’s interests and ask questions about them.
  6. Listen attentively, actively and remember what the guest said for future reference.
  7. Offer some personal and specific assistance.
  8. Get to know and remember their personal preferences.
  9. Anticipate a possible need and offer it before the guest has to ask.
  10. Share something interesting about yourself and/or your hotel.

I am convinced that there is a direct relationship between the size and frequency of a guest’s tip and the strength of that guest’s loyalty to your hotel. Then, there is the relationship that the staff has with the guest. Americans tend to be more generous with people they know and like. Once we are on a first-name basis, we don’t want to be seen as a cheapskate. When we know that we will be seeing a service person again in the near future, we are motivated to give larger tips. So, that means that by getting to know a guest a bit will improve the frequency and size of your tips.

“If you come here more than once, they know your name and treat you like a favorite cousin from Italy.” – regular guest at Pasty’s Pasta, New York City

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