From initial booking to arrival – how to manage guests’ expectations post lockdown
That postponed birthday celebration, a chance to escape, a time to explore new spaces and places; it’s not hard to understand why the hotel and guesthouse sector is already being swamped with enquiries.
The hotelier’s role is now to carefully manage and balance expectations between that warm welcome and a safe environment for guests and staff.
The message? Our friendly staff are here, most of our facilities are here (no spas yet but excellent food that you don’t need to cook yourself!) and our glorious views are here. So, what’s changed?
Let’s look at the new booking and arrival processes required in the ‘new normal’:
- The hotel has a full Covid policy on the website for customers to view beforehand plus clear details on what, if any, facilities are not available.
- A confirmation letter should refer back to that Covid policy to manage expectations and give reassurance. Expect more phone calls with queries and questions.
- Details for all guests should be recorded for track and trace purposes.
- Guests may be given access to an app such as Vamoos, replacing the physical hotel directory and guide usually left in bedrooms.
- For Tewkesbury Park, one of my clients, the Vamoos app lists areas such as menu choices, places to visit in the area and opening times for services and facilities. This reduces touch points in the hotel and enquiries at Reception and Concierge.
- Payment will usually be taken before arrival along with completion of an online pre-registration card. Take a look at what Guestline can offer.
- Guests can be given information in advance about a pick-up area for keys. Although reception and concierge desks will still be manned, they will have the now-familiar sympathetic screens and supplies of hand sanitiser.
- Check-in times can be flexible and staggered rather than a traditional 2pm cut-off.