7 Best Ideas for Welcoming Hotel Guests

Anuj Punjani
2 min read
April 2, 2024

It’s sometimes said that a first impression can make or break your image. As Cynthia Ozick. The American writer, once said, “Two things remain irreversible: time and a first perception.” Nowhere does this fact hold more forcefully than in the hotel industry, where the first perception your guests form can even decide your future interactions. In short, being on your best behavior is not just another good thing to have–it’s table stakes.

Therefore, you need to stand out and for that you need to welcome your guests in the best way possible. So, we have scoured all the sources and rounded some of the best welcoming ideas you can adopt right away.

1. Personalized Gifts and Welcome Notes

gift

An extra touch can go a long way. This is especially true for the hospitality industry, where personalization through gifts or notes has long been known to grow your revenue by enhancing your guest satisfaction or loyalty.

As far as marketing strategies go, it’s pretty cost-effective as well, as it will only cost you about as much as a pack of greeting cards. 

So, putting in welcome notes in their rooms, along with chocolates or some light snacks, is another way to leave the right impression. Additionally, when your guests arrive at the hotel, you can greet them with welcome drinks in the lobby. It’s highly likely that your guests have come from a long and tiring journey, so, a refreshing drink is just what might put them in a fresh mood. 

2. Ensure Your Staff is Warm and Friendly

Good communication is not just the key to sales. It’s also what keeps your customers coming back. 

As a hotelier, what this means for you is that you can’t have a staff that’s inept in the arts of communication and dialogue. This is proved by the fact that poor communication skills cost companies as high as $1.2 trillion annually, as per this AgilityPR report.  So the message is clear: You need to train your staff yesterday. While hiring for training from specialized communication coaches is always a good option if you have the budget, here are some rules to help you get started right away:

2.1. Start With a Smile

One of the first lessons customer service reps in any industry learns is to sound optimistic and start their opening interactions with a smile. It isn’t without solid reasons and is backed by solid science. As this Forbes piece lays out in detail, a smile is not just a facial expression–it demonstrates a state of mind, your brand’s promise, and even your culture, all in a single go. It also lowers your guest’s guard, letting them relax and connect with you as a regular person. So be normal and smile for your guests (and business).

2.2. Make Small Talk

Despite getting some pushbacks in recent years, there’s a reason small talk refuses to vanish: it works.

As one research from Forbes suggests, small talk can not only lead to meaningful connections and foster trust among people, it can also lead to customer loyalty and repeat bookings.

Asking your guests something as simple as how they are feeling today or what brings them to the town can be good conversation starters. You can also compliment them on their watch or shoes. However, whatever you do, make sure you’re not going overboard with a constant barrage of questions–always maintain some finesse and keep things light.

2.3. Always be Available  

The last thing you want is to irritate your guests with some glitch in your service. The second last thing would be taking too long to fix it quickly. 

Even when everything's going well, you or your staff should be one call away from your guests. They could need your help with local direction or interest points, or maybe they need your help with food or even room details–whatever it is, your task is simple: always be on your toes for any call for help and give your best to solve any issues.

3. Adapt to Local Culture

Adapting to local culture will not just help you in delighting your traveling customers, it will also help you in attracting local guests.Think about it. One of the most potent forms of marketing is word-of-mouth marketing. The local people who leave delighted from your hotel will not just come back to your place when they’re in the nearby area; they will also suggest it to others like their family, friends, and the larger social circle.

4. Adopt AI for Automated Responses and Customer Service (WhatsApp, etc.) 

In recent years, AI has quickly emerged as one of the top options for improving customer service and automated responses. From offering convenient customer support on apps like WhatsApp to suggesting coupons or discounts based on user data and interests, generative AI has been doing it all. 

It’s no wonder you can adapt the AI to your hotel marketing needs as well. For example, you can adopt Brance’s generative AI chatbots (https://www.branceit.com/ai-for-hospitality) that can cross-sell your guests on things such as pick-up services or fast check-ins a day or two before their bookings.

During arrival, you can use a chatbot for fast check-in, thus improving your guests' overall experience. 

Moreover, and this can be tagged under pre-welcome, a few days before their arrival, you can send your guests a warm welcome note on WhatsApp, along with a list of all the things they can try when they arrive at your hotel. 

5. Make the Check-in Smooth and Hassle Free

One of the biggest things that irritates customers is the lack of quick check-in when they arrive at the hotel.

Think about it: your guest comes to your hotel after what’s probably a long distance of travel, ready to crash into the room and relax, but then they are told to wait in the lobby. In fact, even a 5-minute delay in check-in is enough to cause a 47 decrease in the satisfaction of your guests, as data from stayantouch points out.

Whether your rooms aren’t ready, your staff is overburdened, or your systems are just too slow, making your guests wait is a doorway to bad business.

So make sure you:

1. Keep the room clean and ready well before your guests arrive.
2. Have the latest hotel technology, like CRMs, CRS, etc., that will make your processes super fast.
3. Have an adequate amount of staff so that there’s no shortage of people during rush hours.

There are other ideas to provide a quality hotel service, but these pointers are good enough to get you started.

6. Provide Personalized Itineraries

Lots of travellers depend on their confirmation itineraries to keep their booking details stored in one place, which they can later refer to. This is even more true when the booking is for a later date, and the guests need something to pack the details all at one place.

As you have probably guessed, it’s best to provide an itinerary during the booking confirmation phase itself. Apart from their booking details like check-in and check-out dates, number of days of stay, etc., you can also ask your guests to provide you with a rough plan for their stay and then offer them a personalized itinerary through your systems.

Not only will it show you care enough to whip out a quick itinerary, but it will also distinguish you from other competitors.

7. Offer Some Relaxation Activities

There are high chances that your guests will be tired after they arrive at your hotel, especially if they have come from a far distance.

So offering some relaxation activities like a spa session or sauna can be a great way to stand out in your services. Whether it’s through tie ups with the local, next-door centers or with discounts in your in-house premises, it can all make a difference.

Plenty of hotels, for instance, also offer lounges for this as well where you can relax through snacks and bars. 

So, in a nutshell, keep it light-hearted and offer them something to take their minds off work for a while.

The 7 Best Ideas for Welcoming Hotel Guests 

Welcoming your guests well is a necessary (but often overlooked) aspect of running a successful hotel. It helps you start on the best foot, makes your guests more open to your offerings and suggestions, and helps you leave a positive association with your brand. 

So the bottom line is this: avoid turning your guest’s stay into a tedious business transaction or formality, introduce some warm welcoming tactics, and you are bound to see recurring growth in your revenue.

Anuj Punjani

Anuj Punjani co-founded Brance and leads its engineering team. He studied at NSIT and the University of Michigan before working at Apple for about four years, where he worked on products like the iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

He's an avid trekker and enjoys playing lawn tennis and cricket in his free time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is First Response Time important in inside sales?

First Response Time holds a great importance in inside sales because it influences customer satisfaction. Ultra-fast responses improve the chances of potential leads getting converted into paying and loyal customers.

What are the consequences of a delayed first response in inside sales?

A delay in First response time can result in missed opportunities, customer frustration, and a negative impact on conversion rates. Potential leads may lose interest or shift to competitors when experience a delay in response time.

What role does technology play in reducing first response time?

Technology plays a vital role in reducing first response time through automation. AI-driven chatbots streamline the communication process and enables faster interactions.

Why is First Response Time important in inside sales?

First Response Time holds a great importance in inside sales because it influences customer satisfaction. Ultra-fast responses improve the chances of potential leads getting converted into paying and loyal customers.

What are the consequences of a delayed first response in inside sales?
What role does technology play in reducing first response time?

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