Hospitality: First Fifteen Minutes are Crucial

Newman Crane

The first impression is a lasting one; or so says the general wisdom. Cliche or not, hotels are taking note, increasing efforts to dazzle their guests from the moment they arrive.

The effort starts with the entrance. Some are gussying up the lobbies, beautifying the views and making it easier for guests to navigate. The Trump Toronto’s driveway mosaic features half a million tiles and gold nuggets inlaid in the floor to impress guest the moment they step foot out of their car, according to the New York Times. The lobby is also smaller, with only two desks, allowing front desk agents to walk around easily and greet guests with a handshake.

Others are focusing on small individualized details to welcome guests, such as sending complimentary cups of tea to people who mention they have a cold. Doormen are trained to surreptitiously note the customer’s name from their luggage tag and radio it to the front desk, so guest information can be pulled up and the customer is greeted by their first name.

Even the tiniest tweaks make a difference. Hilton Worldwide Inc.’s DoubleTree offer guests chocolate cookies before any money is exchanged. The careful presentation has a bigger impact on guest perception and has shown an increase in customer service scores. Some are going even further. Denihan Hospitality Group’s Affinia hired a body-language expert to train employees how to read travelers’ moods to help figure out the best greeting approach.

Social media is increasing the stakes. Any slip-up in service can be tweeted, posted or shared instantaneously, creating land mines of potential PR nightmares in the hospitality industry. Hotels are taking note and making the extra effort.

You’ve created a great first impression for your guests when they walk in the door. Now, take a moment to protect your establishment. At Newman Crane, our specialists will create a hospitality business insurance package tailored to the specific needs of your company. Contact us for more information.

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