Welcome flyer or instructions?

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TheBeachHouse's picture
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Do you hand guests a welcome letter with instructions like when breakfast is served, when check out time is, where to find ice?  Or do you do the welcome verbally?

 

We will be taking over an existing Inn in two weeks.  I'm new.  Smiling

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I was at a marketing seminar a few months ago and the speaker was giving ideas to keep your guests hooked on you.

 

His main suggestion was to have a special, hidden page on your website that was only accessible if known about. For example: www.yourinn. com/ guestactivities

You tell them about it when they check in, put the link on their confirmation email, post it on a note in their room, whatever. It's THE page where they can go to on their smartphone or tablet (that you know they are traveling with anyway) where you keep local events, happenings, links to restaurants, anything and everything that you would want them to know about. It doesn't have to take the place of a room binder, but it could. Imagine simply going to your website to update a restaurant that has gone out of biz instead of having to change every stinkin room binder. Imagine simply adding a couple of festival dates to your that hidden page instead of printing out each week a page to hang on your cork board.

The kicker is that THEY now have that site and they can keep checking it even after they've left for things that are coming up in YOUR area and it makes them feel like part of a special club.

But it's hidden until you tell them how to get to it.

Personally, I think that for those who have internet access readily accessible in their inns and surrounding areas it's a fantastic idea! They are literally taking you with them where they go and using your site as a way to see your area PLUS you are building a sense of trust and relationship, albeit electronically, with them.

And it might just be less work for you!

Breakfast Diva's picture
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That's a great suggestion Penelope! The folks I want to hide it from are the other lodging places to tend to copy my stuff. I have turn by turn itineraries for our area, day trips both north and south of us. This would work well for that.

Thanks for the suggestion.

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Say this today shared from an innmate from someone in her area.

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Joey Bloggs wrote:

Say this today shared from an innmate from someone in her area.

See- that could be something on your hidden page!

That's great!

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Penelope wrote:

Joey Bloggs wrote:

Say this today shared from an innmate from someone in her area.

See- that could be something on your hidden page!

That's great!

Not sure why you want it hidden? I have a scavenger hunt here in person, and no one cares about it really. It is really fun too. On a road trip bring it along and you can find things found locally here for the most part, fields of tobacco, man in a John Deere ball cap...etc. 

If it is online then google will crawl it and use it, and then it will come up in searches.

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"Hidden" as in "can't navigate to it from any other page on your website"

Just as people who aren't in your rooms can't get to your room binders, people who don't know about this page can't find it without you telling them about it.

 

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Penelope wrote:

"Hidden" as in "can't navigate to it from any other page on your website"

Just as people who aren't in your rooms can't get to your room binders, people who don't know about this page can't find it without you telling them about it.

 

I understand.

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I recommend a 3 ring notebook in each room with all the info: welcome letter, housekeeping info, breakfast (and other inn food/dining, if applicable) info, how to contact the innkeepers, particulars about their room (fireplace, jetted tub instructions, fire exit route, etc.), nearby places to eat, visit, & shop, nearby services (ATM, places of worship, taxi/bus, etc.), and anything else you can think of.  Everything was in page protectors.  If you have a pamphlet from your town or visitors' center and a map, put that in there.   I had restaurant menus in a central location for all guests to review.

I actually had a lot of fun putting my books together and updating them periodically.  It made me really check out what was happening in my city!  It was a good investment of my time because it cut down on A LOT of guest questions.  I had the book open to the welcome letter in their room in a prominent place and pointed it out when I showed them to their room. 

Even though many here will say that guests don't read, I really miss these treasures when B&Bs don't have them!!  (Especially if it's my first time in the area.)

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Breakfast Diva's picture
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We have a events newspaper that is delivered every week to us. We have those available for everyone in our common area.

Welcome Peter!

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My first day on the forum and my first comment... 

Do any of you offer changing local information to your guests as they arrive? ( for example: This week is the _____ festival... )

Joey Camb's picture
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What I would love is a big space in reception with a notice board for local events - we are an events town so there is always something going on or often more than one

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gillumhouse's picture
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Welcome, Peter. I have a happenings page on my web site that is pretty much kept up-to-date. Also, if something special is happening - as in the Community Band Concert or Theater in the Park, I e-mail guests to make them aware of it.

Madeleine's picture
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I have this on my website and I post it on a white board for the guests to see. Nothing printed out for the guests.

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Peter J wrote:

My first day on the forum and my first comment... 

Do any of you offer changing local information to your guests as they arrive? ( for example: This week is the _____ festival... )


Absolutely!

But that is not a welcome room note, that is a note in the foyer or whatever.  I print it up or post it if I already have a copy. If you have events, always share with guests. It is also something to share on your facebook page and blog (if you know in advance). It may cause someone to reserve a room, or extend their stay!

Welcome to the forum Peter!

gillumhouse's picture
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I only have 3 rooms. I just tell them. Show where all the light switches are, point out the guest service area (I NOW have one!!!), and remind them to tell me what time they want breakfast. I am just at the bottom of the stairs if they ask a question. Works for me but would NOT work if I was a larger inn.

Highlands John's picture
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We have information packs in every room with full details of everything from breakfast to taxis and petrol stations. 

At check in I always tell people the important bits, even though its in the room pack. Those are breakfast times and location, the local inn for dinners and how the front door works. I try very hard not to make it sound like I'm just saying the same thing I have been saying for the past 10 years, but its difficult. 

Handing people a card sounds a bit impersonal, and gives the impression you want to dump them in their room and get away, me feels. 

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TheBeachHouse's picture
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All helpful.  Thanks.  I love the idea of attaching it to the refrigerator.  The 'fridges in the rooms are not very attractive.  I can cover them and make them do double duty (until we get it together enough to replace them!)

I hear you about writing it down.  Makes sense.  Thanks, all.

 

Joey Camb's picture
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ebay is good for that kind of thing if you can collect it yourself you can save a lot ie don't buy from really far away

Joey Camb's picture
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We have a welcome letter in every room with a quick sum up and contact phone number for emergency - I also tell them on check in breakfast times (from and till) and then to use the contact phone in reception if they need anything else

Breakfast Diva's picture
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We do both, an in person greeting, going over the highlights. They also have a binder in each room, opened up and leaning on their bed pillow open to the "Welcome" page which has the info they need.

As others have said, a lot of folks will still be clueless. I have a couple here right now that is living proof. On top of that, all I got from her on check-in was attitude...you know the kind that stand there with the hand on her hip looking at everything like she's 'slumin' it.

"Bless their hearts"...they're from the south (near Copperhead) and I'm really ready to slap some manners into them. On top of that, her voice would rip wallpaper right off the wall...oh, it's going to be a lovely couple of days angry

Proud Texan's picture
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Breakfast Diva wrote:

We do both, an in person greeting, going over the highlights. They also have a binder in each room...

We do the same and I call it to their attention as I show them their room.

We have EVERYTHING in the binder.  It's clear and concise.  We reiterate key policies and breakfast time and include info to local attractions, menus to local restaurants (with our personal rating of each), wi-fi logon information, trail maps, safety tips for city slickers etc.

We even provide a complete list of churches for Sunday morning and suggested itineraries, which highlight the area's "hidden jewels"

We know guests read it because they consistently quote from it.

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People (well most) do like to be greeted, shown to their room & told the basics, but they seldom remember as JB pointed out in her post. 

We have a fairly complete guide book in each room with the first page being the details of the B&B.  Most do not crack it open, so we opted to also put in 1 tent card in the room.  Once side had the TV listing, the other has short bullet type info - breakfast time, check out time are the biggies that I want them to know. 

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Beachhouse people will be in a daze after a long drive, then trying to find you and get everything sorted out at check in, so most won't hear much that you share with them. We have the information in the rooms as well.  

I mean, I have a sign ON THE TABLE and I point to it and say "Breakfast is served here at 9am..."

and we walk upstairs and they say "What time is breakfast served?"

OnTheShore's picture
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We have an information sheet magneted to the fridge in each cottage, and a sample in the office that we go over (briefly) with the guests when they check in.

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Madeleine's picture
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Greet the guests (tell them your name!), explain the workings to them (breakfast at what time, how to contact you, WiFi info, where the snacks are, etc, about 2 minutes of intro) then have it all printed on something in their room.

We did get handed a card at an inn we went to, short and sweet, all the stuff I mentioned. It was nice. But expensive.

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