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Proud Texan

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This might harken back to the another thread that was talking about how guests rate value. I agree that value is subjective, but by continually striving to exceed our customers expectations we will also increase their perception of value.
It doesn't cost a cent to be kind and attentive, but it can make a big difference in how a guest perceives their visit. DW and I are constantly thinking of ways to make our guests' experience better without having to add to our bottom line. Sometimes you have to be really creative, but our reviews and guest comments show that people do pay attention to the little things.
 

Alibi Ike

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The best way to do this is to SET the customer's expectations first. If you don't do it, they will and that's where the problems arise. THAT'S when we hear, 'But I thought all B&B's... ?'
  • Explain the breakfast- plated, buffet, expanded continental- tell the guest what that means
  • Explain your location- busy city street, cows for neighbors, small town with lots of walking traffic (read that- kids going to and fro)
  • Explain and show photos where you can of 'quirks' in your building
  • Heaven help me, actually state there is no elevator in a 2-storey building
  • Explain how check-in works, if the guest MUST call in advance, MUST arrive at a certain time or not at all
  • Spend some time reading reviews (not your own) and see what guests complain about. Then see if you can tell how their expectations got so high to be let down so much.
  • Play to your strong points but don't hide any negatives so deep that guests wonder who wrote your web copy
 

Samster

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The best way to do this is to SET the customer's expectations first. If you don't do it, they will and that's where the problems arise. THAT'S when we hear, 'But I thought all B&B's... ?'
  • Explain the breakfast- plated, buffet, expanded continental- tell the guest what that means
  • Explain your location- busy city street, cows for neighbors, small town with lots of walking traffic (read that- kids going to and fro)
  • Explain and show photos where you can of 'quirks' in your building
  • Heaven help me, actually state there is no elevator in a 2-storey building
  • Explain how check-in works, if the guest MUST call in advance, MUST arrive at a certain time or not at all
  • Spend some time reading reviews (not your own) and see what guests complain about. Then see if you can tell how their expectations got so high to be let down so much.
  • Play to your strong points but don't hide any negatives so deep that guests wonder who wrote your web copy
.
Great points to remember, Ike!
 

greyswan

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I like the one about elevators... must add that to our website!
 

The Tipsy Butler

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The best way to do this is to SET the customer's expectations first. If you don't do it, they will and that's where the problems arise. THAT'S when we hear, 'But I thought all B&B's... ?'
  • Explain the breakfast- plated, buffet, expanded continental- tell the guest what that means
  • Explain your location- busy city street, cows for neighbors, small town with lots of walking traffic (read that- kids going to and fro)
  • Explain and show photos where you can of 'quirks' in your building
  • Heaven help me, actually state there is no elevator in a 2-storey building
  • Explain how check-in works, if the guest MUST call in advance, MUST arrive at a certain time or not at all
  • Spend some time reading reviews (not your own) and see what guests complain about. Then see if you can tell how their expectations got so high to be let down so much.
  • Play to your strong points but don't hide any negatives so deep that guests wonder who wrote your web copy
.
Alibi Ike said:
  • Spend some time reading reviews (not your own) and see what guests complain about. Then see if you can tell how their expectations got so high to be let down so much.
I think that's one of the best suggestions I've ever heard. For ME, managing expectations is essential for happy guests and a happy innkeeper.
 

The Tipsy Butler

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This might harken back to the another thread that was talking about how guests rate value. I agree that value is subjective, but by continually striving to exceed our customers expectations we will also increase their perception of value.
It doesn't cost a cent to be kind and attentive, but it can make a big difference in how a guest perceives their visit. DW and I are constantly thinking of ways to make our guests' experience better without having to add to our bottom line. Sometimes you have to be really creative, but our reviews and guest comments show that people do pay attention to the little things..
Proud Texan said:
DW and I are constantly thinking of ways to make our guests' experience better without having to add to our bottom line.
I am in complete agreement with this one too. I know it's one of the reasons I am so exhausted by the end of the season. If there are no $$ to spend the only thing that can get better / make a difference is ME. That's what led to my pre-season melt-down last year. I just felt completely overwhelmed.
 

JBloggs

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This might harken back to the another thread that was talking about how guests rate value. I agree that value is subjective, but by continually striving to exceed our customers expectations we will also increase their perception of value.
It doesn't cost a cent to be kind and attentive, but it can make a big difference in how a guest perceives their visit. DW and I are constantly thinking of ways to make our guests' experience better without having to add to our bottom line. Sometimes you have to be really creative, but our reviews and guest comments show that people do pay attention to the little things..
Proud Texan said:
DW and I are constantly thinking of ways to make our guests' experience better without having to add to our bottom line.
I am in complete agreement with this one too. I know it's one of the reasons I am so exhausted by the end of the season. If there are no $$ to spend the only thing that can get better / make a difference is ME. That's what led to my pre-season melt-down last year. I just felt completely overwhelmed.
.
The Tipsy Butler said:
Proud Texan said:
DW and I are constantly thinking of ways to make our guests' experience better without having to add to our bottom line.
I am in complete agreement with this one too. I know it's one of the reasons I am so exhausted by the end of the season. If there are no $$ to spend the only thing that can get better / make a difference is ME. That's what led to my pre-season melt-down last year. I just felt completely overwhelmed.
That is what this thread is all about, right there.
Pre-season? In our B&B we call it the "Semi-annual meltdown" it occurs twice annually, like a sale at Saks.
 

Copperhead

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PT wrote: It doesn't cost a cent to be kind and attentive, but it can make a big difference in how a guest perceives their visit.
You are so very right! A story on this. Recently we helped arrange for a small group to go on a nearby tour. I had made the reservation, gave my # as contact as I always do (I send them a lot of biz). Guests left in plenty of time to be there at least 30 min before departure, but they made a wrong turn. Tour owner called, very nice 'did I make a mistake on the date?' So I rushed to call their cell & get them back in the right direction then called to let the tour know. Well moments later the tour driver called me and was VERY ugly (guess message had not gotten to him) and he ended up being very rude - publicly to the group when they were on the boat. Oh, they had barely made it just 2 min. prior to departure, and said they had appologized. When they returned we asked how the trip was - they loved it, 'but the guy never forgave us for cutting it so close'. The next morning, it was a discussion at the breakfast table... some that had been interested decided to forgo it. - See they lost business that quickly!
We all have times when things don't go as planned, one wrong turn can change the entire experience. Writing this I am now thinking about how I feel sometimes when guests are late for breakfast or for check in... I do try to hold my feelings but AM I doing a good job of it?
 

Copperhead

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Ike - some VERY good points!
Had not thought of reading other reviews for this... I have read other's reviews just not using that frame of mind when I do.
Just thinking ALOUD, we DO need to put these things on our site but we all know well and good that they still won't be read...
 

JBloggs

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Being attentive and hovering are in the eye of the beholder, we have to be mind readers to know how much how often. So its best to just BE YOU and do what you do.
 

JBloggs

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Ike - some VERY good points!
Had not thought of reading other reviews for this... I have read other's reviews just not using that frame of mind when I do.
Just thinking ALOUD, we DO need to put these things on our site but we all know well and good that they still won't be read...
.
copperhead said:
Ike - some VERY good points!
Had not thought of reading other reviews for this... I have read other's reviews just not using that frame of mind when I do.
Just thinking ALOUD, we DO need to put these things on our site but we all know well and good that they still won't be read...
That is the beauty of this forum as well, we can have a "situation" arise and watch the innkeeper response. Not being in their shoes it is hard to identify all the elements, but we have a larger view than a reg TA review.
So in some instances, I read TA replies to negative reviews and cringe. Speaking to the public like one of those "child in the room but I will speak around them" scenarios, just makes my skin crawl. A response NEEDS to be to the reviewer every time. So I read how people "take" things, they are emotional, they are upset, they write about it. What things upset guests? What things can we not smooth over? All good learning for us.
Case in point, we have read comments/threads here about VALUE. We have discussed it ad nauseum, but what constitutes value? Does that guest fridge with comp sodas that most guests never drink, but know it is there, make them feel there is more value? Is it something so small, so simple that we can do? Would adding stinky popcorn make it seem like better value (btw I have a bowl of indifv packs of pretzels and peanuts in there right now that is rarely touched.)
 

gillumhouse

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This might harken back to the another thread that was talking about how guests rate value. I agree that value is subjective, but by continually striving to exceed our customers expectations we will also increase their perception of value.
It doesn't cost a cent to be kind and attentive, but it can make a big difference in how a guest perceives their visit. DW and I are constantly thinking of ways to make our guests' experience better without having to add to our bottom line. Sometimes you have to be really creative, but our reviews and guest comments show that people do pay attention to the little things..
Proud Texan said:
DW and I are constantly thinking of ways to make our guests' experience better without having to add to our bottom line.
I am in complete agreement with this one too. I know it's one of the reasons I am so exhausted by the end of the season. If there are no $$ to spend the only thing that can get better / make a difference is ME. That's what led to my pre-season melt-down last year. I just felt completely overwhelmed.
.
The Tipsy Butler said:
I am in complete agreement with this one too. I know it's one of the reasons I am so exhausted by the end of the season. If there are no $$ to spend the only thing that can get better / make a difference is ME. That's what led to my pre-season melt-down last year. I just felt completely overwhelmed.
That one I TOTALLY understand. There was noting I could do to mitigate the 2 with shared in the beginning so i tried to make it up with service. that is how we got started with the "you tell me what time breakfast is served" and trying to take care of whatever was needed as in the special diet needs. And the fancy table setting also - they did not expect glass knife rests and goblets, etc in WV - and now I have chargers and silverplate too!
 
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