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The Curse Of Knowledge

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JBloggs

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The Curse Of Knowledge from Barry the Bar Blogger - [COLOR= rgb(51, 51, 51)]http://www.thebarblogger.com/[/COLOR][/h3]
When was the last time that you entered your bar or restaurant from the street as a customer, keen to order or simply to find a table?
How easy or difficult do you make it for your customers to find what they are looking for? How hard have you worked at creating that all important first impression? Whatever the first impression is for your customer, it will take a long time and significant effort to change their opinion
As business owners, we are all extremely familiar with our own businesses. We know where everything is when we need it, we know where the toilets are and whether guests seat themselves or a member of staff seats them. We know if we offer table service for drinks or if guests have to order from the bar. This is the curse of knowledge. It’s the knowledge of our own business that blinkers us from seeing our business through fresh eyes, uneducated to the ways of our business and often leaves guests standing at the doorway or in the middle of the floor looking around while we andour staff pass by at speed on our way to a familiar destination in the bar. I’ve experienced staff members passing me ten times without assisting me or directing me. What kind of an impression is this? If I can’t get the attention of staff when I enter, what chance do I have of having an enjoyable experience. I might even leave.
So how do you ensure the first impression is a good one? Here are some pointers that will help:
1. Don’t expect your customers to know what to do. Put a sign at the entrance advising guests that they may seat themselves. Foreign tourists often expect to be seated so might stand at the door blocking traffic indefinitely unless they are helped.
2. Go through the guest experience yourself and see how easy or difficult you have made it for your guests to do what you want them to do: namely to come in, sit down and order.
3. Check that you have appropriate internal signage such as “Toilets”, “More Seating Upstairs”, “Pay Here” and any otherdirections that will help your customers spend more time and money with you.
4. Create a drinks menu for customers. Not every customer orders Guinness and not every customer know what they want. You know what you stock, so get this down onto a menu and have it readily available for customers that have no idea what you offer. This is a great opportunity for upselling too.
So remember, the curse of knowledge can cost you business, but only if you close your eyes to the needs of your customers. Open your eyes and you may find people are spending more money with you and coming back again and again.
Easy? I think so.
 

JBloggs

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Barry discusses so many things we discuss here as innkeepers.
I was just pondering this as we bought this B&B as an existing B&B and yet there were no hooks or racks near the showers/tubs, where did guests put their towels for stepping out of the tub before we arrived? On the toilet if it is near the shower, not always near it though.
We SHOULD sleep in each one of our guest rooms, pack up your knickers and toiletries bring them along and STAY in your rooms so you can see lack of space, lack of amenities, little touches that are absent that need to be there like addtl kleenix boxes or darkening shades. It might just be something simple like "moving this over there."
I am guilty of this, I just don't want to clean the rooms again and do all that laundry, that is the reason right there.
 

Morticia

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As much as we do, and we all could do more, you sometimes beat yourself over the head when the guests come for breakfast, point to the tables all set and ready to go and ask, 'Is that where we eat?'
They have not passed any other 'dining' rooms on their way to this point. I guess the question they are really asking is, 'Do we seat ourselves?'
 

Morticia

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This applies totally to websites, BTW, not just 'in house'. Can the guest find the info? Do they know what to do and where to go? Are there tabs or links to what guests want immediately? Just going by page hits, guests want the rooms page for photos & prices, the breakfast page for the photos and info, the calendar to book. Everything else seems to be 'extras'.
 

JBloggs

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As much as we do, and we all could do more, you sometimes beat yourself over the head when the guests come for breakfast, point to the tables all set and ready to go and ask, 'Is that where we eat?'
They have not passed any other 'dining' rooms on their way to this point. I guess the question they are really asking is, 'Do we seat ourselves?'.
I would ask. Me, as a guest, I would never go right in and take a seat, ever.
I beat DH over the head all the time when we have a full house guests are enjoying their coffee on the porch or parlor and I tell him to go corral them and he says "They know where the dining room is" in a huff and I tell him "You need to go and invite them in!" as I have three burners and oven going.
Then we have other guests who sit down and dive-in no matter what. Others who place their coffee cups or stuff at a spot for later. It is all relative. In a new environment I never go and sit down, I am hesitant and wait to be told where to sit or invited in. DH says "We told them at check in where breakfast is served" 6 of one half dozen of another. :)
 

JBloggs

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This applies totally to websites, BTW, not just 'in house'. Can the guest find the info? Do they know what to do and where to go? Are there tabs or links to what guests want immediately? Just going by page hits, guests want the rooms page for photos & prices, the breakfast page for the photos and info, the calendar to book. Everything else seems to be 'extras'..
Morticia said:
This applies totally to websites, BTW, not just 'in house'. Can the guest find the info? Do they know what to do and where to go? Are there tabs or links to what guests want immediately? Just going by page hits, guests want the rooms page for photos & prices, the breakfast page for the photos and info, the calendar to book. Everything else seems to be 'extras'.
YES! That was my first impression of the first impression as well!!!
 

Morticia

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As much as we do, and we all could do more, you sometimes beat yourself over the head when the guests come for breakfast, point to the tables all set and ready to go and ask, 'Is that where we eat?'
They have not passed any other 'dining' rooms on their way to this point. I guess the question they are really asking is, 'Do we seat ourselves?'.
I would ask. Me, as a guest, I would never go right in and take a seat, ever.
I beat DH over the head all the time when we have a full house guests are enjoying their coffee on the porch or parlor and I tell him to go corral them and he says "They know where the dining room is" in a huff and I tell him "You need to go and invite them in!" as I have three burners and oven going.
Then we have other guests who sit down and dive-in no matter what. Others who place their coffee cups or stuff at a spot for later. It is all relative. In a new environment I never go and sit down, I am hesitant and wait to be told where to sit or invited in. DH says "We told them at check in where breakfast is served" 6 of one half dozen of another. :)
.
Absolutely. I'm always in a quandry on really busy mornings when guests start piling up drinking coffee, watching the news, reading the paper but NO ONE will sit down. Hate to interrupt any conversation because it always stops dead as soon as they sit down, but if we don't feed them NOW, it'll be noon!
Some guests are up at 7 AM drinking coffee, reading the paper, relaxing. They're chatting with us, etc. Then the other rooms start to show up and the poor guests who got up early end up with no place to sit to have brekkie even tho they've been 'waiting' for 2 hours.
 

seashanty

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one morning i went out to the guest library to ask if a couple sititng in there drinking coffee was going to come to the breakfast room to eat. they were shocked. they thought the self serve coffee and leftover muffins in the library was breakfast. i apologized profusely and guided them into the breakfast room where i had a huge breakfast going. they went from being disappointed to thrilled in one minute and i was glad i went looking for them.
once in a while a guest was checked in and missed seeing the breakfast room - like if they checked in late, the breakfast room was also my living room and would have been closed to guests at night.
having stayed at places where i wasn't sure what was innkeeper space and what was guest space, i can see how this might happen.
 

Morticia

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one morning i went out to the guest library to ask if a couple sititng in there drinking coffee was going to come to the breakfast room to eat. they were shocked. they thought the self serve coffee and leftover muffins in the library was breakfast. i apologized profusely and guided them into the breakfast room where i had a huge breakfast going. they went from being disappointed to thrilled in one minute and i was glad i went looking for them.
once in a while a guest was checked in and missed seeing the breakfast room - like if they checked in late, the breakfast room was also my living room and would have been closed to guests at night.
having stayed at places where i wasn't sure what was innkeeper space and what was guest space, i can see how this might happen..
We do check in in the dining room. Still, I may start saying, 'And this is where breakfast is served from 8-9:30 AM.'
And late arrivals walk thru the dining room to get to the rooms.
 

seashanty

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do you remember the place i ranted about that i stayed at where there was no one around at breakfast? i went wandering around and found the table set with cereal, cold toast and coffee waiting for me. (i was the only guest) ... no butter, no jam, no milk for the cereal, no sugar ... and i had to go find the innkeeper to ask. their website says (and still says) let me find the quote ... ' the cost of an evening's stay includes a sumptuous breakfast with a hot entree ' i have always wondered if something happened and i was forgotten. but i felt ignored.
 

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Not only do I make it a point to stay in the rooms, I have my staff do the same. Once each month, different room each month. They get a treat themselves and the inn learns about its own shortcomings.
And no matter how many times I do it myself, something just jumps out at me that doesn't work for a guest the way it should. Even in rooms that seem just perfect.
Seeing the inn from the guest's perspective is the only way to really open your eyes to their experience. No, it won't be the exact same thing. As Barry says, you know where things are already.
But even with that knowledge, reaching for something from the bed or from the tub or in the kitchen - as a guest and as you need it - you do see things differently.
 

Morticia

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Barry discusses so many things we discuss here as innkeepers.
I was just pondering this as we bought this B&B as an existing B&B and yet there were no hooks or racks near the showers/tubs, where did guests put their towels for stepping out of the tub before we arrived? On the toilet if it is near the shower, not always near it though.
We SHOULD sleep in each one of our guest rooms, pack up your knickers and toiletries bring them along and STAY in your rooms so you can see lack of space, lack of amenities, little touches that are absent that need to be there like addtl kleenix boxes or darkening shades. It might just be something simple like "moving this over there."
I am guilty of this, I just don't want to clean the rooms again and do all that laundry, that is the reason right there.
.
Joey Bloggs said:
I am guilty of this, I just don't want to clean the rooms again and do all that laundry, that is the reason right there.
Even when we have absolutely no one on the books for weeks I won't go mess up a room. Like you, I hate the thought of cleaning it all just because of me. But it really should be done.
We did sleep in one room when we painted our room. But I brought my own pillows, my own bedding and covered the bed itself with a sheet. We didn't shower in the room or use the sink. It wasn't a real test by any means. But I still had to clean it!
AND, the biggest tests- noise and water pressure- never happen if the house is empty.
 
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