My favorite article last week was from Hotel Management about singling out a guest on arrival. The article talks about the Hilton Memphis, which chooses one guest and singles them out for room upgrades and other goodies.
What struck my in this story was the energy created for other guests just by being indirectly involved. “It costs nothing and creates energy, and a hotel is a hotel until somebody creates energy.” (Bill Spencer, GM of the Hotel Memphis)
Why does this happen and how can you recreate this phenomenon in your own hotel?
Humans are social creatures. We generally enjoy feeling more connected to those who surround us. As a bit of an introvert myself, one of the biggest travel stresses for me is being surrounded by people I don’t know. A hotel that facilitates even a small emotional connection between its guests by creating this kind of energy will make travelers feel more comfortable with each other, and happier with their stay.
Aside from what the Hotel Memphis is doing, here are some energy-infusing from my friend Tom Costello at iGroupAdvisors:
- Create a social space. Guests who are checking in to the hotel would be handed an ‘invitation’ to meet the GM, Director of Sales & Marketing, Head Chef, or anyone else who would be considered as a high profile representative of the hotel and/or the community. The ‘meet and greet’ would last 30 minutes and anyone who attends would be eligible to enter a drawing for a prize that would be given to one winner every 30 days.
- Allow visitors to collaborate on the guest experience. If and when the hotel is discussing a change that would impact its future guests, the GM could pick a day, say 30 days in advance, check scheduled reservations for that day, select a handful of guests who are members of the hotel’s loyalty program, and invite them for a 30-minute cocktail reception to share the thought process and solicit feedback.
- Invite local crafters and artists to showcase their work at your hotel. This is a 365 day program featured at the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee, WI. Here is a link to their “Artist in Residence” program. I have seen it and it’s pretty cool.
- Some hotels are adding short classes to the guest experience, complete with take-home items to remember their stay. If the hotel has a bar, select a patron each hour, bring them behind the bar, and teach them how to make the hotel’s signature drink and provide it to them on a complimentary basis for their participation.
- Any of these ideas are great AND should become a photo op or video that the hotel could leverage (with the consent of the guest) for its social media initiatives.