How should we handle walk – in guests ?

by George Lyras, HR Account Manager & Recruiter | Workathlon

And there is this moment where a front desk agent – that happens to be you – is working at the reception, and a couple shows up giving you a name. “Hello, our name is Oxford – we would like to check in”.

You look for the reservation and you cannot find it. You start wondering why. You check with all 4 possible ways that they have showed you and still nothing!

Finally, you ask for a confirmation number and they reply “Oh we don’t have a reservation, but we wish to stay in your hotel”.

Do you need to call for your supervisor at that moment? No! First you should proceed with the following steps.

Steps to handle walk – in guests

To begin with, you check room availability. Secondly, you inform them about available room types and cost per room per night. Now, it is your chance to upsell! Express your enthusiasm that a junior suite is available with a small additional cost. Mention the characteristics and the benefits of it.

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Offer to show it to them. If you are not able to leave your station, make sure that another colleague can do that for you.

As we say: One picture equals one thousand words. And it is now the time to prove it more than ever before!

Depending on the occasion and the current needs of the guest which you very attentively listened to, you are ready to offer the most appropriate room for them.

Check – in time!

Then, just start your normal check in procedure. Make sure you print a registration card with guests details and ensure that the length of stay is mentioned as well as the rate. Then you get their signature. Passport number is a must as well as a valid method of payment and a preauthorisation.

Extra attention is needed for walk ins because most of the times, you dont have any other type of guarantee for the “quality” of your guest but their official documents. There is not any previous correspondence and there is no other connection you could refer to, in case of an issue.

In 80% of the cases, walk – in guests prove to be trouble makers. But of course, there is this exceptional 20% where you may win a new and loyal guest after a warm welcoming and an effective registration based on the needs of your guest at that particular moment.

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The next day, make sure to learn if they enjoyed their stay and if they plan to come back soon. Thank them for the last minute trust to your hotel and make sure that you personalise your service by giving a telephone number or email they could reach you through for their next reservation.

You just created a bond…you just created a true feeling of hospitality!

Never underestimate anyone who is standing in front of you, at the reception. People know where they entered and why. You just need to prove them that they were right!

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