One Opinion About What “Guest Services” Is

From “Ask Kit!”:

Q: I believe “guest services” encompasses everything that makes a guest feel welcome, comfortable and secure. Why do I not find that in B&Bs all the time?

A: Nicely put. I think what you described also makes guests feel as if they matter. They can feel surprised (in a pleasant way! ;~) and pampered.

Why don’t you find it in every B&B? Because every innkeeper has their own definition of “guest services”, reflecting who they are and where they are coming from. Ideally, innkeepers find a way of communicating what their attitudes are on that subject, as part of their market niche definition, so as to attract guests who want that kind of service.

2 thoughts on “One Opinion About What “Guest Services” Is”

  1. Lodging industry study after lodging study shows that service is the most important quality you and any other lodging property can offer your customers/guests. It’s the one thing that will bring them back again and again and prompt them to tell their friends how gracious you were.
    It’s hard to define great service, however, especially if you rarely experience it in your life…an all too true circumstance these days with email and automated phones. Those are convenient, but they are not service.
    Service is when you do something for someone, frequently without the recipient asking or even knowing that he wanted that glass of iced tea you just brought him on a hot afternoon. In most cases, providing the best personal service doesn’t cost an innkeeper anything. It’s the difference between advising guests about places to go for dinner and making the reservation and handing a guest a stack of menus to browse.
    If you have had little experience in fine restaurants or hotels, it should be part of your education to dine and stay at some. That way you will know what your guests expect when they pay $250 or more a night at your inn.
    Outstanding service (and excellent food) sets bed and breakfasts apart from most hotels, giving you a competitive edge.

  2. Kit Cassingham wrote:
    From “Ask Kit!”:
    Q: I believe “guest services” encompasses everything that makes a guest feel welcome, comfortable and secure. Why do I not find that in B&Bs all the time?

    Unlike chain hotels and motels, the vast majority of al B&B’s are privately owned. Each B&B is therefore different in terms of guest amenities that are provided with each room, the quality of meals, and the overall quality of customer service.
    With the exception of having to have a state B&B facility license and possibly a food handler’s certificate or even a commercially licensed kitchen, there are no regulations that I’m aware of that govern the level of training required by anyone who runs a B&B.
    Innkeepers and innkeeper/owners who run these facilities range in age and experience from former housewives to culinary chefs to retired bank managers and company presidents. Some people go into this field without any business experience whatsoever while others may have worked in five star hotels.
    Nearly anyone can be an innkeeper.
    Knowing this, the best thing a consumer can do is to research any facility you’re interested in.
    I have literally had prospective guests call me for rate information and ask about our website. After visiting our site, they have visited our facility and toured the inn prior to making a reservation.
    What are they looking for?
    1) Does the decor of the facility match the website? (Amazingly enough, I have stayed at B&B’s that bore no resemblance to the pictures I found on their website).
    2) Is the facility clean? Look for dust under furniture or radiators. Look for mold in the bathroom.
    3) Does the facility appear to be in good repair?
    4) Does the innkeeper appear hospitable?
    5) Confirm the amenities that are being offered.
    6) Confirm the rates for the room(s) you are interested in.
    7) How do you feel about the overall facility? Listen to your feelings. Is this a place you think you would enjoy? If the answer is no, thank the innkeeper for his or her time and move on. If the answer is yes, then make whatever reservations you’re interested in.

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