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Is Your Creative Turn Down Service Appreciated?
Published by: Hugo Mechelse
Published on: 25-03-2013 9:48 AM
Pageviews: 704

Turn down service is one of the creative perks in hospitality, but does it always work? Most hotels spend time and money on delivering their appreciated guests with a surprising turn down in the evening. You might be familiar with for example the closed curtains, opened bed, chocolates, orchid flowers, and towel origami. How many souvenirs have you collected over the year?

Personally I always wonder what is and what is not appreciated by the guest. For this, we first and foremost have to answer the most vital question: what do we want to achieve? Is it a long lasting memory of us through a tangible remembrance? Is it just a WOW or must the guest feel or experience something? All these answers lead us to different actions to make the turndown service work. For the staff it opens a new world of creativity, as this is one of the areas where there are no rules and procedures.

But still, the creativity might be there and it might even be in line with what we want to achieve, but how about our guest? Does he/she like it?

The reason that no procedures apply here is that basically every guest is different. One might kill for a chocolate, the next one is allergic to it. One might adore a nice scent, which might cause another guest to sneeze. When you provide butler service to your guests a butler is close to the guest and this provides the best entry to get information on what a guest will appreciate and what not. Never assume here.

I know that one of the ‘standards’ in the industry is to close the curtains. Have you ever inquired whether this is appreciated by the guest? Maybe the first thing he does when he comes back to his room is to open them again to be able to enjoy the lights of the city 50 floors below. How can we know? If the butler, nor housekeeping cannot find any clues on this issue the next morning, why not simply ask the guest? And here I mean really asking in order to connect with the guest, to get to know him, to show him or her your real interest in his or her wellbeing.

Most of the time when we question guests during their stay, the depth of these question get stuck at the level of a closed question, like whether they enjoyed their stay. Some cultures will answer you by definition with a ‘yes’, as they will never cause you to lose face, others will simply say ‘yes’ out of politeness.  This makes these questions a waste of time, putting them in the category of hotel-standard. The same as the question you get when you walk up to the front desk in the afternoon: “Checking in?”

Really connecting with our guest, just what a butler does, allows us to further enhance the appreciation of your hotel by the guest. It might be tangible, just that glass of water, or not tangible, like clearing away the guest’s clothes. You do not necessarily need a night-poem, local souvenir, or slippers to make your guest happy.

That is what a hotel should do: connect instead of assuming and falling back on routines.

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