Thursday, April 23, 2009

Bell Ringers!

Certain guests leave an lasting impression on you and tend to dominate the entire complex when they stay at your motel.

A motelier has a sixth sense that can detect at an early stage that a potental guest will be hard work. We call these guests "Bell-Ringers" as they will need to be continually reassured and maintained before and during their stay. Why "Bell-Ringers?" Well it's simple: in order to get attention they will consistently ring you on the phone or set off the bell at reception.

If the motelier knows that they can easily fill the room, is feeling somewhat friviolous and is able think on their feet quickly, a Bell-Ringer can be cut free at the reservation enquiry stage and informed with "regret" that there are "no suitable rooms available at the inn".

A Bell-Ringer can be infuriating, self-important, needy and seemingly ignorant time-water, however they can present a positive challenge to satisfy and will sing your praises wide if you are able to appease them.

What are the signs of a "Bell-Ringer"?

It often starts with the reservation process.

Such guests will always desire verbal stimulation. Any information widly available in accommodation guides and on the web need to be verbalised. Before a reservation is even made the wife will generally make several "inquiries" making liberal use of your toll free number. Queries will start off on a generic nature that will include general chat about the availability of a room over a range of dates and things to do/attractions/restaurants available in the city. The phonecalls will continue as she verbaly pontifcates if she will even be comming to your location and if so when she will be able to travel. No final decision can ever be made as all information will need to be relayed and confirmed by her husband.

Once she has decided when they can stay and that they will be indeed travelling to your location, the questions are then drilled down to the motel's facilities and types of rooms available. A barrage of questions will contuine over several more phone calls and will often get down to where the unit is located in the complex, witch direction does the room face and what are the interior colour tonings?

The husband will then second-guess the whole process and make his own multiple phone calls. The wide ranging question and answer session covering old ground will start again!

Toward the end of the process the three children are mentioned for the first time and it needs to be laboriously explained that the small studio unit with a queen bed may not be suitable. After discussing more suitable room options and subduing the endless whining for a discount a conclusion is finaly reached and a reservation will be made.

Ineverably after the resersation is made, more phone calls by the guest are nesseary as the the in/out dates are changed, the number of persons staying are amended and more questions are required to be asked.

Before the guest has even arrived they have clocked up a wedge of 0800 call charges and you just know that they will contunue to badger you after they arrive.

At check-in, we identify these guests early and always like to allow additional time to laboriously go through all of the motel's amenities, room features and giving them every map and tbrochure that we can muster. An extra 10 minutes with our high maintenance guests will often save a lot of grief and future time wasting during their stay.

After checking-in one of our "Bell-Ringers" recently, I walked back to the reception after taking them to their room and giving them an extended run-down on all of its features including the perienial favourites of how to use the telephone and turn on the TV. I then waited for the ineviatible phone call.

It took 3 minutes!

"Have you got a sandwich maker we can borrow?"

Bugger! these guests are booked in for the next three nights and I know we are going to see a lot of them.

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