So, how is it done?
As a former hotel concierge, this tactic was amazingly useful. Can you imagine what would have happened if I told every guest that I could definitely secure a table for them at the hottest restaurant in town? By under promising, I later appeared heroic when I was able to secure their coveted table.
Two recent hotel check-in experiences also highlight how managing expectations plays a significant role in guest satisfaction:
- On the way to Penn State for the annual arts festival I telephoned the hotel to alert them we would be arriving ahead of the scheduled check-in time and was hopeful we might be able to secure our room early. We were informed that they couldn’t guarantee room availability prior to check-in, a commonly scripted response, but they would be glad to store our bags. I was pleasantly surprised when we arrived to the hotel, two hours early, we were able to gain access to our room.
- The opposite was true on a recent road trip to Pittsburgh for a friend’s wedding. We had planned to get changed at the hotel to avoid traveling in our black-tie attire and were dependent on an early check-in. I had called ahead the day before and was given a guarantee that all wedding block rooms had been given an early check-in time of Noon. Upon arrival to the hotel around 1:30pm we were told our room wasn’t ready.
In conclusion, be mindful of what you promise to a customer and go the extra mile to deliver.