Picture this; it’s 11 o’clock in the morning on a cold Autumn day and you’re working on the front desk when a woman comes out of the elevator and starts walking towards you. She looks like she’s dressed for the chilly weather and is carrying a briefcase as well as pulling a suitcase behind her. What do you think she’s doing at the front desk?
If you thought to yourself, “She’s checking in of course!” then you might want to go back and read that first paragraph again. Chances are she is checking out!
Being able to “read” a guest is a very important skill. Guests appreciate when you are able to anticipate why they’re seeking you out. To read the guest you need to take into consideration their body language, how they’re dressed, what they’re carrying (if anything). However, anticipating the guest’s action also requires you to look at the context of the situation. What time of day is it? What direction did the guest come from? What day of the week is it? Do you know of any conventions or events happening near the hotel?
Context: the whole situation, background, or environment that relates to a particular event, personality, creation, etc.
Now that we’ve established that our pretend guest is probably checking out, what do you say to her? Just “Checking out?” really isn’t a great option. Be sure to greet the guest before asking them how you can help them. Always have the guest experience in mind. Be professional and courteous, but remember to be friendly no matter what option you go with.
Here’s a few ideas for phrases you can use! Remember to be professional AND friendly!
- Good morning! You look like you’re ready to check out. I can help you here if you’re ready.
- Hello! I can get you checked out here if you’re ready.
- Good morning! I’d be happy to check you out if you’re ready!
- Hello! I hope you’re enjoying your morning. If you’re all ready to be checked out, I’d be happy to help you here!
Remember, the 3A Hospitality English textbook and lessons are great resources for professional language to use when handling guests!
So next time a guest is approaching the desk, remember; Read the guest, read the situation and use professional, friendly language.
Guests frequently feel neglected during the departure phase of the guest cycle, which means giving the guest a pleasurable checking out experience is critical to the guest experience. Not only will it leave the guest feeling positive about their stay, but you could make their whole day too!