Back to Blog list

18 September 2015

LESSONS FROM MY GUESTS

by Arnold Amrhein Madrigal (Costa Rica), Les Roches Jin Jiang student, Guest Relations Intern at Rosewood London

 

Two months have gone by in a timeless property. As I lay foot for the first time at the Rosewood London, it seems that more than the walls surrounding me and echoing their stories, it is our guests that form the vitality of our tenure.

 

As a Guest Relations Officer I am responsible for a guests’ arrival, departure, and stay. These three stages could be as simple and mechanic as the processes themselves, or as personalized and engaging as the essence of true hospitality.

 

Here at the Rosewood London, you might have guessed, we focus on the latter. It is particularly the engaging relationship hospitality that we form with our guests that invites them in for the first time, and makes them want to stay upon their departure. The ability to do this wholeheartedly is the single most rewarding aspect of the ‘job’.

At first, the stress and the overwhelming information of our systems, processes, essentially the tangibles, had me worried on the ability to enjoy what I was doing; it seemed like I was falling in routine and mundaneness.

However, it only took a couple of guests to discover that this was not the core of my job, that if I focused on the intangibles and connected emotionally with them, whether a simple conversation, an action, or satisfying their needs through intuition, that in return brought a smile, a compliment, or simply a deeply satisfying feeling of enthusiasm which you could feel would change their entire experience for the good; is what vanished everything else. I felt fulfilled and had unearthed my purpose from the conventional; and for doing this I have been deeply rewarded.           

There is no better way to explain or demonstrate how this applies then to pinpoint a few occasions where this has happened.

 

LESSON N.1 - From a businessman.

 

Businessmen expect expedient service and delivery, normally without exchanging any more words then that of an inquisition, “yes, no, (silence).” However this guest was different. An inopportune situation with his credit card delayed his arrival, and gave me the best opening to ‘engage with business’. After a series of unobtrusive questions, I unraveled that he was directing a project of artificial intelligence. Using my naïve knowledge of AI from high school sciences and the internet, we engaged in a more then 10 minute long conversation of the wonderful applications of AI. 

If he had a checklist I would have failed to satisfy the criteria that established to perform his arrival in the time stipulated, but gladly he didn’t, and had rather showed him beyond the mechanical check-in process which he must have experienced a million times and delivered him an engaging emotional connection.

 

LESSON N.2 - From a lady of experienced age.

 

The ability to room our guests gives us grounds to discover and engage even further with those who stay with us. I roomed her as usual, satisfied her simple requests, and talked to her; she suffered from severe back problems, when she arrived she was exhausted, preoccupied, and not in a state that would allow her to be receptive to experience the fantastic trip she had in front of her. However, by the time we unhurriedly walked from the lobby, through the corridors, and into her room, her facial expression, her tone of voice, and her excitement had drastically changed for good. I had done my ‘job’.

Upon departure, a hug and an exchange of goodbyes provided the final closure of our service, and I wished her ‘safe journeys’. It was only a few days later that I received a hand written note from my Director of Rooms, mentioning that the guest had cited my name in her departure survey establishing that I had delivered exceptional service.

 

He mentioned in his note how much of a valuable asset I was for the team; it was like putting a golden seal on the experience, one I will never forget.

 

I will continue to learn, collect memories, and deliver experiences as I continue my journey here at the Rosewood; ones which I will transfer to you my reader, for you to discover along with me the impalpable deeply satisfying nature of true hospitality. 

It is with this that I sign off, with two important lessons that I’ve learnt; one of work in general and one of our industry. A first job can be daunting, any job for that matter, sometimes we can feel overwhelmed by the ‘paperwork’, but remember to find the purpose of it all, commonly found in the immaterial, and then you will be deeply satisfied. Remember hospitality never started off as whom provided the best house for weary travellers; it was who provided anything at all.

Anybody can build palaces, but it is about the people within them who can provide genuine emotional connections with their guests that are the core of our industry, it is up to you to build and fortify those relationships.