You may have experience having a guest in your house at least once in a lifetime. From inviting a friend to sleepover to having a cousin visit from overseas. In my family, hospitality is a big deal, and if my mom knew someone was visiting, she would not only ensure these people had everything they needed but more! She would send me and my sister to get groceries, snacks, extra food and drinks. She would clean the whole house herself and make us help her to make it a place that simply communicated that things were prepared for the guest.
It is actually not that different in the business world or in organisations, specially when we are talking about global companies or companies with many locations. This doesn’t even just apply to big companies, but to any company that has relationships with companies beyond their own.
In the professional world guest relations and hospitality are incredibly important. How you receive someone says a lot about who you are as a company and what you value. It can make or break your business relationships and connections. So, if you would like to know more about how to do this, let us help you understand a bit more about how it works.
You are worth the preparation
Imagine you went overseas to visit a friend or family, and when you arrived at the airport they were waiting for you with signs and a gift? Then, when you arrive to their house, they show you the room they prepared for you and show you around so you can feel at home. That would be nice right? Being welcomed like that makes you feel important, appreciated and tells you in every aspect that you are valuable and worth the preparation.
Now, imagine you arrived at that airport and there was nobody there. Even worse, you are in a foreign country and do not speak the language, what do you do? You take a cab, show them the address where you need to go and they charge you way beyond what you had prepared for transportation. Once you get to the house, your friend lets you in just to show you the couch that you will be sleeping in because he forgot you were coming and hopes you don’t mind. How would that make you feel? Would you ever spend that plane ticket money again in visiting that friend who received you like that?
Thinking beyond needs
Thinking of the two situations mentioned above, which one would you like your organisation to be known for? Probably the first one! But in order to make that happen you will have to start thinking beyond just what is needed to receive a guest and start going “the extra mile”.
You might want to start with flight itineraries, if this person is coming from far away or bus/car rides if they are locals. You could prepare an itinerary of their trip including all useful info of flight companies, luggage and travel insurance. It might also be a good idea to think of their activities’ schedules once they arrive, including meetings, free time and others. It is also extremely important to arrange someone to pick the person up from the airport and drive them during their stay, they have already made the effort to come and specially if they are not familiar with the are it wouldn’t be handy to make them travel on public transport.
You will have to make sure you have accomodation arranged for them, whether in a hotel room or in someone’s house depending on the situation and the budget. Once they have arrived at their designated accomodation, a great idea to implement is to provide them with a care package, the content of such will vary depending on who the person is and the length of their stay, but it can include from personal hygiene items, to plug adaptors and chargers depending of the country. The point of the care package is to assist the guest with every need they might have and every item they might have forgotten. It might be good to include a bit of pocket money for them to get around during their stay and also to arrange their meals.
Your effort is appreciated
The whole point of ensuring you take care of your guests is to communicate as a company that you appreciate their effort and work. It is a way to tell the person or the other company that they are valuable and important. Of course it all depends on the company, the situation, and the budget you have available, but as a company, it is always good to plan for generosity and hospitality. And even if such efforts are not reciprocated, your identity as a generous company will remain.
What else do you know about guest relations? Let us know!