The different kinds of hotel guests

I love watching people. In fact, I think human beings are one of the most interesting and terrifying things at the same time. How many times do we tend to say that we wish we could understand someone else?

My point is – no one is the same. No one thinks in the same way and therefore no one acts or reacts in the same way. This goes for hotel guests (your customers) as well.

Types of guests

Types of guests – Image from: http://www.lifehacker.com

I’ve done some research on the kinds of hotel guests you can expect to arrive and came up with the following:

The Free Independent Traveller

Tourism specialists don’t call him FIT for nothing. FIT’s are fit to do everything themselves. It’s all about making their own decisions, bookings and, yes, mistakes. Even though travel agents have much more knowledge on certain topics, FIT’s (currently one of the fastest growing types of tourists) have found that the internet allows for many travel planning opportunities. More and more bookings are done via Facebook these days, so be sure that you have someone who checks your social media pages on a day-to-day basis. These guests can be anything from budget travellers to glamour seekers. Be sure to identify their likes and dislikes as quickly as possible and make suggestions accordingly. Note to self: Identify guest’s favourite social media port and send them links to things they might want to see in your area. With FIT’s it is all about internet savvy and engagement through the right channels.

The Foreign Free Independent Traveller

Pretty much the same kind of guest as your FIT. The only difference is that when it comes to foreign countries, the help of a travel agent might still be called upon. They still, however, compare different places and prices – remember that the I-pad has become number one on many travellers’ packing lists. All it takes is the press of a button. These guests need some assistance and tips from your side. Be creative and give them a customized map of your area with everything you know they’d like to see. Think foreign.

Group Inclusive Tourists

These “groupies” tour in groups in order to save some money. The group doesn’t necessarily have the same common interests, but the travel costs are lower. Obviously these guests won’t be your big spenders, so keep them happy by keeping them comfortable.

Single Ladies

All the single ladies, all the single ladies….put your hands up for these girls who have taken the travel industry by storm. Everywhere I go I see promotions for ladies travelling on their own. Way to go for not letting singleness stand in the way of you wanderlust! Many establishments have special promotions running for this guest type – so many great opportunities here! Focus on keeping them safe, helping them meet new people and pampering them and you’ll be sure to gain a few extra guests!

These types of guests can be segmented even further – check out our next post on the different guest segments.

Share your thoughts with us by leaving a comment or connecting with Travelling Mystery Guest on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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What German hotels do differently

I’ve recently returned from a tour through Europe – mainly Germany. We stayed in some very fashionable hotels, in small town guesthouses and even in hostels. As a lover of all things hospitality and tourism I couldn’t help but compare their service to that of our own here in South Africa. You’ll be surprised with the following findings:

Breakfast in Berlin, Germany

Breakfast in Berlin, Germany

Very high high-five for SA hospitality

For one, I feel that South Africa’s friendliness in the hospitality industry earned a jump-in-the-air-high-five! It might be that the two cultures’ personalities clash a little, but be that what it is, we get much more smiles from South African receptionists than those in Germany. So, I salute you, SA hospitality peeps.

Make your own bed

One thing that blew my mind was the fact that most establishments, be it a hotel or a hostel, made the beds a little differently than we do. When you walk into the room you will find the duvet cover folded neatly in half and placed on the bed. The pillow cases are all double sized with the unfilled part folded in neatly under the pillow. I suppose they want to really show you that the bedding has been washed.

Coffee (not) in the room

Some hotels offered coffee in the rooms (for the first day). Others encouraged you to use the kitchenette downstairs, but the receptionists tend to watch you like a hawk. Where we get Cremora in most rooms, they provide guests with pourable creamer. Super delicious (and super fattening, I suppose). I’d recommend the small milk containers like those from Parmalat, though. The hostels are another story – most of them provide guests with coffee and tea on the house (as long as you wash your cup). J I must say, I was very impressed with Germany’s hostels. Clean and neat – even the kitchens.

Map on arrival

Most establishments provided us with a map on arrival, circling the exact spot of the hotel to indicate where we are. Some even went as far as to circle some of the most popular attractions, assisting us to identify the things we’d like to see the next day. In Prague (yes, I know it’s not Germany, but it impressed me THAT much!) we got a map that indicated different kinds of attractions – the romantic kinds (indicated with a heart), the historical kinds, the arty kinds, and more. Such a nice gesture showing that they cater for any type of tourist.

That’s why I love travelling – you get some tips from others, but also see what they can learn from you. Keep smiling, South Africa! It’s good to be known for friendliness – that’s one thing that makes people feel welcome and the number one requirement for hospitality.

March Workshops

Travelling Mystery Guest has quite a few really informative and motivating new workshops for you to attend in March! The company has also taken your busy schedules in consideration and therefore presents the workshops at your establishment at a convenient time for you and your employees. Now tell me that’s not customer service!

Workshops for March

Workshops for March

In March we will be taking a closer look at the most important social media ports and how you can use it to your advantage. You’ll learn more about the importance of storytelling, sharing relevant content with the right audience, engaging with customers on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ and much more.

If you can only attend one workshop in March, but you would like to learn more about the other topics as well, stay connected with us online. You will be able to find regular blog posts on similar topics, as well as some slideshares and other tips on a regular basis – it’s unfortunately just not as much fun as actually attending!

The workshops for March include the following topics (and if you would like us to include additional specifics in the workshop, please give us a shout!):

  • Creating the best content, storytelling and sharing with the right audience
  • Marketing your tourist destination on Facebook
  • Marketing your tourist destination on Twitter
  • Marketing your tourist destination on Google+ and LinkedIn

For bookings and more information about the workshops, what they include, how much it costs and more, feel free to contact us on 079 110 5674 / enquire@travellingmystery.co.za. Also follow Travelling Mystery Guest on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest and stay up to date with our whereabouts.

Some inspiration found on our Pinterest page

For those of us working with customers and guests on a regular basis:

 

“The best portion of your life will be the small, nameless moments you spend smiling with someone who matters to you.” – Unknown

See it on Pinterest

 

“Past customer service stories can be a great training tool that creates best practice examples for employees to learn from.” –Shep Hyken

See it on Pinterest

 

“Many companies have proven that if you treat the employees well, they will return the favour by treating your customers well.” –Shep Hyken

See it on Pinterest

 

And just for the fun of it all…

 

“Live simply, dream big, be grateful, give love, laugh lots.” 

See it on Pinterest

 

“You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.”

See it on Pinterest

 

“Life is like photography – we develop from the negatives.” 

See it on Pinterest

 

Follow Travelling Mystery Guest on Pinterest for more of the above and also for other interesting pins.

Meet the owner

It’s always good to know who you are working with…so here I am. 🙂 Hi, my name is Renate and I love hospitality and tourism.

Renate de Villiers

Renate de Villiers

Former teacher, guesthouse owner, tourism and hospitality lecturer and hotel PR and marketing campaign manager, I am completely in love with the hospitality and tourism industry. I love how everything comes back to one thing: helping others. Problem is – you are all so busy helping guests and keeping them happy that there’s no time to train staff. And THAT’s where I come in. I help you to keep your staff in the game with great, customized workshops on customer service, social media and more. I’ve had the dream of opening this company for over nine years and now it has happened at last! I can’t wait to meet all you lovely people. It’s gonna be a blast working with you.

What do I do in my “off-time”? Well, weekends are filled with excitement – visiting friends, going camping with my boyfriend, visiting friends, exploring Jozi and the rest of SA…visiting friends…you know- It’s a hard life!

I LOVE meeting new people, listening to their stories and taking on new challenges. I have trouble ignoring Pinterest, I take photos of everything and anything and I don’t judge restaurants, accommodation or food in my off-time. 🙂

Follow me on Twitter: @Renate_DV

Follow me on Pinterest: Travelling Mystery Guest OR Renate

What to look forward to this month

In essence, I’d say there is a lot to look forward to in addition to Travelling Mystery Guest’s workshops… like thunder storms in Jozi, Valentine’s Day, weekend camping (without the thunder storms) and much more. Still, Travelling Mystery Guest also has a lot for you to look forward to, including very exciting workshops on the following topics:

Workshops

Workshops (Picture from Google Images)

And THAT’s why the customer is in charge!

We sometimes tend to think we can sit back and let South Africa do its own marketing with it having won nature’s lottery and all. Unfortunately, with customers becoming more and more educated due to more engagement and involvement via social media, we cannot expect business to fall on our laps. We need to engage with, listen to and learn from our customers. They have the ball in their hands and we need to work on a strategy to ensure that we catch the ball every time. Yes, the customer is in charge. We just need to learn to manage it.

Exceed your customer’s expectations without too much effort

With time mostly not being on our side and the economy being on the down side, it is difficult to see how we can exceed our customers’ expectations without some effort. Travelling Mystery Guest gives hospitality and tourism professionals a few tips on how to identify certain ways in which you can keep customers happy. We need to fall back to the most basic of basics: humanity. We need to remind ourselves that a customer is also just a normal human being and with a little bit of understanding we can keep customers happier than happy. Talk to them like you understand, listen to them like you want to understand and walk towards them as if you are the only one who can help them.

I look forward to all of the above, as well as what you have to say about Travelling Mystery Guest’s workshops. I look forward to experiencing true South African hospitality this month and gaining more insight on customer service and exceeding expectations.

Book your on-site workshop now by contacting Travelling Mystery Guest on 079 110 5674 or enquire@travellingmystery.co.za. Follow TMG on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and stay up to date with the latest happenings.