One site inspection that stands out for me was at a resort in Arizona. From the moment I arrived, I felt that they sincerely wanted my business. Every staff member addressed me by name. The sales manager had done her homework ahead of time and knew everything about me, from my preference for food and beverage, to my music, magazines, and even the names and ages of my children. I was checked into a beautiful room with a food & beverage amenity that included my company’s logo, the selection of music that I had provided was playing on the radio, and I had a welcome note from the sales manager, food & beverage director, and the hotel’s general manager.
Guest Services called soon after I arrived, to make sure I was comfortable and to see if I needed anything. The site inspection itself included a few surprises, such as a champagne toast and hors d’oeuvres in the kitchen with the executive chef. Lunch included a station reception for fewer than six people, complete with live entertainment. I was really blown away by the level of thought that went into preparing for the site visit.
Know the Hot Buttons
A southeast resort actually had a site inspection coordinator who created a unique, experiential walk-through. When we went to see the sleeping rooms, the director of housekeeping talked about the room amenities, turndown service, and how they would take care of VIPs.
One of our hot buttons is the bar being open late for our attendees (and fully staffed). When we walked by the bar, the manager came over with a tray of beverages and talked about the bar hours and the flexibility when groups come in of extending and ramping up staff. During our tour of the meeting space, the AV company had set up a projector with our company’s logo and had a few custom slides scrolling, which really exemplified a customer-centric experience. The executive chef told us about partnering with local farmers to support the community. The general manager and senior leadership had explained that our business is important.
For a site inspection at a West Coast resort, our sales contact asked us before we arrived what we liked in regard to refreshments in our room. He didn’t want to do “booze and bananas,” and really paid total attention to what was important to us as travelers and as potential clients. It was quite simple really—he listened! Not only was he friendly, professional, and energetic, he was so proud of his property and very well informed of all facets of the resort.
Take Care of Your Customer
An Arizona resort presented a spa-themed site inspection complete with aroma therapy foot soaks, chair massages, chilled towels at every turn, a spa lunch, and amazing spa amenities in the room. Definitely a demonstration that the property and staff understand how to focus on guests’ needs.
Give Them S'more
When we arrived at a West Coast resort, the entire sales department and the general manager were there to greet us. They incorporated an “intro to the spa” with chair massages; they branded the hotel with gobos of our corporate logo; the catering department arranged for s’mores by the firepit; and the stationery in my room was personalized with my name. Their attention to detail was exceptional and left a permanent impression on me!
Roll Out the Red Carpet
A city property literally rolled out a huge red carpet across the lobby, lining up at least 40 hotel staff who shook our hands and made a point to say “thank you” or “ we would love to earn your business” or “we welcome the opportunity” as we walked down the red carpet. We were a team of eight, and as we walked through the hotel, staff greeted each of us by name. Super impressive! At every turn they knew us and went out of their way to address us. Client logos were incorporated into our meals on the site, and our pillowcases were customized at turndown!
Try a Useful Takeaway
When we arrived for our site inspection at a hotel in Japan, the entire senior staff, including the general manager and the chef, was lined up to welcome us. A photographer snapped a photo, and as we left we were given a framed copy of the photo with everyone’s signature, plus a brief bio of each of them. This was very helpful for remembering names. The service was incredible, and we are going back there for a second time. This effort made during the site inspection had given me an idea of the service we were going to get.
Share Your Team's Creativity
One summer we visited a city resort that had been booked for our 400-person conference. Since the business was booked, the hotel didn’t need to roll out the red carpet to show my team of four their capabilities—but they did it anyway. The head of the conference team (not just our CSM) spent a lot of time with us and shared many ideas of things we could do, even ending up selling us on a unique event idea using the back of house. It was a huge effort on behalf of entire hotel staff.
Check All the Boxes
At a resort in the southeast U.S., our convention services manager set up a schedule for us to meet all our important contacts for the potential upcoming program. It was done with military precision, as we were able to meet face to face with those who would make or break our upcoming program. We were able to discuss specific venues for events, décor, room gifts, tennis and golf tournaments, etc. It took the better part of the day, but was well worth the time spent, and in fact led to our taking several groups there through the years—every one being perfect in execution.
Show How Much You Want it
Years ago a city property really wanted our business. It was not the usual grade hotel we use, but because the salesperson was so totally attentive and eager to get our business, and she got the rest of the staff, including the general manager and every department head to greet us when we arrived, we felt as if they would create the kind of experience we were used to. And we did book an important meeting there.