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What’s In a Name?

You are host to so many different guests in the course of a year, how can you possibly remember everyone’s name? The simple answer would be you can’t, and you (and they) just have to live with that.

But there’s another answer that may work better for you. Before we get into that discussion, think for a minute how good you feel when you go somewhere you’ve been before, or you’re at a place where you don’t expect anyone to know your name, and the proprietor or another staff member calls you by name. It feels good, doesn’t it? You feel special … like somebody cares about you. You have the power to make your guests feel that same way.

From the very beginning of your communications with a guest, use their name and use it often, without sounding silly of course. When you check them in, look them in the face and call them by name. That part is easy because you’re expecting them. If they ask about the area, use their name at least once during the conversation. When you see them in the hallway, or on the porch, or in the parking lot, call them by name. When you see them at breakfast, call them by name. The more often you do this the easier it will get. And if you happen to get it wrong, don’t worry. They’ll correct you and be happy that you tried.

You may even want to take a picture of your guests in front of your sign or other identifying feature of your property. That can serve two purposes: 1) you can share it with them as a reminder of their stay with you, either before they leave or in a follow-up communication (more on that in another post); and 2) you can keep a copy of their faces with their client record in your database, anticipating their return and the opportunity to call them by name as soon as you see them again.

Remembering names is an art for most of us. It doesn’t come easily or naturally, but with a little effort, you too can make your guests feel special, and more like family than a paying customer. That in turn will make them more likely to want to continue to be a paying customer. It’s the ideal “win-win”.

If you found this information valuable, or know someone who might, please feel free to share.