8th August 2018

In a highly competitive hotel industry, at RBH we believe it’s essential that high quality customer service starts from the minute guests arrive – first impressions are everything.

That’s why we consider the operational excellence of our hotels’ reception areas to be a vital part of ensuring a great stay for guests.

After all, it’s where relationships are first developed and maintained, and an efficient and friendly welcome can make all the difference, particularly after a long journey.

So what does our Receptionist of the Year think is the key to nailing that successful first impression?

Frances Balsillie, Reception Manager at the award-winning Princes Street Suites in Edinburgh, was happy to share her top tips.

We spoke to her as she was preparing for August, the city’s busiest month – and she remained determined that Princes Street Suites would provide its usual level of outstanding customer service.

Here are her insights…

Listen to your clients
Frances says:

The main part of my role centres around looking after our guests – making sure they get exactly what they want and expect from us. I ensure bookings are confirmed correctly and that any specific requests from guests are taken care of in time for arrival.”

Guests appreciate a smile:

I would say my approach is a lot of fun. I think that you get back what you put in, and people appreciate a smile and some humour. They’ll pick up on a happy vibe, and begin to feel comfortable and relaxed when staying with us.”

Approachability is key:

If someone comes in with a problem and you are able to help them, it’s a great feeling. You see the difference you make to guests, and that’s fantastic.

We are open and friendly, and people feel like they can – and want to – approach us. In our apartments, there’s no separate concierge desks or anything like that, so we offer the full package and are fully involved with the entire guest experience.”

Multi-tasking is a vital skill:

Everyone here multi-tasks, so we all get a taste of everyone’s different jobs.  It’s a necessity in a small team and within the apartment set-up. Being able to turn your hand to different jobs within the property ensures guests are never left without help and always have someone knowledgeable on hand.”

Go the extra mile:

Being flexible and able to go above and beyond for guests when you can is really important. One of our guests had a son who took ill on a flight over to Edinburgh, and they had to stay here for two weeks as she couldn’t travel back while he was in hospital. We worked with the guest to make their stay as easy as possible, including putting them in a lower floor apartment for easier access when her son got out of hospital.

We also had a guest bring along her partner, who she wanted to propose to on our rooftop terrace. We set up the terrace without her partner having any idea, and they are returning to Edinburgh for the wedding!”