Receptionist or Director of first impressions?

Have you experienced or hoped for this to happen?
A warm welcome with a big smile, cup of coffee, tea or water, some sweets and chocolates placed right in front of the reception desk, a smooth check-in process, a room with a nice view – getting all you asked for and meeting all your needs!

In reality we experience often the opposite when entering a hotel. Rooms not being ready, lost bookings, time delay, being ignored or simply a long operation process.

This type of first impression ensures your hotel a bad image that will subsequently be difficult to change. Research shows that the power of a first impression is incredibly high.

Have you ever thought about the crucial role the receptionist plays affecting the customer’s first impressions of the hotel?

What kinds of receptionists do we typically find in hotels? Let’s take a look:

The “social butterfly” receptionist
This receptionist initiates contact with the customer by small talk and by asking questions. As a consequence the guests quickly find themselves chatting with the receptionist and even telling him/her about their personal lives during the check-in process. In this case, the receptionist acts like a social butterfly and keeps close contact with each guest.

The “minimalist” receptionist
This receptionist only asks the process oriented questions, and provides the very basic information to complete the check-in process before leaving the room key quickly on the desk. This gives one clear message to the guest: You are free to go, find your own way to your room. What about breakfast- and dinner options? Search online, because this receptionist clearly is neglecting you.

The “interrupted” receptionist
The interaction here starts with a friendly smile, the guest starts feeling comfortable… but then there forms either a long queue behind the guest, or another hotel employee constantly interrupts the receptionist by asking questions. This in turn makes the customer lets comfortable to interact with the employees as well as frustrates the customer.

Whatever types you have behind the desk, they should be taking responsibility for designing an ideal visitor experience and be dedicated to make sure that your company makes a great first impression on visitors.


Are your receptionists brand ambassadors? Do they make sure that your company’s character is reflected in the reception area and the visitor experience? We can measure your customer experience and help you change and improve your employees performance. We increase customer and employee engagement by advising you about the brand promise and the actual experience. There are plenty of ways that front desk staff can take ownership of the visitor experience!

Let’s change your receptionist into a Director of first impressions! Download the factsheet

We make the gap visible with mystery evaluations.
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Would you like to know more about our Mystery Shopping Solutions? Click here! And learn more about Inprove.



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