Staying Connected With Our Guests
BY – EDEL KAVANAGH Front Office Manager
Whether it’s welcoming our regular business travellers home after work each week, seeing excited loyal guests who are about to jet off on holidays or greeting families on the weekends who love to return to their favourite spot in Cork. We miss our guests here at Cork International Hotel.b OUr lobby has never been so quiet!
Writing cards, calling and emailing
In recent weeks, we have changed from checking in guests to checking in on guests. Even though our doors are closed, we won’t lose our commitment to excellent customer service. Last week I decided that staying engaged with our guests and maintaining our relationships was as important as any Zoom meeting or webinar at the moment. I have been writing cards, calling and emailing the guests we have come to know so well. For whatever its worth, I want them know we are thinking of them and wishing them all the best for their safety and health. It’s genuinely difficult for us to not know how the people we see more often than our extended families are doing. Every time I speak to a team member that is on temporary leave, they ask how our regulars are doing, genuinely concerned for their welfare. It has been nice to be able to report back to them and let them know that for the most part, all are well.
Blessed with the kindness of strangers
In a similar vein, we miss not getting the chance to meet new guests. It is always a pleasure for us to meet and exceed their expectations. One of the big jobs I have at the moment is calling any guest who has a reservation during our closure to cancel their booking. It has certainly been hard for me to lose the face-to-face contact I am so used to when speaking to guests. However, in what I imagined would be quite a disheartening exercise; I have been blessed with the kindness of strangers over the phone. Whether a quick email thanking me for my personal contact or a 10 minute phone call, I have been able to connect with guests across the globe that were looking forward to their upcoming trip. I have spoken to guests that had the holiday of a lifetime booked, I have spoken to guests that were looking forward to an anniversary celebration, were due to see their favourite band perform in the Marquee or were just planning their annual summer visit to Cork. Whatever it was, I have enjoyed conversing with them all regarding our mutual disappointments, fears of the uncertain future or the projects we have started at home to kill the boredom. Everyone I have had a chance to speak to has expressed nothing but the best support, and although their immediate reservations are cancelled, they have told me they look forward to when they can visit us in the future, giving me a hopeful picture of what the future holds for us, knowing that we will have people arriving as guests but leave as friends again.
The feedback brought such huge smiles
To all the guests who have sent us messages of support and well wishes, thank you. Back in Easter we sent out an e-zine wishing all of you a Happy Easter. I have never seen such a massive response to one of these emails. So many people emailed back to wish us all well. Reading through the feedback brought such huge smiles to the faces of my colleagues and myself. We received two new TripAdvisor reviews in recent days, guests that stayed months ago, but decided to take the time to write a review now. I know our teams are so delighted to get that recognition. Should you have the time, we would love to hear about your past experiences with us. Write us a review on TripAdvisor or Facebook, rate us on Google, send us an email, pick up the phone. Now more than ever, we are craving your review. A simple 5 minutes of your time to tell us about your happy memories here showing that our guests were still engaged and thinking of us, will be such a huge boost to our teams’ spirits, who are thinking of you too and counting the days until they can say their most used phrase, ‘Welcome to Cork international Hotel, how may I help?’.