Taking Care of Business

Nancy Anderson
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Adults and families on vacation are happy to get away from home for awhile with no beds to make, no cleaning up, a pool and maybe a hot tub for relaxation. If the hotel has free breakfast and a happy hour, so much the better. Leisure travelers want to relax, create some pleasant memories and enjoy the sights.

Business travelers, on the other hand, are usually on a schedule. Their short stay is filled with client meetings, worksite visits, presentations and last minute schedule changes. Instead of getting away from the daily grind, they bring it with them, and keeping connected is a priority. A good night’s sleep, minimum distractions and interruptions to their schedule is of prime importance. After dealing with crowded airports, luggage hassles, and rush-hour traffic in a strange city, they just want to get to their rooms as quickly as possible.

How do you take care of the business traveler so that she can take care of business? Here are some high priorities for these weary travelers:

1. A reliable clock. Though the correct time is available on the TV or cell phone, finding the remote in the pitch dark isn’t as easy as just rolling over to look at the digital clock on the nightstand. Set at the correct time, please.
2. A friendly face at check in. The traveler didn’t sleep during the day like the night clerk did, so while they may be grumpy, they expect a friendly face, cheerful greeting and quick check in. Save the small talk for the morning.
3. A well- stocked room. No one likes to have to get dressed and go down to the front desk for soap or shampoo that is supposed to be there.
4. Reliable internet connection and remote printing – Free, is best. Also, stuff happens, so have a list of the closest Office Max, Kinkos, FedEx drop-off box and Post Office, with contact information, available at the desk.
5. Early breakfast hours – Breakfast that starts at 7:30 a.m. is too late for a meeting that starts at 8 a.m. across town. Some hotels have “to-go breakfast sacks” for the early risers with a muffin and an apple. Coffee is available 24/7 in the lobby.
6. A comfortable bed. What is comfortable is subjective, but have a least two kinds of pillows and an extra blanket available.
7. Quiet, Please. Avoid assigning the room next to the ice machine, elevator or the Shriner Convention’s hospitality suite.
8. A business center with supplies available, someone who knows how to get the printer set up and where the extra paper is.
9. Late checkout. Extending checkout from 12 noon to 1p.m. can give guests attending an event at your hotel a little extra time in the morning and time to pack up during a break. Every little bit of comfort and concern makes a big difference.

By Mary Nestor-Harper, SPHR, MJNH Consulting

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