We met Angela de Michele who manages the Garibaldi Relais in Sciacca and who has convinced us in our contest #IlFuturoNelleNostreRadici that you can find HERE, first by writing her story on Sciacca and then by involving her past customers from all parts of the world.
She also introduced us to her friend Betty with whom she meets every day to talk to each other and discuss the situation of tourism in this wonderful corner of Sicily.
Managing a B&B is not easy and, amid ever new laws and uncertainties related to the image of the area, one must remember to always put the customer at the centre of one’s attention.
Because the real effort is not to win over a customer who can also find us by chance, but to establish a relationship that leads him to return.
Loyalty and word of mouth are the best weapons we can use after the first contact with a customer.
When you decide to open an accommodation facility in the centre of an ancient village, you can choose to take a chance to attract a tourist that already knows the territory that has found the place independently, or you can become catalysts of a process of rebirth of an entire territory.
Today Angela wrote us to share her joy with us: opening the mailbox, she found a letter that one of her guests sent to her once she got home. A letter that all managers of accommodation facilities would like to receive and which summarizes her years of work:
“To enter the guest’s heart to be able to give him good memories and emotions that he will not easily forget.
We choose the place for its monuments, for its climate, for its sea or because it is counted among the fashionable tourist destinations … we choose the place to stay because it is recommended by friends, by reviews, by the location or by beautiful photos.
But if we combine all this with the soul and hospitality, we have contributed to making our guest’s stay happy, as in this case “.
And let’s take some excerpts from the letter:
“Dear Ms. Angela,
In all my previous travels, I have always rejected the idea of a stay at B&B facilities, believing them, wrongly, unable to offer professionally hospitality features and classic hotel services.
I have had to change my mind and appreciate the sense of hospitality, human warmth, cleanliness, organization, discretion and confidentiality … I also realized that what you received from your friendly human behaviour, together with that of your family members, is enough to make you leave a good memory of where we stopped to rest, and that’s what you need on the road.
… A happy ongoing good luck for the social mission that you have taken on by renovating a historic property of rare beauty in a historic centre full of tradition and culture perhaps over one hundred years old.
I hope to be among your guests again as soon as possible … It would be appreciated if you would inform me of the appropriate period coinciding with “festivals” of next year … “.
If you run a B&B and you have not yet received a letter like that, then perhaps you have to ask yourself what you offer your client. What did you give him not so much in terms of specifications but in terms of human experience.
And one last tip: Angela’s story is special because for many years she has worked as a deputy manager in large hotel chains, which make customer focus their strong point.
If you want to start a new business or if you want to improve yours, go and learn from the best. Do not hesitate to attend training courses, even short ones, on how to improve details such as those of Amico del Turista (www.friendoftourist.com).
The devil is in the details!