Very often a well-studied marketing exercise may flounder if the first contact with the enterprise is not warm, engaging, or professional. So much study and energy by experts will merely fizzle out.
The first person one meets when entering a hotel is, in all probability, the doorman. He is literally the door to the world behind.
Insider Plus, which had never interviewed a doorman, decided to speak to Mr Igor Lobov, the doorman of Corinthia Hotel, St Petersburg. He had been indicated by several as a personification of the warmth of Corinthia service, even though he is relatively new in the hotel. In fact he has only been working there for five years and had immediately started working as a doorman.
How did he choose Corinthia? “My friends encouraged me to work here; they all had words of praise…so I took the plunge.”
Was he conscious of the fact that his was the first face clients saw when entering the hotel? Mr Lobov smiled and nodded. “I am very conscious of the importance of this. I continuously remind myself that my warmth, behaviour and friendliness are an essential introduction to Corinthia St Petersburg.” Insider Plus asked about Mr Lobov and the answers confirmed this.
“I am very happy with my job; it gives me so many satisfactions. Sometimes I feel I have helped others to start a good day when I exchange smiles and welcoming words early in the morning. I can tell when this is appreciated. Other times, when I see someone in low spirits, I make an extra effort to make that person feel wanted. Very often a kind, warm word suffices to uplift the life of others.”
Is this what he really loves in his job? “I simply love communicating with guests. I try to make them feel important, wanted and appreciated. When the guests respond in a friendly manner, I feel I have shared some of the Corinthia spirit with them.”
But surely there must be something in his job which irritates him. Mr Lobov paused for a few seconds to think of something but then answered: “You know? I love the guests so much that nothing irritates me. I sometimes train new doormen and that is what I repeat to them: ‘Pay attention to every single guest. Greet everyone with a sincere smile. Every guest is special.”
When asked if he ever thought of changing his job, Mr Lobov was quick on the draw. “No, certainly not. I am very happy and satisfied here. And I must add…I feel so at home with Corinthia. I sincerely feel part of the Corinthia family and enjoy the warm atmosphere created by my colleagues.”
Mr Igor Lobov shared a smile and left to welcome a new guest at the door, leading him to the Corinthia world of hospitality.