Posted on May 30, 2009
After 11 years as innkeepers, we still take time to reflect on how we interact with guests.
Few humans are good at self-evaluation. We either justify our own bad behavior or blame ourselves for everything that falls short. Ego or lack of it obliterates the nuance.
Our guests are here for two or three days, then depart with pleasantries and even hugs. But we’re left to wonder if we did all we can to make their getaway to Asheville and Weaverville the best it could be. Did we give all we could of ourselves?
We believe in the axiom that a complaint is a gift. When we do hear of a shortcoming, we work to correct it before it spoils someone else’s experience. But a heartfelt compliment is a gift as well. When one out of hundreds of visitors takes the time to write a few lines of thanks, it reminds us what we’re doing right. It motivates us and removes doubt that might waste energy we could use elsewhere. We don’t fish for compliments, though we do delicately remind guests now and then that they can review us at TripAdvisor, Bedandbreakfast.com or Iloveinns.com, as well as other sites. But when a compliment comes in, it makes our day.
At the risk of sounding self-serving, we’d like to share an email we got from Bill and Michele of Virginia, who once had lived in Asheville. Their email is as much in praise of our area as it is of Inn on Main Street, so future guests should take note of their experiences. They stayed here only one night before going to visit friends nearby, yet we felt like we’d known them quite awhile. Their note:
Hi Nancy and Dan,
We just wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed staying with you all last Friday night. (We had the Lee room.) It was so wonderful to come “home” to Asheville. (Thos Wolfe was not completely right!) The room we had was clean and restful, and your breakfast was outstanding. After we left you on Saturday morning, we headed up to our beloved Craggy Gardens for a nice hike (tried to find Douglas Falls, but never quite made it that far. Oh well….Nevertheless, the hike was spectacular. Again, a way to make us feel at home again.
We went to Barley’s Taproom for their veggie pizza (for us, that means roasted red peppers, spinach, and mushrooms). We were not disappointed! Sunday included visiting our church in Asheville, where we were greeted like royalty, lunch with church friends, and a walk in the Arboretum with yet another friend. We ended Sunday with a trip to Jack of the Wood, where we were privileged to hear some of the very best musicians who play there frequently. They took my request of a favorite Irish jig and played their hearts out! (Bill said this particular group was too good for him to play with, so he just happily listened.)
We are hoping our next visit won’t be so long in coming. In the meantime, we thoroughly enjoyed staying with you, and hope to do same another time.