Man is by nature a social animal
Philosopher Aristotle said this over centuries ago, but the fact has not changed a bit. Humans were, humans are and humans will always be social animals. We need people around us to talk to, to share tit- bits of our lives, to be heard and to be understood.
The hospitality industry is one of those sectors where one sees a daily influx of new faces; people who are travelling for work or on vacation, people who are alone or with family and friends. Whatever the case maybe, all these people look forward to a comfortable stay at the hotel. While the best of amenities and decent bedding can make a guest comfortable, the emotional connect that you make with the guest makes the hotel homely.
However, like managing a hotel, connecting with strangers on a daily basis is not easy. It requires the three As – Aware, Alert and Available. Be aware of the guest’s purpose of visit. Be alert to the needs and queries of the guests and be available to help them out whenever they need.
Here are seven tips to help you be aware, alert and available to your guests.
Emotionally intelligent staff will be sensitive and patient to the needs of the guests. Include empathy and thoughtfulness in your job requirements. You can also hold workshops to train your staff in handling fraught situations well.
One way of connecting with people is using their names. Train your staff in addressing each other with the first name and addressing the guests with the suitable title and surname while speaking with the guests directly and while conversing with the staff. For example – “John could you show Mr and Mrs Cruise to their room?” As a thumb rule, never refer to the guests by their room number.
If you know why the guests are travelling, you can customize their services. Present a bottle of champagne to honeymooners, a box of toys for a family with kids, guides to whose out for sight-seeing. These small gestures make the guests feel welcome and wanted. But remember to let them know you’ve organised these things for them specially. Only then will the gesture be recognized and appreciated.
It is a tendency of employers to ensure friends don’t work in the same team or department. The fear is that they might end up chatting more than doing any work. Try the opposite for a change, especially on the front office. When employees work with their friends they tend to be happy and thus more efficient at their job. Happy faces at the front desk draw customers like magnets too.
Encourage your staff to leave the desk once in a while to interact with the guests. Circulate the public areas in the hotel and ask guests about their stay and be friendly with the guests. Win their hearts by showing them you care.