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Friday, 06 May 2016 10:24

Service Excellence: More to Admin Than You Think

Written by Wynnette Hagan

20 Years in and you learn a thing or 2 about customer service in Hospitality. Most people know the basics such as the welcoming smile and immediate acknowledgement of guests as they arrive at your property. But there is a side to customer service that seems to have been forgotten by businesses. Contact with the guest before they arrrive at your property is equally important and affects the experience as much as the actual stay. Dealing with bookings on a daily basis there are a few key points that especially people in administrative positions need to keep in mind for excellent service:

Keep the Experience alive

Even in the online environment we work today, some guests still seek a connection or an experience with the service provider, whether they book a hotel room, dinner or a function. Thus it is imperative as service providers to provide regular communication by responding to enquiries timeously, no later than 24 hours after receipt. When calls or emails are not returned or responded to within at least 24 hours, the guest is left wondering if their booking is valued and thus confidence in the product is compromised. If you are unable to respond immediately at least make contact with the client to ensure they know you are aware of their request.

Fulfill your promises

Retaining information and carrying out the requested actions as requested by guests is paramount. We are in the information overload era and yet so much information is lost in invisible cracks within the industry. Example: if a guest asks for an upgrade due to a special occasion - keep proper record of the request and make sure it is communicated and actioned internally. There should be no negotiation on the delivery of a promised request. Too often we seem too eager to make the sale and have lost the drive to follow through without fail.

Staff

Providing good service begins with staff. Leadership that develop and provide clear directives of the service levels required create engaged staff. Happy staff experience equates to happy guest experience, from booking through to the stay.

Complaints

Coming into contact with unhappy clients is inevitable in hospitality. It is important to meet the complaint (no matter how uncomfortable) head on. Don’t shy away from taking responsibility for errors. Most importantly, allow the complainant to be heard and ask how you can make the situation better. Internal policies is all fine and well but if those policies don’t make the complainant feel better about the situation then it means nothing.

Written by Wynnette Hagan

wynette newWynette has worked in the hospitality industry for over 20 years. She has a wealth of experience in 5 star hotels across the spectrum that the industry offers from waitron through to management. Because she worked her way up she provides a unique perspective in all aspects of the hospitality industry. She has an enthusiasm for “Old School” hospitality and is passionate about sharing her knowledge and watching people develop their skills. She firmly believes that attitude reflects leadership and that leading by example is an essential managerial skill.

 

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