Excellent customer service is the backbone of the hospitality industry. You want to create the best experience for your guests when they’re at your hotel or restaurant so that they keep coming back and spreading the word.
These 6 skills are essential when working in a customer service role
In every hospitality position, you will need to be a good communicator, whether you are talking with other team members, or guests. This includes both written and verbal communication. You may need to create signs that clearly state directions, or guidelines for guests or write down some goals for your team members, or even write down inventory needs depending on your position and duties.
When you work in hospitality, you will interact with guests and team members of every background. It’s important to take the time to fully understand what every customer you interact with is telling you or needs and be able to figure out how best to help them.
Sometimes in customer-facing roles, you interact with more difficult guests, or an unexpected event happens that needs to be dealt with immediately. Hospitality professionals must be able to handle any situation with a level head to not escalate any situation or people around.
Each hospitality professional is part of a team and having a great work environment will translate into a welcoming and positive experience for the guests. Communication is also an important part of being a good team member.
It’s not only important to listen to and understand guests’ concerns but to also recognize how they are feeling. Put yourself in their shoes and think about how you would feel and how you’d want to be treated when you are interacting with the guest and coming up with a solution.
It’s always good to remember, “listen to understand and not to respond.” You will of course need to respond, but the point is to fully listen to what the person is telling you and not just immediately start to respond in your head before they finish talking.
How can you improve your customer service skills?
- Always find common ground with the people around you. Finding common ground with those you interact with can help all the people involved form a connection and help create empathy.
- Practice active listening in every conversation. Keep an open mind during the conversation, maintain eye contact and truly focus on what the person is saying. You should never interrupt but you can take advantage of pauses to ask questions to clarify your customer’s feelings and expectations.
- Train yourself to be more positive. Positive language plays a big role in how a guest perceives your message. Avoid using negative phrases, even if it’s “bad” news. For example, when interacting with a guest, focus on what you can do instead of what you can’t do.
- Become an expert at what you do. Learn everything about the hospitality industry and your specific employer, because the more you know, the better you will perform in your position and the more secondhand customer service skills will become to you.