The hotel staff is a critical element of the hospitality experience in a hotel. The meaning of a five-star experience is a complete, holistic series of events that creates the 5-star service we all seek, service that answers the international standard of quality, excellence, respect, consideration and guidelines defined by an international code and protocol.
Hotel staff includes human resources from different backgrounds and professional experiences, sometimes lacking any experience in the hospitality field. Therefore, the first and most important topic to deal with beyond basic training is teaching and introducing the staff with the official, international, formal hospitality protocol, leading us directly to the first point of our hospitality standards:
- Coherency and persistency: All guests expect the same high level of service from all hotel staff – from room service staff to hotel managers. Therefore, all staff should obtain the same high level of conduct, presentation, and service. Guests around the hotel are exposed to your employees in all times of the day and it’s important that employees will understand the importance of the hotel hospitality protocol and the effort needed from them in order to keep the service levels up and running at all times. A beautiful looking hotel with sloppy staff members fail in their service mission as well as a hotel with a well-designed lobby that has a rude greeter welcoming the new guests, it can cost you repeating guests and hotel reputation.
- Get into the mind of the guest: Put yourself in their shoes, plain and simple. Successful training will place the employee in the shoes of the guest and help him understand his own behavior better. A problematic, non-caring or rude behavior of one staff member can ruin strong effort by other staff members or hotel executives. Always ask your guests to follow the service levels they would love to receive when they arrive in a hotel, their own perspective will create a deep understanding of the behavior he must embrace.
- Manners and etiquette: It may sound obvious but unfortunately, it’s rarely is. The meaning of true ideal manners in a hotel starts with the small details. For example: All hotel staff should always be ready to answer guests’ requests, never play with their phone and not have personal conversations on the floor. Being extremely talkative with a guest can also be interpreted as a problematic behavior – it means your staff is busy with one person that interests him and ignores others around – it’s all about balance! Presentation wise, staff should always look fresh and clean with clean uniform and a cheerful attitude. Any staff members lacking those elements holds a potential intrusion to the hotel image and reputation.
- Communication with client and staff: It’s important to train employees on problem solving as well as teaching them about providing the correct answers for common hotel issues. Learning about problematic situations ahead of time can help staff members think on their feet, answer in a precise, positive matter and avoid any harm to customer service by creating a potential disappointment for the guests as well as longer wait time to receive answers from a higher level of management. Improving problem-solving skills will upgrade the service across hotel levels.
- Personal attitude with a personal touch: Satisfied guests are guests that will return to stay at the hotel, spread recommendations and even share a viral social media post that may contain a selfie with welcoming hotel staff or Instagram shots of the hotel breakfast, those word-to-moth advertising moments are priceless. On the other hand, unsatisfied guests can create a hazard on line and offline by spreading the word about wrongful or disappointing customer service they received. Negative content online spreads fast! It’s also recommended you’ll create a returning-guest program that will recognize guests that are coming back to the hotel by providing special treatment, remembering small details from past visits and letting guests know how much you appreciate them returning to the hotel. Small touches of personal care make a huge difference in customer experience and in guests’ will to invest their money into your establishment again and again.