Behavior Ignored is Behavior Accepted

Simple Tips for Coaching Challenged Hotel Managers and Associates

By Lizz Chambers Manager of Group Sales, Newport Hospitality Group | May 01, 2016

So much of what we do as hotel managers boils down to how we treat our team members. Not only must we be good role models, but we must also be observant and correct bad behavior before it turns into a habit. Three scenarios are presented to illustrate how overlooking certain actions may have negative consequences. From there, steps are outlined to help managers effectively coach their associates and ensure that all parties perform optimally from then on.

Scenario One

You walk by the hotel reception area, you hear the phone ringing and ringing…five…six…seven times. You observe Robert at the front desk checking in a guest and ignoring the phone. So you run to the back office, handle the call and say nothing to Robert. What have you just told Robert?

Scenario Two

You overhear your sales manager, Rebecca, answering an inquiry call. She listens to the caller and simply quotes rates and nothing more. She does not qualify the caller, present a benefit statement or even ask for the sale. However, she is polite and asks the caller to phone back if he or she is interested. Rebeeca sees you and knows you are listening. You understand that she is busy so you say nothing about the improper way the call was handled. After all, she was friendly. What have you told Rebecca?

Scenario Three

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Guest Service: A Culture of YES

In a recent global consumers report, 97% of the participants said that customer service is a major factor in their loyalty to a brand, and 76% said they view customer service as the true test of how much a company values them. And since there is no industry more reliant on customer satisfaction than the hotel industry, managers must be unrelenting in their determination to hire, train and empower the very best people, and to create a culture of exceptional customer service within their organization. Of course, this begins with hiring the right people. There are people who are naturally service-oriented; people who are warm, empathetic, enthusiastic, pleasant, thoughtful and optimistic; people who take pride in their ability to solve problems for the hotel guests they are serving. Then, those same employees must be empowered to solve problems using their own judgment, without having to track down a manager to do it. This is how seamless problem solving and conflict resolution are achieved in guest service. This willingness to empower employees is part of creating a Culture of Yes within an organization.  The goal is to create an environment in which everyone is striving to say “Yes”, rather than figuring out ways to say, “No”. It is essential that this attitude be instilled in all frontline, customer-facing, employees. Finally, in order to ensure that the hotel can generate a consistent level of performance across a wide variety of situations, management must also put in place well-defined systems and standards, and then educate their employees about them. Every employee must be aware of and responsible for every standard that applies in their department. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.