It really does amaze me how many large reputable hotels still don't put enough emphasis on staff training. It’s not the obvious smile and say 'Hello' politely service I'm talking about. It’s the genuine, observation, empathy and reaction to customers’ requests verbally and non-verbally. This is an art and it is sales so it is something I like to concern myself with. Hotels can excel themselves on small but unbelievably impactful little human gestures through taking time to help the staff to 'understand the customer'. Not just do what a Hotel customer service text book says but by actually being in the customers shoes.
I have a couple of examples I've picked out of where service could have been improved through the staff putting themselves in the customer’s shoes;
I arrive at a hotel having walked about 2-3 miles on a warm day to get there from the train station. There were no taxis at the station so I chose to walk. That's not the point. On arrival I was in need of a shower and once checked in I made my way to the room. The room unfortunately wasn't the room I thought I'd booked so I asked if I could change it at an extra cost of course. Again that's not the point. To make the change I called reception from the room I was currently in and the person I spoke to (who I later found out was the reception manager) said that he would personally bring the key over to me and help me move across but to give him just a couple of minutes. So I though great! However after waiting about 10-15 minutes (long time when you don't want to disturb a made up room) I called again and asked if anyone was coming with the key. The same person assured me that he was (no longer personally) sending someone right now. So this time I took my bags and waited outside the door. However after waiting another 10-15 minutes I decided to go to reception and make the change myself. I was not happy and it changed my whole perception of that hotel. The point: All he had to say was please can you come down to reception as we are rather busy just at the moment. I wouldn’t have batted an eyelid! He didn’t think about what I might prefer, he just said what he thought the text book would like him to say.
There's a well-known mid to upper market hotel that I often chose to
stay in at certain places, however there's one thing that I really
dislike at this hotel, and it’s the breakfast staff having a moan and
groan with each other within earshot of the customers. Actually it
happens in a number of Hotels. In this particular hotel though, it seems
to happen more.
Please train your hotel staff to understand what it's like to be in a customer's shoes. If you don’t' know how to do that. Let me help you!