In Hospitality, front is the backbone

The word HOSPITALITY is defined by Google as the friendly and generous RECEPTION and entertainment of guests, visitors and strangers.

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When talk of hospitality as an industry, we deal with fragile ego of a lot of consumers who avail or seek to avail the services from their prospective sellers.

Any typical reservation at a hotel goes in this particular order.
1. Inquiry over the phone.
2. Sending an email
3. Reply from hotel with all details a guest needs to know.
4. If guest is satisfied, a confirmation from their side.
5. A reply from hotel side with a welcoming gesture.

If all goes well, a booking from even a maiden customer can be made in 4 total emails ; 2 by each side. A typical front office consists of reservation people, front office staff, customer relations executive in particular and others in general. ,In this industry front office is THE BACKBONE if we particularise it to hotels. ‘First impression is the last impression’ applies very much aptly to this industry. By basic human nature , your customers judge you right from the first time they call your hotel for general inquiries. They note your tone, pitch and even the quality of information.

After the booking is made, confirmation is done, its time for the guest to arrive. Many hotels provide the guests with pick and drop facility to ensure their smooth arrival. It is therefore very important for a hotel to provide correct information on time to the the person receiving the guest. A guest will be more than happy and appreciate your gesture if he/she is received and welcomed with a genuine smile. Again by the law of nature, no one wants to feel unwelcomed or unwanted wherever he/she goes.

I have been a traveler and many times I have noticed that the front office staff which is both mirror and back bone of the hotel lacks finishing. I have canceled by bookings at several instances due to unprofessional behavior of the front office staff. Most of the hotels do not hire highly qualified persons for front office jobs. In fact that area is one ignored area. People at front office desk should be presentable, apt with multiple languages should know a little in and out of the world as most of the times guests try to establish conversation with the front office people just to get a hang of what kind of services could they expect from hotel. If the replies are not friendly, the guest will always carry a negative image and most likely will never return back.

When an organization sets some standards for themselves, it is very important for them to abide by that, rise higher, but not lower them. A guest complains when what he gets is not what  he expected from company as per his perceived image. Here comes into picture another important person, a guest relation manager. It is their duty to ensure that queries of the guests are resolved as they are very important link between the organization and its customers. A customer is more likely to overlook other mistakes of he or she is well taken care of by the front office staff. It is therefore very important for the front office staff to work together as a team.

Like Gandhi said, “Every customer coming to your doorstep is IMPORTANT.” So give importance to every customer you cater and you are good to go. Cause in customer satisfaction lies your progress.

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The art of unsettling : Your leap of faith.

Every Indian parent has 3 dreams for their kids.
1. Child should be well settled ( good business or job)
2. Own house.
3. SANSKARI life partner

Our parents are very much protective about us. They want to make sure their child is not facing any trouble. They protect us from all evil. The bad part of this is we never learn to step out of our comfort zone till very late. One fine day when we are out there in world, we are vulnerable.

Only way out is unsettling.

Unsettling is basically getting out if your routine. Your comfort zone. Following your instincts and guts. Its about jumping off the cliff with a belief. A faith in your own self. I have done it by myself.

Kid you not the feeling is amazing. I have been constantly unsettling in my life, right from childhood.

I came to Goa when I was 10. That was the first unsettling. It took time to get used to this environment. New place , new people. When I saw there was no way back, decided to march ahead. I was great at languages. Could have gone for Art’s stream. It was suggested that I do it. But I decided to go for science, math being a weak point. Then it was my fate that decided to unsettle me. I flunked in boards of class 12. Devastated I was.

One year down the line I enrolled myself in college for bachelors degree in computer applications. Yeah I was weak at complicated math and I wanted to be computer guy. This time I thought let’s settle down with this. But then it was November 2010 when I saw an ad on TV. It was regarding a college fest by channel V happening at Goa. I took chance. Threw myself to it. For the first time I step my foot in events. Yes , UNSETTLING it was. I was more interested on events now and less in computer applications cause the events appealed me. Planning, marketing, production, execution gave me high. It was kind of ego booster that I could do anything I wanted to.

May 5, 2012. On this vary day, I entered hospitality industry. I joined my uncle’s chain of hotels as THE reservation manager. It was nothing like computer apps and events. It was kind of combination of both but completely different. I unsettled one more time. I succeeded there as well. Only reason was that I never lost faith in myself. I look my leap of faith and jumped into it.

In 2013 , I thought to give a try at entrepreneurship. I started my own book renting company. I always worked with my dad in his clothing business but, this was my OWN venture. It was unsettling of its kind. I was out there in market on my won this time. I was also preparing for my MBA by side. I got interview call from a reputed institute. But this time fate wanted to unsettle me. My sponsor backed out. There I was. My book company shut. I was back to my earlier work place. This time as business development manager instead of reservations. But in two months I felt I could do this very easily. There was no growth factor left anymore. So I called it quilts.

Today I m working at a 4 star company as asst. Reservation Manager and it’s nothing like my earlier work place. There are rules, work timing, corporate culture which I’m new at. I could continue what I was doing. I could continue working as reservation cum business development manager but I’d never grow as I attained highest possible ranking. More importantly we also need to grow as person who we are. I have always had faith in me and to my good luck my family has faith in me.

I will always unsettle and take leaps of faith. You too do it. Its amazing.