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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