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Ignore Hospitality Industry Customer Service Training at Your Peril

Jan 30, 2008
There are many people that are employed in the hospitality industry, but many of them have not had any hospitality industry customer service training that will help them serve their customers better. In this day and age, having employees that are fully trained in customer service will mean happier customers that frequent your restaurant and/or hotel.

One of the keys to hospitality industry customer service training is ensuring that your employees truly understand the concept of customer service. This goes above and beyond the age old adage that the customer is always right it includes little things that help to improve the quality of services that you provide to your customers in small ways that are noticed by your guests.

There are many reasons why customers choose your place of business, whether hotel or restaurant. Many people research businesses on the Internet before heading there or making a booking at a hotel or restaurant. They want to know what other people think and people who have been to your restaurant are not shy about posting their thoughts on the World Wide Web. If your waiter or waitress was sloppy, the cook sent out an incorrect order, or the maid didn't sweep the bathroom, your guests will post these on websites that offer a type of guest comment card for hotels and restaurants. However, it is also true that if a customer has a great experience, they will post that too. It goes without saying that people have an easier time posting and talking about their grievances than they do posting kudos for a job well done.

What you can do from a hospitality standpoint is ensure that your employees have hospitality industry customer service training that will help them bring the highest level of service to the customers you do have. Not having negative points against you posted anywhere is better than having as many kudos as there are grievances.

Instructing your employees in hospitality industry customer service training is important and you want to focus on the positive points that they can add to their own demeanour and service that will tip the scales to your favour with your guests and customers.

There are a few things you can add to your hospitality industry customer service training for employees that will help them to see that their job well done is noticed, as well as jobs not well done. Firstly, you should monitor the guest comment cards and the websites that offer these services on the Internet. When there appears to be a pattern of lack of customer service in a specific area, bridge the gap by recognizing the finer points of customer service that are lacking in that area.

You should share the reviews that you receive on your business with your employees. They will be much more cooperative in changing their behaviours if you tell them why you are asking for change in a certain area. Show them the proof of the lack of customer service and set the goals for improvement in those areas. On top of the goal setting, set some incentives for an improvement in customer service no one is eager to change their ways if they won't benefit in some way.

It's always a good idea to implement a full hospitality industry customer service training programme with your business, not only should you be teaching the finer aspects of good customer service, but teach your managers how to teach the same aspects. Empowering your staff to instruct and train their subordinates will free your time for bigger projects and increase the relationships and respect within the team.

It's also crucial to listen to your employees, they have voices in your business. Talk to them about what they think is the most important aspect of their customer service. You'll hear things like menu knowledge, smiling, quick service, and more. Expand on those basic principals as to what the customers are saying is most important and impart those ideas to your employees.

Hospitality industry customer service training is an ongoing project that never ends. There are always improvements to be made by everyone, from janitorial and maintenance staff to management alike.
About the Author
Robert Bylett helps Food Service Business Owners explore possibilities, makes choices and create solutions that optimise performance, and maximise return on investment. Find out more at Just Consultancy
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