When did we lose the hospitality in Hospitality?

Today we'll focus more on our accommodation based clients.

When your guests call your reservations department, what image do you want to portray? Naturally you want your guests to see your employees as professional, warm, welcoming, and just as excited for their stay as they are. But what happens when guests run into anything but that? Unfortunately, that is something guests experience more than you may realize. Even in your own call center.

After years working in and around hospitality call centers, I've seen and heard the damage that can be done by inexperienced agents, as well as agents who have no business dealing with guests due to guest mistreatment. Unfortunately, we oftentimes see these employees stay with a company for too long. Businesses hope they can turn them around, or even worse they don't realize there's a problem. What if the entire staff seems to be lacking in customer service skills? At that point many managers feel overwhelmed and try to ignore the problem.

Having been a reservations agent myself, I have been on the receiving end of an upset guest who dealt with a less than pleasant employee before me. It paints an awful picture for your business, and greatly upsets a guest who had envisioned their perfect experience well ahead of calling you. Not only will you definitely lose that guest's confidence in their upcoming stay, you will likely even lose their business altogether. Word of mouth is huge in hospitality, and guests know this. If you think one bad review from a disgruntled guest won't damage your company, you're wrong. It leaves a bad taste in everyone's mouth, and oftentimes potential guests will question how hospitable their stay will be. This is huge, because experience is what hospitality is all about. You can have the nicest accommodations in town, yet if your guests receive mistreatment before or during their stay, your business will suffer.

So what do you do to identify and solve these issues in your reservations and guest services departments? Bringing in an outside party like All Heart Consulting can help immensely. Reservation managers have a lot on their plate, for this reason even the best manager can miss opportunities for improvement. Bringing our company in will grant you an outsider's view. We will also work with you to improve upon your business and employees and provide an objective assessment of which employees may or may not be a great fit.

Believe it or not, "call center experience" is one of the last things I recommend managers look for when they're hiring new reservation agents. Why? Because the ability to answer phones and use a computer has minimal effect on your guest's experiences. We definitely need employees that can be efficient and are comfortable using their equipment day to day, however combining that with a warm, welcoming demeanor and a true "all heart" passion for their job is key. Hospitality is after all the very heart of your business.

Contact All Heart Consulting today to find out how we can help put the heart back into your business!

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kirsten@allheartconsulting.com    541-423-2665     Central Oregon and the PNW