Professionalism is more than what is seen – what one wears or how one appears. It is perceived loud and clear with the ear. Especially when, we cannot see the person we are speaking with. Such as on a phone call, in an email or online communication. This is when a culture of professional hospitality is more important than ever. And that culture exists when every team member at every touch point with every customer sounds equally professional, is equally helpful, and feels equally trustworthy.
The importance of the Sound of Professional Hospitality is vital when it comes to the non-visual communication etiquette of your team members. Reservation agents, room service order-takers, restaurant hostesses, guest services, sales and catering and accounting associates, regardless of position, regardless of how many guests they interact with, your companies professional hospitality is on display. These are the moments where your Sound of Hospitality is being conveyed and judged in a matter of seconds.
The greeting offered and the manner in which it is offered – words chosen and the speaker’s attitude – personify the degree of professional hospitality you offer. For instance, we’ve all experienced poor professionalism over the telephone: 10 rings before our call is answered and then we hear: “thankyouforcalling…pleasehold” followed by the: “CLICK!” Liberties are taken on the telephone and online that would never be taken in person. It’s times such as these that matter most. Anyone can be hospitable, professional and friendly when there exists no challenge or trying circumstances. It’s the true hospitality professional that maintains and delivers regardless of the circumstances.
SERVICE TRAINING vs. CREATING A CULTURE OF PROFESSIONAL HOSPITALITY
You can insure that every single one of your associates personifies professional hospitality at all times. The success of your efforts to ‘train’ your people has less to do with learning and everything to do with culture. Customer service programs provide knowledge. Whereas, the culture of professional hospitality exists where people don’t just know standards, they believe in and feel compelled to live up to them while on the job.
This difference influences every aspect of customer service, including telephone and online etiquette. People can easily be taught to use proper scripting. It’s simple to know what words one should use. It’s an entirely different matter to use them under all circumstances. The disconnect between what one knows they should do or say and the actual doing and saying of these things does not come from “head” knowledge. Rather, it comes from appreciating their importance toward fulfilling a deep desire to be a number one team in guest satisfaction.
When the culture of professional hospitality exists, team members have the mindset that they are selling return visits to your property. They are motivated to ensure that each and every guest, regardless of the circumstances or presence of a manager, hears the welcoming and comforting Sound of Professional Hospitality throughout their guest experience.