Why the art of telephone conversation is so vital in hospitality
Building relationships with a guest starts long before the step through the door
So.. pick up the phone!
As more customers get in contact to book, rebook and simply ask questions, your task is to not only give information but also to reassure and give that important first impression.
A personal phone call, when handled well, can not only get to the heart of an issue quickly, it can pick up on any side issues: a tone of voice, a hesitation, a sense of relief when a customer has been listened to properly.
After all we are in the hospitality business; we should aim to be hospitable.
The dictionary definition of hospitable – [adj] ‘friendly and welcoming to guests and visitors’.
Of course, email is efficient. Email confirms bookings in large quantities, sends out brochures and gathers booking details accurately and with ease. I often see, however, less confident, less experienced staff jumping to the keyboard to handle every enquiry and sort out every outstanding issue.
Guests are only welcomed pre-arrival with a string of email chains.
Training in telephone skills can be a valuable investment for customer-facing staff and for your brand.
Selecting the appropriate option
Of course, we haven’t mentioned the elephant in the room. Or rather the Zoom in the room.
It’s a good option for conversations with suppliers and business contacts but contrary to popular post-lockdown belief it’s not compulsory to video call for every meeting.
Picking up the phone can be quicker, more straightforward and not as pressurised especially for those who feel awkward staring at the screen.
Pick the right tool for your contact to make the most of your meeting.
Has your communication technique changed post-lockdown?
With staff furloughed, many business owners have had to take the up the reins on Reception.
Have you had more direct customer contact recently?
I’d be interested to hear if you found that guests could be reassured and issues sorted more quickly by phone or keyboard?
Let me know!