Grooming a host or hostess into pleasing manners
Good manners earn goodwill. The service industry such as the
hospitality sector in particular should be made aware of that more than
anyone else. It would certainly be a capital idea to start training at
the top. Teaching the executives how to be on their best behaviour is
crucial to any organisation. And that includes the general managers as
Many hotels and service organisations are now hiring corporate image
consultants to conduct motivational workshops for their middle and top
level management. These workshops on business etiquette and image
building focus on how executives could become high achievers without
compromising on good manners.
Customer service in hotel industry
A really effective consultant is not easy to find. But a true
professional would be able to mould you into an adequately responsible
host. But the mission of business etiquette workshops is to drive home
the importance of striving to play the perfect host.
It is not always easy being a people-pleaser in the service industry.
But it pays to be flexible as you go through your career picking up
clues about what people want and expect, and doing your best to please
them. You can sometimes struggle when confronting people who should be
confronted, but always remember to handle even the worst situation with
Remember some customers bring cheer and sunshine wherever they go.
Others whenever they go! That is because people in customer service
occupations, especially the hospitality industry encounter customers
with varying moods and issues.
These industries are highly competitive. In the hotel industry in
particular customers pay good money and expect some sort of comfort and
a certain degree of pampering. They certainly deserve their money’s
worth. One mishap or bad-mannered instance can put a customer off
completely. Such an occurrence might stop a customer from visiting a
hotel or a sales outlet forever.
Many human resources (HR) managers are of the opinion that it takes
at least a dozen repeated efforts to set one mistake right.
Receiving a guest
And the important factor that everyone in the trade can easily relate
to must be emphasised forcefully into the rank and file of all such
organisations. Discourteous or disgruntled employees are a detriment to
any workplace. Any administration that causes employee dissatisfaction
should be revamped fast. As the old saying goes, where there is fear
there is no cheer. But it takes a true professional mindset to conjure
up an inspirational motto than can enthuse a complete workforce into
successfully achieving such a mission.
I believe I have come up with a winner while lecturing on promotions
and public relations and image building. It is a simple, sweet and short
dictum and something everyone could easily connect to. My theory: Good
manners earn you goodwill! And goodwill is deposited directly into your
savings bank account. The more goodwill you earn, the bigger your
account grows. This is converted into a self-esteem bond and no
misfortune can shake you.
Good motivational coaches do have a great many innovative
suggestions, which are certain to benefit management and supervisory
level personnel. That is because proper training is absolutely essential
in such high-stress jobs. But the real success of such workshops lies in
all these ideas percolating to the lower-level staff as well. That is
because they are the frontline troops. Customer satisfaction and loyalty
in the hospitality and tourism business greatly depend on frontline
service providers - employees who are in first contact with the
customer. Telephone and office etiquette are equally important. Details
such as how to receive a guest, offer the perfect handshake, introduce
guests and offer business cards must be effectively driven home.
The frontline is an important part of the bottom-line, in both profit
and customer satisfaction terms. The ultimate value an organisation can
communicate is the personal touch. As such the emphasis must be on good
recruiting and selection programmes which are essential to a firm’s
ability to provide superior service at the frontline.
Being a people pleaser in the hotel industry
Not everyone is well-suited to be a frontline customer service
provider. Customer contact personnel must possess the proper combination
Firms will have a distinct advantage, if they have well-structured
employee selection procedures, such as behavioural interviewing methods.
All firms should also consider emotional intelligence screening of
The stress of the frontline requires that providers have the ability
to manage their own emotions and recognise the emotions of others.
Some people imagine that good manners may be construed as fawning
behaviour and that doing so might project you as a pushover. Not so.
Good manners are not a sign of weakness. On the contrary they are a
positive example of displaying confidence and optimism under pressure.
They demonstrate poise and dignity and inspire subordinates and
co-workers to achieve higher standards of excellence. One doesn’t need a
big ego, like a blown balloon, to command respect. People with blown up
egos are actually hiding their flaws. A smart person can easily prick
Yes, it is possible to be good mannered, yet firm. As superiors, you
must if the need demands it, give your subordinates a shove to wake them
up from their comfort zone. It is often worth it.
A gentle push can work wonders at times particularly when you master
the art of disagreeing without being disagreeable.
All such industries should remember that human capital is the most
valuable asset of their organisation. Whether your employees wear
professional attire, business, casual, or uniforms, their image and
behaviour significantly affect your brand and therefore your bottom
line. Enhancing their professionalism gives your organisation the
Most professional consultants will touch on every conceivable aspect
of image building, leaving nothing out, including certain touchy
subjects such as advice on personal grooming. These involve lessons
right from hair, dental and nail care to conservative business dressing
such as tying the perfect half-Windsor knot and wearing the appropriate
suit for different occasions.
Many executives may feel a bit uneasy when they are offered advice
about personal hygiene and manners. But a thorough consultant will
continue unperturbed on his mission.
They will carry on regardless, unmindful of the squirming or the
occasional frown or blushes. Certain things may not be palatable to the
listeners and may sound explosive. But they nonetheless must be
explained and instilled in the staff.
Never assume that no one would notice how you are. Everyone notices
everything - right from body odour to unclean socks.
In reality you cannot control what people think of you. But you can
control that image and project what you want to convey of yourself.
Aspects such as what you wear, your personal possessions, the way you
carry yourself can make or break your image. The real shift happens
inside you, not outside.
I truly believe the best hospitality service requires that employees
are never preoccupied. Providing exceptional guest service is a
full-time job. It is a hard job. It is challenging, and to each guest,
it is the most important thing you can do.