30th May 2023

What is customer service and why is it important for you?

Customer service is a key aspect of having your hospitality business run smoothly, but in order to have this, we must first be able to differentiate between customer service and hospitality. Hospitality is about creating a welcoming atmosphere where your guests feel comfortable and can relax. Customer service is about taking extra steps to provide assistance and support to your guests, making their experience with your business easier (Hospitality V Customer Service: what is the difference?). This includes anything from showing customers at a restaurant to their table, to resolving any issues or complaints efficiently.

Why is customer service so important? It’s important as when done properly, it will attract new customers to your business, can increase volume of repeat customers, generate positive word of mouth and leave a good lasting impression! (Hospitality V Customer Service: what is the difference?).

How to provide great customer service:

Predicting Customer’s Needs

You will never be able to predict all of your customer’s needs, however, being able to predict a few of the most common needs of customers will ensure their experience runs smoothly. Examples of this can include anything from providing water to tables in a restaurant without being asked, to providing commonly used items in a hotel room such as toothbrush, face clothes, menus and robes. A little bit goes a long way so be sure to show your customers you are thinking about them and their needs before they have even arrived to create a great lasting impression (Making guests feel welcome with hotel customer service).

Finding Out Who Your Customers Are

Identifying who your customers are and what they are looking for can help you provide great customer service. By finding out your customers names, you will be able to provide them with a more personal experience, making the customer feel more valued. This can also be done through asking your customers the right questions. For example in a booking form, by asking the purpose of a visit (e.g., work party, anniversary, birthday) to a restaurant or hotel, this can help you to know what type of experience it is they are looking for and provide better customer service (Making guests feel welcome with hotel customer service).

Thank You/Feedback

Make sure your customer service doesn’t stop when guests leave to show you really care. You can do this by sending a thank you message to your guests to show you appreciate them and ask for any feedback. Listening to this feedback and making any necessary changes will allow for a better customer experience in the future.

Customer Service Training For Staff

When a customer has a question, they won’t always know who is the right person to ask, because of this, it is vital that all staff know how/are able to lend them a helping hand. Keep reading to find out more on this topic.

Great skills to teach your staff to help them provide good customer service:

Your team is a vital part of providing great customer service, therefore its important they are trained in the right areas to be able to do so. Below are some useful skills you can teach your staff to help them become better equipped in the area of customer service:

Listening and communications skills

Learn how to identify customer needs

Positive work attitude

Become more knowledgeable about your business/what your selling

Be able to provide knowledgeable recommendations on products or services of the business

Knowing how to build a positive relationship with customers

(12 Most Important Customer Service Skills in Retail)

Useful Skillnet Customer Service Training Courses, Podcasts & Links:

The following information will help you gain a further understanding of customer service in the hospitality industry through courses, podcasts and quick reading links!

Restaurant and Hospitality Skillnet Courses:

Customer service – Delight & Upsell 27th September or 17th October 2023 https://www.rhskillnet.ie/training-programmes/

Helpful Podcasts:

The Modern Customer Podcast by Blake Morgan

Experience This! by Joey Coleman & Dan Gingiss

The Intuitive Customer Podcast by BeyondPhilosophy

Frank Reactions by Tema Frank

Quick Reading Links:

‘Hospitality vs customer service: what is the difference?’ Available at: https://lesroches.edu/blog/

‘Making guests feel welcome with hotel customer service’ Available at: https://www.zendesk.com/

’12 Important Customer Service Skills in Retail and How To Teach Them to Your Team’ Available at: https://vervoe.com/

‘The importance of customer service in the hospitality industry’ Available at: https://hotello.com/en/

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