Hospitality Industry

Customer orientation report: hiring and training customer-oriented staff

Image Hospitality Industry



Dr Sébastien Fernandez

Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior at EHL

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The aim of this report is precisely to help hoteliers identify what they should look for in the candidates that apply to open positions and how they could train their employees to become more customer-oriented.

Actionable Inisghts for Service Providers

Research has showen that certain characteristics are required across many job categories, such charcteristics which carry the most weights are general intelligence, conscientiousness, emotinal stability and agreeableness. In this section you will look in detail at these four characteristics and what tools and best practices to use to select the right candidates.

Actionable Inisghts for Service Providers

As you will see in the first section of the report, it is possible to identify employees who have a better profile for delivering high customer service. Now, we will turn to actions that service providers can adopt to increase service quality. All the recommendations come from actia studeies where the effectiveness of the following behaviors has been demonstrated. All of the customer-oriented behaviors that are described in this section are categorized according to the PPePPs model (Personalization, Positive emotions, Proximity, Professionalism, Surprise). Download the full report to find out more about each of these behavior types and examples of each in action.

Training Employees in the use of Customer-Oriented Behaviors

It is advisable for managers to train their staff since many of the points of Section 2 are not consistently applied in restaurants and hotels. This type of training can be delivered either by externla consultants or by managers themselves. In the third section of this report, you'll learn about the positive effects this kind of training might have on customers and employees, followed by tips on how to properly conduct this type of training course. Behaviors covered in training could include smiling, spacial awareness, repeating customer orders, upselling, physical touch and so on.

Concluding remarks

Even if the hospitality industry is known for providing low salaries and requiring little experience or education, the demands and expectations for excellent service are very high. It is then not surprising to see a high turnover among staff and that on some occasions customers might complain because of the low quality of service. Not everyone would fit perfectly well in working in the hospitality industry which is incredibly high-pressired, and even among those who are suited, it's necedssary that they learn customer orientation behaviors that will satisfy guests and prepare them to stay in this labor-intense industry.

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