Communication plays a very important role in the hospitality industry as it is not only used within the staff in an organization
Communication plays a very important role in the hospitality industry as it is not only used within the staff in an organization, but also used between customer and staff. A customer not only pays for the food, room, or product, most importantly they are paying for the service. Communication is a crucial part of service. A customer can be in a bad mood, but a broad smile on the faces of the employees can change the mood of the customer and make them feel good and content. Nowadays, communication can be divided into many different forms that are used in daily life. It is important for not only the staff but for management to be effective communicators. In the hospitality industry, communication holds a role in many ways being verbal communication, non-verbal communication, effective listening, and training of employees in effective communication.
Verbal communication is the most common form that is used when interacting with guest and staff in the hotel. This can be dealing directly with customers face to face either individually or in a group situation. When communicating with the guest face to face there are certain guidelines to follow. The employee must have positive non-verbals that include greeting the customer with a smile, listen to what they are saying, stay interested in the conversation by showing the customer that you are listening to what they are saying, and always make eye contact. An employee must also address the customer formally or ask the customer their name to address them by it. Most importantly, to always be polite and say thank you when appropriate. Members of a hotel staff should “start communication with open-ended questions rather than questions that simply have responses like yes or no to gain more information from the customers” (Poulston, 11). Another form of verbal communication is talking on the telephone. One most frequent way of communication in the business world is by telephone. Communication by telephone is a fast, easy, and inexpensive way to keep in touch with guests, whether it is for booking or for instant feedback. As a member of the hotel staff it is important to answer the phone quickly, state your name and organization, speak clearly and accommodate their needs. Always smile while talking on the phone with a guest because even though they can not see the smile, it will be present in the tone of voice. The positive attitude employees bring when interacting with the guest will give the a positive outlook on the service of the hotel.
Successful communication is a two-way process which requires the management to listen to their staff member’s views and ideas. If the management does all the talking, employees will become passive. Listening to employees is very important, as they are the ones dealing with the guests everyday and face-to-face. Research shows that “Employees will have better ideas to improving customer service and hotel functions if they encounter problems. One way to effectively listen to employees is to hold feedback sessions on a weekly basis, take their inputs seriously and reward them” (IOSIM, 48). Listening is not only important within management, but also between coworkers. In the travel and tourism sector great service and products all happen from the effort produced as a team to achieve one common goal. Being able to communicate effectively within a team or small group will enforce a positive fun environment for an organization by having the same understanding as one another. “Effective communication is a vehicle for the transmission of policies, plans, procedures, strategies and the goals to the different levels at the organization” (Lunenburg,1). The author went on to say that, “effective communication requires the existence of favourable climate that promotes the exchange of ideas” (Lunenburg,3). In other words, if management motivates employees to communicate on all levels and give feedback will help the hotel business move forward and succeed.
Communication is a skill that is learned and it is not natural to everyone but that does not mean these skills cannot be developed throughout someone’s life. According to an article on corporate training “Hotels should emphasize providing communication skills training courses that covers everything from basic communication techniques to advanced empathy skills program. Arrange for a communication skills program that will be helpful for employees to communicate effectively with the guests in crucial circumstances like dealing with complaints, coordination between departments, attending to guests and helping in documentation like menus, bills, reports and other hotel procedures (Nubaryan, 14).” There may be instances where the hotel might receive a complaint from guests in verbal or written form through reviews. to solve these matters. The best way to successfully communicate a conflict is to observe the guests communication style and to respond accordingly. For instance, when dealing with a guest, some make small conversations and others may be interested in the issue to be dealt with quickly. According to Velentas communication is defined as mutual interactive process between the sender of the message and the recipient of this message (22). Urgent matters can be handled with ease if employees have good communication and behavioral skills. Therefore, employees must be well-trained in order to handle the issue wisely and efficient rather than ignoring or dismissing it.
In conclusion, communication plays an important role in the hospitality and tourism industry. Effective communication is not only important in daily life, but also in the professional world where it is the most significant skill and there are many types of communication happening from time to time. When companies or hotels focus on verbal communication, non-verbal communication, effective listening, and training of employees in effective communication, the business and service of that business will be successful.