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Tourism Case

Essay by   •  September 19, 2011  •  Case Study  •  3,326 Words (14 Pages)  •  1,222 Views

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Managing the Hospitality Experience - TOUR 2005

Assignment 1 - Case Study

"We don't want any trouble makers in our hotel."

1. Describe five challenging aspects of a hotel receptionist's job as illustrated in this case study. To meet this challenging role what kinds of personality traits are desired and why?

o The ability to be flexible and work in different departments of the hotel is a required personality trait. Employees should come across as confident, experienced and friendly to the customer. These traits will help prevent consumers holding the belief that they can attack you for your inexperience, persuade freebies or discounts from you, or force you into giving benefits they are not entitled to.

o Good communication skills are a vital trait for a hotel receptionist, particularly regarding to the case in question (Wijesinghe 2007, ep.8). Hotels holding a four or five star rating tend to pride themselves on their exquisite service and high quality of staff. It is crucial to ensure the customer has an extremely comfortable stay. Maintaining these high standards require that any problems or realistic demands had by the customer are acted upon promptly to ensure the guest has the best possible stay in their chosen hotel. There are limits to this however, particularly if the customer stretches their right to utilise the hotel's staff and facilities. For staff at the Ghandi hotel in question; due to the high expectations of service, reception staff must have extremely high communication skills with not only the customer directly but also other departments within the hotel to ensure the customer is receiving the quickest service at the highest calibre. Again looking at this case study (Wijesinghe 2007, ep.8); staff must have a sound communication base internally so that when customers, such as Mr Patel, try taking advantage of their service, staff can liaise between departments to ascertain specifically what has occurred and to feel confident as to the action required.

o Confidence through their personality is a desirable trait for hotel reception staff to hold, particularly in such difficult situations as above. Although required to be extremely polite and accommodating to the customers needs; staff should also have the confidence and ability to persuade the customer on those occasions when the customer is over-stepping their freedom to demand benefits. Dealing with a very demanding customer and informing that customer that their demands cannot be met is yet another challenging aspect to a hotel receptionist's job. This is a difficult situation that needs to be handled in a delicate manner, as it is often a fine line between success and failure for the staff member. Such a situation can often lead to not only an irate customer in the hotel lobby, such as Mr Patel, but also the disturbance of fellow patrons and a lasting bad impression. The reception staff must have the ability to politely answer a range of questions thrown at them by the excessively indulgent customer. Additionally, if staff members decide that the requests are unreasonable and unattainable, they must then instil in the customer the belief that the hotel is doing its absolute best to look after them. Once they have begun this course of action, the hotel receptionist requires the confidence and commitment to avoid retreating and conceding to the customer's demands, regardless of continuing abuse or discontent. Thus it is highly desirable that staff members hold these strong personality traits allowing them to remain polite and at the same time confidently stay true to a course of action until the patron leaves, even if it must be an unreasonably dissatisfied departure.

o It is a great challenge for hotel reception staff to have the ability to maintain a calm nature and carefully choose their words wisely in a situation involving a disgruntled and troublesome customer. As illustrated in this case, Mr Patel's continuous disagreement on issues relating to his bill and the manner that he approaches such issues and speaks to staff creates an extremely challenging situation for the hotel receptionist (Wijesinghe 2007, ep.8). With the combination of Mr Patel's continuous demands regarding discounts, lies in relation to food and drink that he had quite obviously consumed, the hotel being extremely busy and the added pressure of other customers, the hotel receptionist was placed under substantial pressure (Wijesinghe 2007, ep.8). The reception staff must be able to maintain a sense of calmness and an ability to prevent other customers realising that there is a problem. If a hotel receptionist looses their cool, raises their voice or says something slightly inappropriate, the customer then has a valid issue or complaint against the hotel. As soon as this is done the customer has essentially been victorious. This situation can be seen in the case when Neelam indicates to Mr Patel that the car is not to be sent for until the bill is paid, implying that the customer may do a runner (Wijesinghe 2007, ep.8).

o The ability to work in a team is an essential personality trait for a hotel receptionist. This not only applies to the team of people you are working on the reception counter with, but also the concierge and porter staff, room service, house keeping, and essentially the greater team encompassing all hotel staff. By working well in a team, all departments can monitor customers such as Mr Patel at most times and communicate any potential issues or challenging situations with the other departments. By ensuring all potentially relevant staff members are aware of the customer's actions and have received updates throughout the period of stay, staff members (particularly those in reception) can be properly prepared for any arising difficult situations. This allows reception staff to provide confident answers and resist giving in to unreasonable demands made by the customer. Without this information and knowledge provided by sound team work, it is very difficult for reception staff to confidently withstand these demands.

2. Identify three precautions that the hotel took to prevent the conflict from escalating.

o The conflict was brought to the attention of all other departments within the hotel, with additional briefing provided to relevant personnel on the troublesome Mr Patel and the manner in which he conducted himself (Wijesinghe 2007, ep.8). This ensured that all staff were aware of what to expect from the customer, thus allowing staff to be prepared for any further conflicting issues, should they arise, and perhaps prevent any escalating conflict. Difficult situations such as this need not be exacerbated by a lack of preparation and knowledge

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