- 10 tips on the importance of customer service in the hospitality industry
Windhoek, 17 August 2021 – Customer service in Namibia does not often get positive reviews. However, different organisations and individuals have invested in several ways to improve on it over the years. Thus using her six years of experience from Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) Limited, Raven Ntjamba would like to offer what she has learnt over the years through her time at the hospitality group.
1. Do what you love, and you will never work a day in your life!
Having a passion for what you do makes everything else so effortless at work. You get excited about everything regarding work; coming to work becomes a joy. Even challenges are tackled in such a positive way. It’s what makes you go the extra mile; it is what makes you that unique person. It is all about making sure that another person feels that they can trust you enough to open up to you; her sister once said to her, “hospitality is when someone feels warm in your presence”.
2. Be a few minutes early at Work
It sounds like a cliché, but it’s so priceless to be at your workstation on time. Being on time makes you efficient because you are the one to help the first client of the day.
3. Be Approachable/Kind
When a client walks into your establishment, be the first to greet them. This will avoid the client having to figure out who to talk to. By this, you make them feel welcome and important. Equally, introduce yourself and ask them what you can help with. You are the representative of your company, and that is a big role to play.
How you dress, the way you talk to everyone (clients and colleagues), and act is important. It doesn’t matter what you are going through personally, be mentally and physically present at work. Make sure your outfit is neat and intact. Having an attire/uniform for the job is the best; nothing beats everyone looking the same at the office.
5. Take no Offence
Nothing that happens at work should be ever personal. The focus should be on delivering the best service possible. If a client is rude or loud and difficult, it might be because you are not meeting their need. So when working, keep that in mind and move on to the next person when it’s all over without feeling the need to pass the attitude onto the next client or even a colleague. When the supervisor or a colleague is giving you a hard time, find out why sit and talk it out instead of taking offence and making assumptions.
6. Be Respectful
The environment you work in must be peaceful and a place where you can be productive. To be so, you must respect each other in every aspect. Be considerate and mindful of your colleague’s as well. It is essential so that there is teamwork and peace. Treat every colleague with respect, regardless of their position.
7. Be Teachable
Every manager or supervisor wants someone adaptable and easy to teach. Be the kind of person chosen to do a task or be requested to train or test others. The attitude you have will either make you or break you. Be ready to assist anywhere, get dirty if you have to, be the chosen one; it’s really up to you, you can make yourself visible, you can make yourself invisible too, it all depends on your attitude. Be apt and willing to learn always.
8. Elements of Hospitality
Generosity, presence, empathy, optimism and confidence. You can never make it in this industry without the five. They must be on your mind all the time when you are dealing with a customer. If you are weak at it, learn to master them. You must apply the five daily.
9. Honesty is Critical
Don’t promise what you can’t give, don’t say you can do what you know is wrong. Being trusted is more important than impressing someone for a minute at the expense of your integrity and job. Be very clear about the protocol of your establishment; if something supersedes you, let the necessary authority take over and be truthful at all times, it is vital if you want to be at the top.
10. Be a Referral
Bask in the fact that you are a good referral. Having heard your name already, many clients should come to you because they have been told to seek you when they come to the office.
In conclusion, customer service is not easy because one must completely forget about themselves and focus on what the customer needs. One must have a passion for serving people along with a kind and patient heart.
Raven Ntjamba is currently an Assistant Sales Consultant within the Marketing Department at Namibia Wildlife Resorts Limited. She has a Certificate in Travel and Tourism from Lingua College and a Certificate in Front Office Operations from Namibia Training Authority (NTA). She has also done a Customer relations course at DI Consulting.
At the moment, she is pursuing a Certificate in Office Administration at NTA.
For further engagement on the topic, you can email her at ERNtjamba@nwr.com.na.