Choosing a career in the hospitality industry comes with many benefits, such as the gift of forging valuable relationships and connections with customers and team members and the ability to provide unforgettable experiences to each guest.
On the other hand, a job in the hospitality and tourism sector can expose you to a unique set of challenges, such as customer dissatisfaction, ongoing hassle, unpredictability, and overtime due to unexpected situations that can arise and must be tackled swiftly.
In order to thrive in the hospitality industry and uphold the business’s reputation to a high standard, there is a specific skillset that prospective and existing employees must master.
To put it simply, a career in hospitality is not for the thin-skinned, easily offended, irritable, or even too emotional.
Addressing customers’ needs daily or strategizing processes to devise a seamless experience for their stay requires resilience, initiative, and adaptability, coupled with outstanding listening and problem-solving skills.
Whether you’re interested in working in a restaurant, as a front desk concierge, or in management, some core skills can help you navigate the toughest situations and guarantee customers establish a positive sentiment about the company’s brand.
These five important skills discussed below cannot be acquired overnight but require practice, relevant experience, and a “can-do” approach deeply ingrained in each person’s unique personality.
With the above advice in mind, here’s the list of the most critical hospitality career skills that each candidate should be aware of and strive to excel on.
1. Go the Extra Mile With Customer Service.
It is universally known that customer service is the hallmark of hospitality.
Especially for customer-facing roles, the long-term impact of treating customers with respect, dignity, transparency, and cordiality regardless of the circumstances can be very rewarding for the company’s goodwill.
Negative feedback can spread quickly if a misunderstanding or conflict arises, so maintaining your temperament and aiming to provide a solution to resolve the problem will prove that you’ve exceeded a customer’s expectations.
It can be easy to take a negative comment personally.
Still, in such incidents, you need to remember that it’s your job to ensure a customer’s stay and other accompanying activities are handled smoothly and efficiently.
Put yourself in a guest’s shoes and envision the ideal vacation in their mind.
They will expect a positive and proactive hotel team, so ensuring that all booked amenities and requests are available will confirm that the business is trustworthy and the staff professional.
2. Communicate and Listen
Communication skills are crucial for every job, but especially in hospitality, getting a clear message across is the epitome of professionalism and a well-functioning business environment.
When you talk to guests in a friendly and uplifting manner, they will highly appreciate it and consider returning the next time.
Hotel workers encounter customers from different cultural backgrounds, personalities, and ages. Maintaining an upbeat attitude, an open mind, and an inviting approach will make them feel comfortable and at home.
Listening is also a sacred skill that is often left on the sidelines.
When you observe your customer’s body language, tone of voice, expressions, and gestures, you will be more prepared to respond to their concerns and remarks accordingly and professionally.
Showing genuine interest in them and expressing your point of view honestly and respectfully shows your guests that you are indeed a caring person that doesn’t think of his job just as a means of making a living.
3. Solve any problems that come your way
The high number of guests checking in to a hotel means that your responsibilities multiply.
Having a system in place to prevent the added hassle or potential problems will save you a lot of time and emotional stress.
Keeping satisfaction levels as high as possible should be on the top of your priority list.
For example, if a guest expresses dissatisfaction with their room, you should be prepared to either provide them with another room or offer them a complimentary meal as an apology for the inconvenience.
When unforeseen challenges arise, the ability to take the initiative, strategize quickly, and adapt to the customer’s situation will make everything flow easier.
Taking initiative and accountability will enhance the company’s image and impress customers who will acknowledge that you can go above and beyond to demonstrate that you and your co-workers are very competent in your role.
4. Let your work ethic shine.
The hospitality industry often presents workers with demanding circumstances, including long hours during which a positive and cheerful attitude should be maintained.
Staying organized, being able to multi-task, and having attention to detail can all be beneficial in that such situations.
Keeping track of your priorities and outlining your tasks with key steps will help you be more productive, and efficient.
You will also gauge your limits and prevent situations during which you tend to become overwhelmed.
At times, you may need to use your intuition and realize that many situations are out of your control, but they are manageable with the right attitude and actions.
Practicing hard skills can be easy, but training your mind will be the key differentiator that truly allows you to stand out in this field.
5. Don’t forget: Teamwork is the foundation of success.
This saying never gets old because strong collaboration can make or break the hospitality business. (Undoubtedly!)
Teamwork can be tougher in this business, however, because turnover is high and workers are required to establish relationships within a short period of time.
Regardless of the difficulty of adapting to new faces time and again, every department must collaborate seamlessly to achieve the end goal of excellent customer service.
Being able to prosper and remain productive in a team environment by accepting constructive criticism and speaking up will significantly benefit the company’s overall success.
There are hundreds of hotels hiring near you! If you’re truly confident in your abilities to thrive in this industry and provide exceptional customer service, don’t waste your time and apply!