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Management in the Hospitality Industry

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Diploma in Customer Service
Customer Service in the Hospitality Industry
Management in the Hospitality Industry

Management in the Hospitality Industry
As with all aspects of a business, management dictates the quality and standards of customer service.

It is management that set the customer service goals and create a customer service program.

Furthermore, they ensure that employees are constantly achieving the required customer service standards.

This unit will describe how a manager should introduce and implement a customer service program within a hospitality business.

Building a Team
The manager should encourage the creation of teams. Teams in a hospitality business should have a hierarchy. The team at the top of this hierarchy will consist of the heads of department with the manager as the team leader. In turn, each head of department will create teams in their own department. These teams will all have an equal level of importance in the organization.

This team hierarchy serves a number of functions. In corresponding with all the heads of department, the manager can delegate and ensure that the customer service program is being implemented effectively. Such a structure also allows each head of department to maintain a level of responsibility and authority. This will help each department head to feel that they are a major contributor to the customer service program.

Finally, employees within each department can also feel they are making a worthy contribution as they are assigned responsibility by their team leaders.

3 Types of Teams in a Hospitality Business
3 Types of Teams in a Hospitality Business
Within a hospitality business there are 3 types of teams:
1. Formal Work Groups
2. Informal Work Groups
3. Leisure Groups

These teams are all very different and each plays a unique role in ensuring an high-level of customer service.

Click on the tabs on the left to learn more about these teams.

Formal Work Groups
Formal Work Groups are those formed by the manager and department heads for the implementation of the customer service program.

They meet at set intervals and when properly geared and motivated by the management could become invaluable because of the exchange of information and the communication between groups and members within each team.

Informal Work Groups
Informal Work Groups are created when teams intermingle.

Such interactions help to improve the team spirit within an organization.

As these teams are formed organically they tend to be formed by employees with a natural sense of cooperation.

Leisure Groups
Leisure groups are groups of employees who meet outside of work to share a common interest in a hobby.

Although these groups do not have a direct effect on the customer service they do help to foster a sense of camaraderie between members hence creating a more positive work dynamic.

Conducting Meetings
A customer service program based on a hierarchical team structure requires a hospitality manager to conduct a lot of meetings with his/her heads of department. To ensure that these meetings are focused and facilitate effective communication managers should follow the meeting procedure described below. This process should also be followed by heads of department when they meet with their teams.

During a meeting managers should:
Arrange for someone to take their phone calls
Prevent interruptions by other employees, unless it is an emergency
Have their desk neat and free of distractions
Keep focused: avoid being distracted by stimuli in the room
Maintain eye contact with employees
Maintain control of the dialogue
Stick to their agenda: Defer other subjects which are brought up to the next meeting
Avoid taking notes

Managing Change
As with all aspects of life, change is a constant in the hospitality industry. Managers must be able to accept this change and ensure that it does not negatively affect the customer service of their business. Indeed, they can use change as a catalyst for improving customer service.

Change could be due to external forces, such as new laws, taxes, regulations, and changes in government, or internal forces, such as change of management, technological, organizational structure, etc.

The manager/supervisor’s role will be overcoming resistance to change. In order to do so, he/she must analyze change from the employees’ views, establish trust, and involve employees. Then he/she must assess the employees’ response to change, evaluate the change, and implant the implementation of change.

Quality Control Systems
Another method of ensuring excellent customer service in a hospitality business is Quality Control Systems (QCS). There are a number of different QCS including TQM, (Total Quality Management), QOS, (Quality of Service) and SASQ, (Systems Approach to Service Quality), etc. While all of these systems have their own unique aspects, they are quite similar and have the same aim; increasing the efficiency of a business’s customer service program.

The way these systems work is mostly through surveying customers, either by collecting and analyzing survey cards at the property, or by answering questionnaires by phone, mail and internet. Another way to collect feedback is to have an expert pose as a guest and review the customer service.

Some businesses hire specialized companies to implement these systems as their conclusions will be unbiased. The majority of hotels and restaurants use an in-house system. However, in-house system are easy to corrupt and not very accurate. Nevertheless, they are the most economical choice.

Quality Control Systems (QCS) succeed when the entire team is consciously and continuously applying all the principles of quality. Managers should implement QCS in the following way

Each manager must know his role in-depth and perform his duties perfectly, leading his subordinates by example.
Orientation of new employees and training of new and existing staff must be on-going.
Demand the highest level of work performance each worker is able to achieve.
4. Perform in-house quality inspections at regular intervals, as well as as surprise checks

END OF UNIT:
Management in the Hospitality Industry

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