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  • The Storyteller

Showing Interest: Tell vs Ask

We are often so caught up with the telling - hotel policies, property information, outlets and room information, loyalty programmes, etc…..that it all becomes a whole heavy burden on both the hotel employee as well as the guest.


Learn to ASK to find out more about the individuals. Then LISTEN to the response - what is said, how it is said, and what is not said. PERSONALISE the way you present the information based on their needs and styles. Are you reading their body language whether they want further elaboration, to keep it short and succinct or even to cut it out totally? ANTICIPATE any further needs before they are raised by the guests.


Recently, I was informed that my room was not ready upon arrival as it was not the official check-in time yet. I showed understanding and asked about the approximate time when the room would be ready, so that I could better plan what I would do (and how far I would go) in the meanwhile. In a bid to pre-empt what the young team member would say, I stated that I knew they would take care of the luggage during the wait.


In response, the employee repeated the official check-in time and proceeded to inform once again, what I had just said about the luggage. That just set me off. All I just wanted to know was, when we could have an update of the room status. I was not demanding for a room right there and then.

Right then, I knew that the pleasant but inexperienced team member has not received much, if any, proper training. Rather, he was probably just regurgitating what he had been told to deliver in such a situation - as if there was a one-size-fits all answer.


Service Bank: Minus 3


Reflective thoughts: Do you ever find yourself interacting with or/and responding to guests in an “auto-pilot” and “robotic” mode? Take rooming as an example - what would vary under which circumstances? Do you just TELL or do you ASK too?



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