Communication is paramount in running any business organization. The success of the business organization ultimately depends on effectiveness of the communication process. In the hotel industry, communication is a vital key in the running of the business. The communication takes different forms, which together lead to the growth of the industry, but the most important part of communication is the clarity of sending and receiving information. The focal point of this article is the explication of the different forms of communication in relation to the USA and UK hotel services.
Communication in the hotel industry is broad, from the self-explanatory meaning to other discrete forms. The self-explanatory involves how the service provider talks or converses to a customer during the service provision period. The other forms of communication include the modification of products to that which fits the customers’ requests, and having services that accommodate customers from different countries, which includes provision for foreign languages among others(Reid& Bojanic 2010 p. 62).
During the information transmission process, the two parties involved, the sender and receiver have to ensure for clarity in the message conveyed. The forms of communication used include non-verbal communication, verbal communication, representative aural and representative visual and written communication. These forms of communication applyon both the staff and on the customer.
Verbal communication is the most common of all the communication processes. It is used when facing the guest face to face or via a telephone. A customer checking in makes a face-to-face verbal communication with the front office desk or a verbal communication through a telephone when making a reservation(Buchalis& Schertler 1999 p. 212).
Verbal communication is used for best effect because it allows the staff to build confidence and trust in the customer. The service provider is in a position to use all means available and possible to convince the customer and make him/her feel secure(HSU 2002 p.19).
Non-verbal communication refers to exchange of information amid two groups either directly or indirectly. Direct non-verbal communication refers to use of gestures and other physical signs like hand waving and so forth. Indirect non-verbal communication refers to the use of physical attitude, expression and so on(Sommerville 2007 p.103). A wet floor sign is a direct non-verbal communication warning people of slippery floor while a smile to a customer is an indirect form on non-verbal communication.
Direct and indirect non-verbal communication are used to provide the customer with a cordial welcome that helps to make the verbal communication more convincing. Non-verbal communication also helps in giving of direction and in the description of items.
Written form of communication means that the messages conveyed are carried in a note, letter, memo, book, instruction, and manual among others. A customer leaving a note on the front desk communicates to the staff through a written form(Jaszay& Dunk 2003 p.108).
It is an effective way of communication with a huge number of people without having to repeat the message repeatedly. Printing the message on a note allows you to send it to multiple people without redundancy, which is quite boring.
Representative visual is form of communication that uses painting, advertising display or poster to convey messages. Many hotels advertise themselves through newspapers and other magazines because many people read them. By doing so, the hotel manages to convey information without having to repeat itself or employ someone to do so; it is time saving and cost effective.
This form of communication enables the hotels to convey their message but also is a form of marketing scheme. It attracts more people to come to the hotel because the magazines creates an awareness when it reaches to a never-before person. By using this form of communication, the hotel reaches to people who were not looking for that type of message (Buchalis& Schertler 1999 p.201).
The last form of communication by the hospitality industry is the representative aural communication. This form of communication is conveyed through promotional songs and jingles. Some hotels may do their communication through radio, which also acts as an advertiser. By using the radio, people who were listening to music end up receiving that information thus marketing the hotel.
All these forms of communication lead to a common goal; winning a customer’s trust. Whether some forms of communication will advertise them, their brand quality will market them. Communication is a way the hotel uses to keep the customer glued to their products and services(Papathanassis& Buhalis 2007 p. 385).
Customer perception is a marketing concept that refers to a customer’s awareness, impression, and/or consciousness relating to a company or its services. A customer’s perception is basically influenced by reviews, advertising, social media, personal experiences, and public relations among other things(Kusluvan 2003 p.81).
It is five times less costly to keep an old customer than to gain a new customer. However, customers by nature are non-loyal. They are predominantly affected by emotional influences during their purchase decisions-making six time greater than rationale. In order for any seller to establish a lasting relationship between a customer and the product/service, an emotional connection must be established.It is vital for a hotel to offer an exclusive customer experience by pre-emptively anticipating and predicting you customers’ service distinction.
Giving a customer a unique experience buys the confidence in that customer to returnand spread the good word. People shop where there is comfort and reliability. Comfort is a situation when a customer is confident that he/she will get the required assistance with a positive verbal or non-verbal communication. The customer relies on the service providers to perform their duty diligently and without complaint. The way a staff member of a hotel provides service to a customer sells the reputation of the hotel irrespective of the facilities in the hotel.
The first experience a customer gets at a hotel lives to tell the tale. It is the first impression that lives on. From the day of reservation to the actual day of checking out, determine the perception the customer will have of that hotel. When one checks in a famous hotel like the Hilton, the service they get at the front desk sets a tone all the way.Therefore, it is vital to put a “people’s person” at the front desk who is patient with people and smiles a lot.
When a customer comes to a hotel, the room service, the customer keenly observes the dinner, breakfast and other services. A room delivery that excludes certain requests, a delayed meal, or an overcooked meal sends a message to the customer. The customer forms a perception at the back of his/her mind about that particular hotel. Suddenly the customer notices minute mistakes that he/she would have otherwise overlooked if the services were better.
When a customer reports to the front desk and the reception person smiles joyously at him/her, it forms a good rapport subsequently the customer creates a perception. Greeting a customer and wishing them a great day tells the customer a lot about that given hotel. It is a form of verbal and non-verbal communication that makes the customer feel welcome and at ease.
When a customer complains about a service or product comes back again next time and finds the same thing, it creates an uncomfortable environment. Immediately the customer creates a perception on how the hotel cares so little about their comfort. However, if a change happens to have been done and still is not appealing, he/she acknowledge the effort even though it mildly fits the profile he/she had envisioned(Walker & Miller 2010 p. 168).
Dealing with customers is very hectic. They are always creating perceptions about the products and services given to them, but because they are the hotel’s priority, their comfort has to be complied with because it is what keeps the hotel in business.
Service distinction is an attitude deep-rooted in every section starting and ending with the staff, from the reception person to the CEO(Woodside& Ogle2009 p. 54). Service excellence needs more than an efficient customer service unit or a slogan on the dine room wall.Distinction is unswerving;exceptional service at each pass set by a service-minded tone that lead your company strategy at each level.
Some employees would rather pick up a personal call at the middle of service delivery. Such employees put the customer needs second to theirs. Them failing to understand that the customer need gave him/her that job in the first place. When giving service to customers, respecting their time and opinion is paramount. By doing so, the employee is able to measure the customer’s satisfaction, engagement and gives them an idea of what the customer is saying. Fixing the customers’ problems changes their attitude and perception about the service given and the product offered(Adtran 2009 p. 119). Continuous improvement is the key to growth of any business, and this growth is directly related to the reaction and needs of the customers. When the customer sees changes on his complaints, he/she acts as a vehicle of the hotel by selling the reputation of the hotel out of his perception. Personalizing the services to meet the customer needs puts a positive perception in the customer, hence building trust and making a loyal customer.
Communication is paramount in the growth and sustenance of any business. It is the key for survival of organizations in the business world. Communication between a customer and an employee is very valued. This is because the customer is the business, without him/her there is literally no business. Since different things emotionally influence the customers’ decisions during a purchasing process and not logic, it is important for organizations to connect with them at that emotional level to win their trust. It is important to provide customers with a never-before experience that will have them thinking and coming back again. This is because they form a perception about a service and/or a product every time they interact with it whether they are paying for it or not. It is therefore vital that the employees ensure the customers are satisfied during this process.
ADTRAN and Innovation Technologies Bring Leading-Edge Voice Communications to Hospitality Industry. (2009, December 3). Computer Weekly News.
BUCHALIS, D., & SCHERTLER, W. (1999). Information and communication technologies in tourism 1999: proceedings of the [sixth] International Conference in Innsbruck, Austria, 1999. Wien [u.a], Springer.
FITZGERALD, H. (2002). Cross-cultural communication for the tourism and hospitality industry. Frenchs Forest, N.S.W., Hospitality Press.
HSU, S.-H. (2002). Internal marketing in the hospitality industry: communication satisfaction and organizational commitment. Thesis (M.S.)–Eastern Michigan University, 2002.
JASZAY, C., & DUNK, P. (2003). Training design for the hospitality industry. Australia, Thomson/Delmar Learning.
KUSLUVAN, S. (2003). Managing employee attitudes and behaviors in the tourism and hospitality industry. Hauppauge, New York, Nova Science Publishers.
Papathanassis, A., & Buhalis, D. (n.d.). Exploring the information and communication technologies revolution and visioning the future of tourism, travel and hospitality industries, 6th e-tourism futures forum: ICT revolutionising tourism 26–27 March 2007, Guildford. International Journal of Tourism Research, 385-387.
REID, R. D., & BOJANIC, D. C. (2010). Hospitality marketing management. Hoboken, N.J., John Wiley & Sons.
SOMMERVILLE, K. L. (2007). Hospitality employee management and supervision: concepts and practical applications. Hoboken, N.J, Wiley.
WALKER, J. R., & MILLER, J. E. (2010). Supervision in the hospitality industry: leading human resources study guide. Hoboken [etc.], Jonh Wiley & Sons.
WOODSIDE, A. G., MEGEHEE, C. M., & OGLE, A. (2009). Perspectives on cross-cultural, ethnographic, brand image, storytelling, unconscious needs, and hospitality guest research. Bingley, UK, Emerald.