For the last month, my aim is to deal with problems adequately and gain experience in service recovery in order to improve the degree of duty.
During the last month of my internship, I was able to obtain experience in running a delayed operation. As IHG employees, we were expected to learn the five measures taken to handle delayed service. First, listen to the guest’s complaint without interrupting it. I’ve found that taking notes and keeping eye contact is the most critical aspect. I discovered that without written instructions, one could end up with a problem of miscommunication between the visitor and the superior. While taking notes and listening to the complaint, helped build rapport with the guest, enhancing guest’s self-esteem, and it was a show that I care. To prevent miscommunication problems, I had to summarize the problem from the guest’s point of view and respond with empathy. At all times we were expected to explain the reason for the delay. I learned from my colleague that justify the delay or blame others does not solve the problem, but rather it increase the intensity thereby affecting services to customers. Respect was mandatory at all the time we had, to be honest with the guest, this was a show of respect. I also gained some problem-solving skills. I had to check back with the guest regularly to keep them informed. I had a chance to exercise my problem handling skill at the hotel. For example, one day the guest came to check-in to their wheelchair accessible room, but due to high occupancy the day before the room was a mess, the room was not ready after the check-in time. The guest waited for over an hour after I contacted the assistant of executive housekeeper to find out the status of the room. During the time, I apologized to the guest and explained the situation for the delay. I was constantly in communication with the assistant of the executive housekeeper and kept on updating the guest with emerging status. I could see that the guest was irritated while waiting for the room to be cleaned, so I gave them some water and snacks to comfort the guest a bit. An hour later, the room was finally ready for the guest to check-in. I apologized once again for the delay and let the guest told the guest to contact me in case of anything else. After the situation, I wrote a detailed log about the situation to inform my colleagues on this sensitive matter.
2. For the last month, my goal was to implement a list of strategies to achieve sufficient training of the newly hired employees and begin the training manual with both of the Front Office Managers.
The training manual will start off with the general information on the Opera information, and the checklists that each employee in a shift is required to do. The Opera information includes making the reservation, check-in and out procedure, adding accompany guest, etc. For example, checking people in we have to use our discretion to indicate if we should or should not check the guest in. Intoxicated people, people with no money, and the homeless are some of the categories of people that shouldn’t be invited to the house. As for people who lives close by, we should determine the cause of their visit. Checklists will include AM, PM, and Night Audit checklists training. Each checklist provides the daily job duties for the shift. The Assistant Front Office Manager helped me create a list of main points, and then I came up with steps by steps procedure on how and where to pull the information. The items on the checklist will include read the Log Book, print out reports for Housekeeping, bill third party internet reservation that codes ending in VC, etc. Creating a training manual is crucial because it provides a proper and consistent approach for all the Front Office Agents.
3. For the last month, I came up with measurable goals to encourage employees to perform efficiently and for management to keep track employee progress.
I have started listing measurable goals that will be included in the training manual for management to review. The following are the goals that I want to encourage the employee to perform that also allow management to track the employee progress.
a. Reducing the check-in and out time within five minutes. This will include giving all the information that hotel has to offer and the check-in process. However, checkout should not take more than 3 minutes.
b. Require all Front Office Agent to a specific number of enrollments on signing up guest to IHG Rewards Program. This varies from the number of shifts they acquire and the time of their shift.
c. Require all Front Office Agent be careful when gathering information from the guests; they should minimize mistakes to zero. The information gathered include things such as email, phone number, address, accompany guest/s’ name, etc.
d. Encourage the guests to review the services offered by the specific Front Office Agent.
4. For the last month, I learned ways of improving the mode of communicating with staff to minimize error, especially during shift change.
The verbal communication is the form of communication that is adopted when employees change shifts, but I feel that information sometimes gets lost. During shift change, I noticed that some people did not give adequate information pertaining a particular situation. To prevent losing information, I am planning to suggest the use technology document what they need to share and let another know. However, I am not sure about the kind of software will be the best for the hotel. Businesses also pay huge sums of money for the usage of the software.
5. For the last month, one of my goals was to receive a Blue Ribbon at Holiday Inn Express for outstanding service provided and increase the knowledge of management’s duties.
I have achieved this goal. Blue Ribbon at Holiday Inn Express is when the guest writes positive review specifically talking about you. According to our Administrative Assistant, he stated that a guest gave me positive reviews for the excellent service that I provided during their stay. I have rewarded a certificate and a $20 gift card. Unfortunately, I did not have a chance to increase my knowledge of management’s duties because I left for two weeks to attend a funeral.
The thing I learned from this position that connects with the classroom element is branding myself; we covered it in our Senior Seminar class. Four main elements of the personal brand are personal appearance, personality, competencies, and differentiation. People can judge significantly on personal appearance because those are the first things people notice about you these includes body language, attire, and posture. Personality is your behavior, communication skills, and attitudes toward people. Competencies are the unique experiences and skill that you have to fulfill the job requirements. Differentiation is what separates you from others and give a recognition in the minds of others. I feel that I am branding myself every day while I was at work or home. This allows me to display the way I deal with people, make the decision, my habits at work, and what I’m good at or bad at. For example, when I first started the internship, I rarely took the initiative to solve the problem. I was constantly going toward management to seek resolution. I believe that there was part of me that is afraid of doing things wrong, and part of me do not know what to do. A few weeks later, when I was more comfortable with doing stuff, I started to take the initiative on problem-solving and doing things on my own. Personal branding is crucial because it is the way to distinguish yourself not define by the title or confined by the job description.