My CPD Critical Reflection

I started out this module with a mindset that what could we take away from this module because communication is such a broad knowledge. However, thirteen weeks with Brad changed my perspective. I take it seriously now with great interest after knowing the directions to improve my skills.

I honestly enjoyed the hands-on learning experience of reading articles in class, open discussions and impromptu presentations done in different ways. These activities truly helped me in speed reading, enhanced my thinking and organised my speech well in the shortest time in order to deliver information smoothly to my fellow classmates. All of these were fun and at the same time, full of learning values to pick up.

I thank Brad for making us write blog posts. Eventually, blogging become a pleasant habit for me to practice putting my thoughts into words. Also, I enjoy learning from the writings of others to see things from different perspectives. Critiquing my classmates’ entries also taught me to be more objective when making judgment as well as learn to feedback in the appropriate ways. These are definitely helpful in my future role at workplace.

Additionally, I found the concept of Johari’s window very interesting as I reflect on my own windows. From there, I realize the importance of illustrating and improving self-awareness as well as mutual understanding between individuals within a group. As I am determined to work in the dynamic hospitality industry, people relations are important and hence, knowing myself and others well will be the key to have good relationships at work.

I remember claiming presentations as one of my communication weaknesses in the beginning of the module. I did gain more confidence in speaking to audience along the learning journey of CPD 2, and even started to enjoy doing it. In short, I am glad that I have taken away many priceless values from this class that will help me go far in the future. Thank you Brad for your efforts in conducting a wonderful class for us :O)

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Training Video Synopsis #3 / Final

  1.    INTRODUCTION

This report aims to address verbally abusive guests and complaints where are typical interpersonal communications problem commonly experienced in the service industry. The scope of the study is limited to the hospitality industry, in particular, the hotel sector. Specifically, we shall be investigating service encounters at a hotel front office. However, this issue can happen in any area, such as food & beverage establishments, where service staff would have to interact with customers.

1.1 About the Hospitality Industry

The hospitality industry belongs to a broad category within service industry that includes lodging, event planning, theme parks, transportation, cruise, and additional fields within the tourism industry. It is a multibillion-dollar industry that depends on the availability of leisure time and disposable income of travellers. A hospitality unit such as a restaurant, hotel, or an amusement park consists of multiple parties such as facility maintenance and direct operations (servers, housekeepers, porters, kitchen workers, bartenders, management, marketing, and human resources etc.).

1.2 Difference between City Hotels and Resorts

City hotels are accommodation places that are located in city centres. They are mainly situated near business districts or MICE (meeting, incentives, convention and exhibition) venues. Henceforth, these properties caters more towards business travellers who travel for work purpose. According to Harding (1993), these group of travellers wants a hassle-free environment and wanting the hotel to provide exactly the services and amenities that they sought for (Callan & Kyndt, 2001). Due to their busy schedule and fast pace of living, business travellers tends to have higher expectations towards hotel efficiency, such as speed for check in and out and time taken for laundry service.

In contrast, resorts target a different segment of travellers that have different level of expectations. Usually located near coastal areas, away from the cities, resorts attract more leisure travellers. The environment and atmosphere of a resort is more relaxing and laid back. Therefore, guests expectation is lower. They more receptive towards a slower pace of service so long there are activities for entertainment.

  1.    PROBLEM IDENTIFICATION

Being in the highly interactive hospitality industry, staff will have to face guests all the time. Thus, it is bound to be a time when staff will encounter with unpleasant situations such as dealing with angry or upset guests. Such situations can be easily seen happening in frontline operation especially in the setting of city hotels due to high expectations from guests. Undesirable emotions are often involved as communication and interaction between both parties turned bad after all the complaints and arguments. Despite receiving negative and nasty words from guests, staff are not allowed to respond back with the same attitude as it will adversely affect the image of the hotel. Staff behaviours are being closely monitored as service attitude in city hotels is expected to be more formal and professional as compared to lodging in leisure destinations. Therefore, the interpersonal communication problem identified is about how service staff could manage personal feelings while having to deal with angry guests in a professional manner.

  1.    PROFESSIONAL IMPORTANCE

All members in the team have significant working experiences in city hotel, integrated resort as well as beach resort. Based on the accumulated experiences, the team has identified the gap between training given and the skillset of staff in handling difficult guests. It is common for hotels to provide training for frontline staff help them interact better with guests. These trainings tend to be covering more general knowledge such as service verbiage and ways to form excellent first impression which are useful to form the foundation of good service attitude. However, the team agreed that staff are still lacking the skill to deal with specific or problematic situations such as interaction with upset guests. This might be due to the common practice of manager taking over the responsibility in such encounters. However, as mentioned, these are in fact frequent and unavoidable encounters faced by frontline staff on a daily basis.

Therefore, the focus of this study is to educate front desk officers on the skills that enable them to handle difficult guests. With the right skills, staff will be more composed in facing the problem and dealing it with confidence. It also allows them  to be independent in responding directly to guests instead of seeking help from managers. Furthermore, it also acts as a guideline that all staff can adhere to, aligning it with the hotel standard of service in order to strengthen the standardised service protocol. This will help to minimise aggravating the situation further due to inconsistent information and service provided by staff. Therefore, the information should be short and concise to be easily understood.

  1.    RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

Learning from real life experiences is determined to be effective especially for knowledge which is more hands-on based. Critical reflection of past experience through practice and sharing of the outcomes enable people to improve ongoing skills by using the information and knowledge gained from the experience (Helyer, 2015). As such, the team conducted a face-to-face interview with experienced hotel frontline staff to learn from their reflections. The primary research is to gather information by listening to the past stories of the interviewee and understand how each individual handles such difficult encounters. Ms Cheryl Chong, a guest relation officer who is currently working at Equarius Hotel and Ms Lynnette Woo who holds the same position at St Regis Hotel were interviewed for the purpose of this study. On top of that, secondary research was carried out to obtain information on general conflict resolving techniques which have been proven to be effective in the industry.

  1.    SUGGESTED SOLUTIONS

The study will address the two scenarios that are likely to happen at hotel front office – guests complaints and agitated guest that uses verbal abuse.

5.1 HANDLING GUEST COMPLAINTS

A study conducted by Huey Chern Boo (2013) has shown that the recovery actions performed by service staff was sometimes inadequate and even incorrect. Most of the time employees did nothing to address the situation. On the other hand, the root cause of the service failure was not properly addressed. Therefore, the report has suggested the “L.E.A.F.” approach to be used when handling with guest complaints. “L.E.A.F.” stands for “listen, show empathy, act and follow up”.

Firstly, staff should listen attentively to the guest’s complaint before responding. Attentiveness could be shown by standing up straight and maintain an eye contact with the guest. Nod subtly as a form of acknowledgement to what the guest had said.

Secondly, showing empathy towards guest when listening to the complaint. Staff should understand from the guest point of view and be more understanding. As supported by the interviewee, Ms Cheryl Chong who works as a guest relation officer at Equarius Hotel, one must first think from guest’s point of view and handle the complaint objectively as it is not a personal issue.

Thirdly, staff should act in a manner that helps to resolve the complaint. The staff then proceeds to explain to the guest that the complaint will be brought up to the relevant department to conduct an investigation on the matter.

Lastly, there must be a follow-up to the complaint. The staff must remember to hone her words to communicate with the relevant department regarding the complaint. Front office manager should also be informed of the situation.  When the final investigation report is out, the guest must be informed of the result as a form of follow up.

5.2 HANDLING VERBALLY ABUSIVE CUSTOMERS

On the other hand, despite the above-mentioned method, the customer may refuse to accept the explanation and may turn verbally to the service staff. In such a scenario, the report suggested three basic steps to deal with such customers.

Firstly, always remain calm and cool, even when the customer continues to be abusive. Always maintain a non-aggressive eye contact with the customer to show that you are listening to their concern attentively, but do not make any verbal response at the moment. At the same time, look out whether customer is carrying any offensive object or showing signs of attack.

Secondly , it is to control emotions when facing the aggressive guest. This can be done by using “self-talk” to remind oneself of the professional role that one is in. As mentioned by Watson (2016), things that you say to yourself (self talk) has a great impact on how you feel and what you do. It is also important to remember that do not allow guest to affect one’s day and to resolve the problem quickly without causing more problems. It is important to keep the emotion in check and feel proud when the situation is handled well.

Lastly, remember to follow up the action. If the customer continues to be difficult and abusive, gently inform the customer that there are other customers in line and would feedback to the manager. However, if the customer continue to create a nuisance, security could be called in. If the customer accepts, carry on with your work, and attend to him later. At the very last resort, if he continues to be abusive, call the security or superior for advice.

  1.    POTENTIAL BENEFITS

As mentioned above, the suggested solution for handling complaints is an acronym that spell out as “L.E.A.F” while the solution for handling angry guests is an easy three-steps method. These solutions are short and simple which makes it easy for staff to internalise. The visual aid proposed in the project will help to enhance learning experience through the reenactment of proper way of dealing with difficult work situations. It is able to create a clearer and lasting impression on the mind of staff as compared to written descriptions.

With the necessary knowledge and skills, staff across all front line departments will thus be able to handle difficult situations in a consistent way, ensuring that it follows according to the hotel standard operation procedures. Not only it elevates the professionalism of service staff, it also upholds the image of the hotel.

Guests, after all, are consumers who need to be satisfied given the amount of money they have paid for the hotel stay. As mentioned, service industry is highly interactive and the main operations revolve around guest satisfactions. Hence, the training of interpersonal communication skills could be only part of the initial orientation and ongoing in-service recap. In the future, with staff being equipped with such knowledge, it is possible for hotel to use incentives to initiate “pass it forward” campaign to encourage action-based peers learning and influences (Angrosino, 2010).

  1.    CONCLUSION

In short, the proposed project will be effective in imparting skills and knowledge to hotel service personnel in resolving interpersonal communication conflicts which involve emotions.

  1. REFERENCES

Angrosino, M. V. (2010). The Process of Social Intrapreneur. Florida, United States of America: Waveland Press, Inc. Retrieved 15 March, 2017.

Boo, H. C., Mattila, A. S., & Tan, C. Y. (2013). Effectiveness of recovery actions on deviant customer behavior—The moderating role of gender. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 35, 180–192. Retrieved from http://10.0.3.248/j.ijhm.2013.06.005

Callan, R. J., & Kyndt, G. (2001). Business Travellers’ Perception of Service Quality: A Prefatory Study of Two European City Centre Hotels. Internationl Journal of Tourism Research, 313-323.

Helyer, R. (2015). Learning through reflection: the critical role of reflection in work-based learning. Journal of Work-Applied Management, 7(1), 15-27. Retrieved 16 March, 2017, from Emerald Insight: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/pdfplus/10.1108/JWAM-10-2015-003

Shao, R., & Skarlicki, D. P. (2014). Service Employees’ Reactions to Mistreatment by Customers: A Comparison Between North America and East Asia. Personnel Psychology, 67(1), 23. Retrieved from https://libproxy.singaporetech.edu.sg/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=cookie,ip,uid&db=edb&AN=94280015&site=eds-live

Watson, V. (2016). Dealing with Angry Customers: A Practical Guide to Achieving Customer Satisfaction. Australia: ESales International Pty Ltd.

Training Video Synopsis Draft #2

  1.    INTRODUCTION

This report aims to address a typical interpersonal communications problem. The scope of the study is limited to the hospitality industry, in particular, the hotel sector. Specifically, we shall be investigating service encounters at a hotel front office. However, this issue can happen in any area, such as food & beverage establishments, where service staff would have to interact with customers.

1.1 About the Hospitality Industry

The hospitality industry belongs to a broad category within service industry that includes lodging, event planning, theme parks, transportation, cruise, and additional fields within the tourism industry. It is a multibillion-dollar industry that depends on the availability of leisure time and disposable income of travellers. A hospitality unit such as a restaurant, hotel, or an amusement park consists of multiple parties such as facility maintenance and direct operations (servers, housekeepers, porters, kitchen workers, bartenders, management, marketing, and human resources etc.).

1.2 Background of Swissotel the Stamford

Swissotel The Stamford is strategically located in the prime district of Singapore. Revered as Singapore’s leading business hotel and one of the tallest hotels in Southeast Asia, with over 1,200 exquisitely designed guest rooms, luxurious suites, guest can be extravagantly treated to a wide array of five-star service offerings which includes world-class shopping, luxury dining and entertainment experience. In addition, a venue comprises over 70,000 square feet, equipped with latest technologies and ancillary business services, Raffles City Convention boosts the capability of attracting business opportunities of all sizes.

Swissotel The Stamford aims to infuse Swiss heritage in its organisational competence, promptness in service delivery, reliability in service standards, attention to detail and while providing a safety staying environment. The goal is to ensure that each guest enjoys an unparalleled service experience.

In the introduction: Has the scope of the report’s focus been explained? Has the interpersonal problem situation been contextualized through a discussion of the following points:

(a) an explanation of the professional context and related industry, and a brief history of thereof, YES

(b) a concise description of the company (or type), YES

(c) a brief statement about the nature and importance of a particular interpersonal communication act, skill, strategy or approach, YES

(d) a brief summary of previous work/literature on the topic, including, if appropriate, relevant theory? YES

  1.    PROBLEM IDENTIFICATION 

Being in the highly interactive hospitality industry, staff will have to face guests all the time. Thus, it is bound to be a time when staff will encounter with unpleasant situations such as dealing with angry or upset guests. Such situations can be easily seen happening in frontline operation. Undesirable emotions are often involved as communication and interaction between both parties turned bad after all the complaints and arguments. Despite receiving negative and nasty words from guests, staff are not allowed to respond back with the same attitude as it will adversely affect the image of the hotel. Therefore, the interpersonal communication problem identified is about how service staff could manage personal feelings while having to deal with angry guests in a professional manner.

In the problem statement: Has one problem/issue been clearly identified? Is a manageable problem statement presented? Is it clear why/where/when the problem occurs?

  1.    OBJECTIVES  

The objective of this training video is to educate front desk officers on the skills that enable them to handle guests in difficult situations. When equipped with these skills, staff will be more composed in facing the problem and dealing it with more confidence. Staff can also be more independent to answer the guests directly instead of seeking for help from managers. This video also acts as a guideline that staff can adhere to, aligning it with the hotel standard of service. This allows the hotel to standardise the way staff respond to guest. This will help to minimise aggravating the situation further due to inconsistent information provided by staff.

Therefore, the training video should be short and concise with information that is easily understood and remembered by staff.  

In the objective of the study: Is the purpose of the study, or research clear? Does that statement specify why the research was undertaken? YES

  1.    RESEARCH METHODOLOGY 

Learning from real life experiences is determined to be most effective especially for knowledge which is more hands-on based. Critical reflection of past experience through practice and sharing of the outcomes enable people to improve ongoing skills by using the information and knowledge gained from the experience (Helyer, 2015). As such, the team will be conducting a face-to-face interview with experienced hotel frontline staff to learn from their reflections. The primary research is to gather information by listening to the past stories of the interviewee and understand how each individual handles such difficult encounters. On top of that, secondary research will be carried out to obtain information on general conflict resolving techniques which have been proven to be effective in the industry.

In the research methods: Is the methodology of the research clearly explained? Is there a clear explanation of why such research was needed? Have the various research instruments and the manner of using them been clearly described? YES

  1.    SUGGESTED SOLUTIONS

The training video will address the two scenarios that are likely to happen at front office – guests complaints and agitated guest that uses verbal abuse.

5.1 Handling Guest Complaints

The “L.E.A.F.” approach is suggested to be used when handling with guest complaints. “L.E.A.F.” stands for “listen, show empathy, act and follow up”. Firstly, staff should listen attentively to the guest’s complaint before responding. Attentiveness could be shown by standing up straight and maintain an eye contact with the guest. Nod subtly as a form of acknowledgement to what the guest had said. Secondly, showing empathy towards guest when listening to the complaint. Staff should understand from the guest point of view and be more understanding. Thirdly, staff can act in a manner that helps to resolve the complaint. The staff can explain to the guest that the complaint will be brought up to the relevant department to conduct an investigation on the matter. Lastly, there must be a follow-up to the complaint. The staff must remember to hone her words to communicate with the relevant department regarding the complaint. Front office manager should also be informed of the situation.  When the final investigation report is out, the guest must be informed of the result as a form of follow up.

5.2 Handling abusive customers

On the other hand, despite the above-mentioned method, the customer may refuse to accept the explanation and may turn verbally to the service staff. In such a scenario, the report suggested three basic steps to deal with such customers.

Firstly, always remain calm and cool, even when the customer continues to be abusive. Always maintain a non-aggressive eye contact with the customer to show that you are listening to their concern attentively, but do not make any verbal response at the moment. At the same time, look out whether the customer is carrying any offensive object or showing signs of attack.

Secondly, it is to control emotions when facing the aggressive guest. This can be done by using “self-talk” to remind oneself of the professional role that one is in. As mentioned by Watson (2016), things that you say to yourself (self-talk) has a great impact on how you feel and what you do. It is also important to remember that do not allow guest to affect one’s day and to resolve the problem quickly without causing more problems. It is important to keep the emotion in check and feel proud when the situation is handled well.

Lastly, remember to follow up the action. If the customer continues to be difficult and abusive, gently inform the customer that there are other customers in line and would feedback to the manager. However, if the customer continues to create a nuisance, security could be called in. If the customer accepts, carry on with your work, and attend to him later. At the very last resort, if he continues to be abusive, call the security or superior for advice.

  1.   FOLLOW UP ACTION

è If customer continues to be difficult, inform customer, “Sir/Ms, there are other customers waiting in line. I will let the manager know about your feedback. If you continue to be difficult, I will have to call the security.

è If the customer accepts, carry on with your work, and attend to her later. If the continues to abuse, call the security or superior for advice.

In the problem solutions: Are the solutions to the problem/suggested changes clearly articulated? Are these changes justified? Do they seem viable? Are the suggested changes supported by theory or evidence?

Yes. It is clearly articulated by breaking it down to 2 different main points and both points has different approaches towards it. These points were also clearly supported by the theory/ approach and further elaborated.

  1.    BENEFITS 

As mentioned above, the suggested solution for handling complaints is an acronym that spell out as “L.E.A.F” while the solution for handling angry guests is an easy three-steps method. These solutions are short and simple which makes it easy for staff to internalise. Through the video, staff will have the opportunity to watch a reenactment of the proper way of dealing the situation. The visual aid will help to enhance the learning experience by allowing them to know how to carry out the skills.

With the video, staff will have the knowledge in answering to guests in difficult situations. Staff will thus handle the situation in a standard format, ensuring that it follow according to the hotel standard operation procedures. Not only it elevates the professionalism of service staff, it also upholds the image of the hotel.

Guests, after all, are consumers who need to be satisfied given the amount of money they have paid for the hotel stay. As mentioned, service industry is highly interactive and the main operations revolve around guest satisfactions. Hence, the training of interpersonal communication skills could be only part of the initial orientation and ongoing in-service recap. In the future, with staff being equipped with such knowledge, it is possible for hotel to use incentives to initiate “pass it forward” campaign to encourage action-based peers learning and influences (Angrosino, 2010).

In the benefits: Are the potential benefits of the solution(s) clearly presented?

Yes, it is clearly mentioned that the employees will be able to learn from other’s past mistakes (through the video) and ensure that this mistake will not be repeated again. On top of that, it also enables employees to learn the standards and ensure that their actions adhere to the hotel standard operation procedures.

  1.    CONCLUSION

In short, the proposed training video will be effective in imparting skills and knowledge to hotel service personnel in resolving interpersonal communication conflicts which involve emotions.

  1. REFERENCES

Angrosino, M. V. (2010). The Process of Social. Florida, United States of America: Waveland Press, Inc. Retrieved 15 March, 2017, from https://books.google.com.sg/books?id=7l9ybA-0WLgC&pg=PA84&lpg=PA84&dq=leaf+listen+emphatise+act+follow+up&source=bl&ots=mxabEhUvOz&sig=lRwlzcKm9CVtIFVuKehpiqvn0LY&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjm1-H82dvSAhXMsI8KHf10D1QQ6AEIIjAC#v=onepage&q=leaf%20listen%20emphati

Boo, H. C., Mattila, A. S., & Tan, C. Y. (2013). Effectiveness of recovery actions on deviant customer behavior—The moderating role of gender. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 35, 180–192. Retrieved from http://10.0.3.248/j.ijhm.2013.06.005

Helyer, R. (2015). Learning through reflection: the critical role of reflection in work-based learning. Journal of Work-Applied Management, 7(1), 15-27. Retrieved 16 March, 2017, from Emerald Insight: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/pdfplus/10.1108/JWAM-10-2015-003

Shao, R., & Skarlicki, D. P. (2014). Service Employees’ Reactions to Mistreatment by Customers: A Comparison Between North America and East Asia. Personnel Psychology, 67(1), 23. Retrieved from https://libproxy.singaporetech.edu.sg/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=cookie,ip,uid&db=edb&AN=94280015&site=eds-live

Comments made by Eline, Shufang and Darren:

In the concluding statement: Is there a final summary, albeit brief, of the main thrust of the synopsis? Is there a ‘call to action’ or a list of ‘takeaways’?

The concluding statement could be improved. Should include a summary of the problem again and end the concluding statement stating how the training video will help company with educating their employees.

In the language use: What is your impression of the language use? Is it clear? Is it correct?

The language used is generally clear and concise.

In the flow of ideas: Are the ideas coherently presented?

Great flow of ideas, ideas were structured and well-paragraphed. This allows readers to follow through the report easily.

Is there effective use of transition words and phrases, within paragraphs and between them?

Yes, generally effective use of transition words and phrases throughout the report to link sentences together.

Some examples are:

Section 5.1: Used of firstly, secondly, thirdly

Section 1.2: In addition

Section 1: However

Section 7: In short

In the ‘voice’: Is the proposal communicated in “one consistent voice”? Does it reflect a clear sense of audience?

Proposal was communicated in one consistent voice. Report has a logical flow and reflects clear sense of audience.

Overall impact: How would you rate the overall impact of this proposal in terms of language use, content and organization? (excellent; very good; good; needs improvement; needs a lot more work)

Very good. Require minor edit and polishing. Overall, very good demonstration of  concepts learnt! Keep it up!

Training Video Synopsis Draft #1

 

INTRODUCTION

This report aims to address a typical interpersonal communications problem.

The scope of study is limited to the hospitality industry, in particular the hotel sector. Specifically, we shall be investigating service encounters at a hotel front office. However, this issue can happen at any area, such as food & beverage establishments, where service staff would have to interact with customers.

1.1 About the Hospitality Industry

The hospitality industry belongs to a broad category within service industry that includes lodging, event planning, theme parks, transportation, cruise, and additional fields within the tourism industry. It is a multibillion-dollar industry that depends on the availability of leisure time and disposable income of travellers. A hospitality unit such as a restaurant, hotel, or an amusement park consists of multiple parties such as facility maintenance and direct operations (servers, housekeepers, porters, kitchen workers, bartenders, management, marketing, and human resources etc.).

1.2 Background of Swissotel the Stamford

Swissotel The Stamford, is strategically located in the prime district of Singapore. Revered as Singapore’s leading business hotel and one of the tallest hotels in Southeast Asia, with over 1,200 exquisitely designed guestrooms, luxurious suites, guest can be extravagantly treated to a wide array of five-star service offerings which includes world-class shopping, luxury dining and entertainment experience. In addition, a venue comprises over 70,000 square feet, equipped with latest technologies and ancillary business services, Raffles City Convention boost the capability of attracting business opportunities of all sizes.

Swissotel The Stamford aims to infuse Swiss heritage in its organisational competence, promptness in service delivery, reliability in service standards, attention to detail and while providing a safety staying environment. The goal is to ensure that each guest enjoys an unparalleled service experience.

PROBLEM IDENTIFICATION 

Being in the highly interactive hospitality industry, staff will have to face guests all the time. Thus, it is bound to be a time when staff will encounter with unpleasant situation such as dealing with angry or upset guests. Such situations can be easily seen happening in frontline operation. Undesirable emotions are often involved as communication and interaction between both parties turned bad after all the complaints and arguments. Despite receiving negative and nasty words from guests, staff are not allowed to respond back with the same attitude as it will adversely affect the image of the hotel. Therefore, the interpersonal communication problem identified is about how service staff could manage personal feelings while having to deal with angry guests in professional manner.

OBJECTIVES

The objective of this training video is to educate front desk officers on the skills that enable them to handle guests in difficult situations. When equipped with these skills, staff will be more composed in facing the problem, and dealing it with more confidence. Staff can also be more independent to answer the guests directly instead of seeking for help from managers. This video also act as a guideline that staff can adhere to, aligning it with the hotel standard of service. This allows the hotel to standardise the way staff respond to guest. This will help to minimise aggravating the situation further due to inconsistent information provided by staff.

Therefore, the training video should be short and concise with information that is easily understood and remembered by staff.   

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

Learning from real life experiences is determined to be most effective especially for knowledge which is more hands-on based. As such, the team will be conducting face-to-face interview with experienced hotel frontline staff. The primary research is to gather information by listening to the past stories of interviewee and understand how each individual handles such difficult encounters. On top of that, secondary research will be carried out to obtain information on general conflict resolving techniques which have been proven to be effective in the industry.

SUGGESTED SOLUTIONS 

The training video will address the two scenarios that are likely to happen at front office – guests complaints and agitated guest that uses verbal abuse.

5.1 Handling Guest Complaints

The “L.E.A.F.” approach is suggested to be use when handling with guest complaints. “L.E.A.F.” stands for listen, show empathy, act and follow up.  Firstly, staff should listen attentively to the guest’s complaint before responding. Attentiveness could be shown by standing up straight and maintain an eye contact with the guest. Nod subtly as a form of acknowledgement to what the guest had said. Secondly, showing empathy towards guest when listening to the complaint. Staff should understand from the guest point of view and be more understanding. Thirdly, staff can act in a manner that help to resolve the complaint. The staff can explain to the guest that the complaint will be brought up to the relevant department to conduct an investigation on the matter. Lastly, there must be a follow up to the complaint. The staff must remember to hone her words to communicate with the relevant department regarding the complaint. Front office manager should also be informed of the situation.  When the final investigation report is out, the guest must be informed on the result as a form of follow up.

5.2 Handling abusive customers

Handling customer who refuses to accept the explanation and becomes abusive

  1. KEEP CALM & COOL

è Remain calm and composed if customer continues to be abusive

è Maintain non-aggressive eyes contact to show that you are listening but do not make any verbal response

è Look out whether customer is carrying any offensive object or sign of attack

  1. CONTROL YOUR EMOTIONS

Control your emotions and behavior by using “self-talk”:

è Reminding yourself you are a professional and know how to deal with the situation in a right manner

è Telling yourself you won’t allow another person to ruin your day

è Telling yourself you want to resolve the problem quickly and not throw fuel into the fire

è Knowing that you will feel proud if you can handle the situation well

  1. FOLLOW UP ACTION

è If customer continues to be difficult, inform customer, “Sir/Ms, there are other customers waiting in line. I will let the manager know about your feedback. If you continue to be difficult, I will have to call the security.

è If the customer accepts, carry on with your work, and attend to her later. If the continues to abuse, call the security or superior for advice.

BENEFITS

As mentioned above, the suggested solution for handling complaints is an acronym that spell out as “L.E.A.F” while the solution for handling angry guests is an easy three-steps method. These solutions are short and simple which makes it easy for staff to internalise. Through the video, staff will have the opportunity to watch a reenactment of the proper way of dealing the situation. The visual aid will help to enhance the learning experience by allowing them to know how to carry out the skills.

With the video, staff will have the knowledge in answering to guests in difficult situations. Staff will thus handle the situation in a standard format, ensuring that it follow according to the hotel standard operation procedures. Not only it elevates the professionalism of service staff, it also uphold the image of the hotel.

CONCLUSION

In short, the proposed training video will be effective in imparting skills and knowledge to hotel service personnel in resolving interpersonal communication conflicts which involve emotions.

Letter of Service Recovery

Dear Mr Bennert,

Thank you for taking the time to share your valued feedback with us.

I regret to learn about the challenges that you encountered during your stay with us. Kindly allow me to assure you that we will certainly continue to strive to enhance the quality of our offerings and service touch points in order to serve you better, as well as monitor ways to better manage our partnerships with our online travel agents. Please also allow me to assure you that it is never our intention to cause any of our guests unnecessary stress or inconvenience when accessing the Sands SkyPark infinity pool.

We will need to check with Agoda regarding the breakfast arrangement and will contact you again within 5 working days with a follow up on the refund. I hope that this experience will not deter you from visiting us again and I look forward to the opportunity to welcome you back to Jupiter Hotel for a more successful stay.

Thank you.
Regards,

Eon

Guest Service Agent

Jupiter Hotel

(163 words) / Revised

 

REFLECTION: INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION ISSUE

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Ocean Suite 908 

I would like to share about an interpersonal communication problem that happened during my time working in Resorts World Sentosa (RWS). I was the guest services agent manning the ocean suite reception desk, providing services exclusively for guest staying in suites and villas. As guests are paying a premium for the stay,  they tend to be more demanding with high expectations of receiving quality hospitality, attention and benefits from the hotel. For example, early check-in and late departure are one of those common requests that I will receive on daily basis.

There are only 11 Ocean Suites available for booking. 908 is the suite strategically located in the middle of the stretch which is deemed to have the best view of the underwater sanctuary. Thus, it is constantly being blocked as show room in order to present the best to entice potential guests. One of my daily duties was to do room assignment as well as monitor arrival and departure movements to ensure the operation flow is smooth. The incident took place when I decided to allow a young Japanese couple to check-in early into the corner suite, 912. The reason was because I knew from their profile itinerary that they will depart early in the next morning. Therefore, I thought they will be grateful and extremely satisfied for the early check-in since they could now have more time to enjoy the facilities.

Furthermore, I also expected the couple to be more reserved and tolerable according to my understanding of their cultures. Little did I know, despite the language barrier, they complaint about the partially blocked view of the aquarium in the suite. With prior research done on the accommodation, they were in fact aware that the middle suites present better view. Therefore, halfway into my conduction of in-room orientation, they had already refused to unpack and insisted to wait inside the suite until a room move is available. At the moment, I did not try harder to change their perception of the suite by explaining the other attractive features to the couple to convince them to stay. Instead, I simply agreed to their opinions and request for room move.

The consequence was I had to have housekeeping to rush a suite for the room move. At the same time, with the couple occupying 912, I was not able to assign it to another early arrival. It messed up my initial plan with everything else got delayed and had to extend late check-out for a few rooms. Internally, it also added extra pressure to the workload of my housekeeping peers as they have to quickly tidy-up suite 912 again as an inspected room for next arrival.

Reflecting back on this incident, I realized the importance of understanding others through communication. It could help to remove any wrong perceptions and impressions that we might have of others. Therefore, what could I have done differently to ensure I understand the expectation of the Japanese guests or even to convince them to stay in suite 912?

Personal Branding

For the ultimate review: How do some of the key areas discussed connect to your personal branding? 

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Personal branding is about marketing oneself to the world through verbal and non-verbal ways of communication. Before disclosing yourself, a person needs to practice self-awareness to be able to discover own capabilities and personalities. This is the base of personal branding as it determines how you want to be known by others.

As much as I enjoy living with self-confidence to fearlessly do anything, but like everyone else, I sometimes have my share of fears and insecurities too. However, I believe that confidence and self-awareness always go hand in hand. Therefore, understanding myself as a person who has concrete thinking, I tend to gather necessary skills and knowledge ahead of time to ensure the achievement of desired outcomes. For example, I will put in extra effort by doing more in-depth research and readings on the project topic because concrete evidence and knowledge allow me to produce quality report. At the same time, I am also able to share or guide my group mates. Applying it to personal branding, others might be seeing me as a reliable and responsible team player to work with.

On top of knowing others well, we have to note that understanding self is equally important which will help in discovering ways to build effective relationships with different individuals. Realizing my own personality flaws such as being a perfectionist, it reminds me to always set realistic expectations when working with other people. It is good to at least behave in such way when dealing with unfamiliar people for the first time. It makes communication and interaction more comfortable and stress-free.

Emotional intelligence (EQ) also greatly affects how one is perceived by others. It reflects the capability of individuals to recognize their own, and other people’s emotions, to differentiate between feelings and manage properly according to present situation. If I am able to remain calm and react appropriately when dealing with angry guest, it portrays to other guests, colleagues and even managers about my service professionalism. Also, this will help to uphold the good image of both myself and the hotel.

Lastly, non-verbal cues such as emotions, tone and body languages will form impression in the mind of others. For instance, when I report to work with happiness and excitement, my attitude and tone will tend to be more friendly when checking-in guests. Hence, guests might perceive myself as a joyful service personnel who works with passion.

In conclusion, all areas of communication are important as together, they define who you are in the eyes and minds of others. Thus, one has to manage these aspects well with wisdom.

 

 

Self Introduction

To: Brad Blackstone
From: Eon Yang
Date: 18 January 2017
Subject: Self-Introduction

Dear Brad,

My name is Eon and I am currently a second year undergraduate studying hospitality business in Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT). I am writing to share with you my educational and professional background, as well as my strengths and weaknesses in communication.

My alma mater, Temasek Polytechnic was where my passion for hospitality started as I was given many opportunities to be part of the industry during the course of study. The most significant one was my overseas internship in Mauritius for nearly six months. It was my first experience working in a highly multicultural environment where I learnt to become more adaptable and open-minded. At the five stars beach resort, LUX* Belle Mare, my main duties included but not limited to handling daily arrivals and departures, itinerary planning, conducting orientation tour and interpreting services. I even had the chance to become a personal butler taking care of VIPs such as Chinese investors and artistes. Main responsibility was to facilitate their communications and interactions with the locals especially the management staff.

After graduating with a diploma in hospitality & tourism management, I continued to stay involved in hotel front-line operation for a year before joining SIT. The working experience at Equarius Hotel & Beach Villas as a guest services agent allowed me to further refine my communication and interpersonal skills.

Recently, I had the opportunity to learn about back-of-house operations from my four months internship at the corporate office of Millennium & Copthorne Hotels as part of the global distribution services team. It was a job that requires a high level of attention to details as I had to deal with rates loading for all properties under the hotel chain.

I am a perceptive listener who shows sensitivity to both vocal and non-verbal cues in any communication encounters. Being an analytical thinker, I usually gather my thoughts before speaking up. However, I realized it will sometimes cause difficulty in communicating freely and naturally in social setting. Therefore, I am still learning to become a confident, comfortable and natural communicator.

In short, I hope the above helps you in knowing me better and I look forward to learning more from you in the remaining weeks.

Thank you.

Warmest regards,

Eon Yang

Revised on 9/2/2017/.

Names of peers whose posts I have read (some are in other classes):

Xianda, Hong Yi, Eline, Darren, Shu Fang, Russell, Zhi Xin, Yan Xuan, Denise, Chantel, Shi Hui, Simin, Charmaine, Leon