Making or Breaking the Customer Experience: The Importance of Staff Engagement

July 17th 2017

What’s the most important factor in the success of a hospitality business? If you look at what hospitality businesses large and small—from giant conglomerates to tiny family owned establishments—have in common, there’s one thing that all successful operations share: They understand the importance of staff engagement with guests. When the staff is friendly and welcoming, customers are overwhelmingly more likely to enjoy the time they spend in your establishment; and when customers enjoy the time they spend in your establishment, the more likely they are to return and to recommend it to their friends, family, and colleagues. Obviously, this is something that every hospitality business wants. Here are some things you need to know about creating staff engagement to improve your customers’ experience:  

Why Staff Engagement Is Critical to Success

Staff engagement is one of the key ways in which hospitality businesses distinguish themselves from their competition. When customers patronize a hospitality business, they are looking for more than food or lodgings: They are looking for a positive, welcoming experience that makes them feel comfortable being there. Those hospitality businesses that give their customers a positive experience and make them feel highly valued will get customers coming back. Those that treat their customers like another number or just a source of money will quickly alienate their customer base and find themselves struggling. Using staff engagement to create a positive experience is especially important in today’s hospitality atmosphere. Customers have more control over their hospitality experience than ever, thanks to online resources that let them easily perform research; book appointments from home; and leave feedback for other potential customers to find. Most hospitality businesses find themselves working in a field where the consumer is spoiled for choice, and slight differences in the products or services they offer aren’t enough to stand out and earn ongoing customer loyalty. choosing from menu

How to Improve Staff Engagement

Hospitality organizations need to do more than just tell their staff to engage with customers and hope for the best. They need to create an environment where engagement is encouraged and rewarded, and where the staff is trained to consider how they interact with customers at all times. Successful staff engagement efforts require:
  • A culture of learning: Employees should not be left on their own to figure out the best ways to interact with customers. Instead, staff engagement is something that should be taught, from the moment employee training begins until the day an employee leaves the business.
  • Clear communication: What does successful staff engagement look like? Every hospitality business should clearly define their specific goals for staff engagement, how those goals can be achieved, and how well its staff is succeeding at achieving those goals.
  • Alignment of goals: The goals of an organization and the individual goals of each of its staff members should be aligned. Employees should be encouraged to include improving customer experience as part of their personal goals, rather than it just being an overall goal for the organization as a whole.
Want more information about running a successful hospitality business? Contact our hospitality supplies experts today at 800-526-8224.

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