Hospitality, at its very core, is centered around people. The customer must be at the front of every decision we make, and each process should be tailored directly to them. My “People First” mentality in hospitality uses engagement, communication, and a positive attitude to help customers feel more at home, even if they are from thousands of miles away.
In order to have positive engagement, you first need to build rapport with others. This positive rapport only comes through fostering trust and responsiveness, and one of the best ways to gain this trust is by putting other people first. Ask yourself, what would it be like to be in their shoes? What assistance would you need if you were in their situation? Questions like this will help you respect the way that they see the world. That forethought is the core of good communication. It immediately makes people feel more comfortable and more responsive. In short, pay attention and respect the other person and you will build lasting trust.
The “People First” mentality also applies to the way you communicate with those around you. Your communication style should be tailored towards your guests. Think of it this way: communication is the bare minimum. Anyone can communicate through speech. Even a grunt would count as communication. But people-first communication is one of the best ways of going the extra mile. A genuine smile, a friendly tone of voice, and positive body language can go a long way and are each essential for people-first communication. Did you know that body language accounts for 55% of personal communication? If someone’s words and body language are contradictory, other people are more likely to heed the nonverbal cues.
Part of putting people first includes using positive language. Your goal with each customer should be to make them feel welcome and comfortable with every interaction. With this in mind, positive language should be viewed as the backbone of the “People First” mentality. Focus on what can be done instead of what can not be done. How you can satisfy the customer during this time with positivity and a can-do attitude? Engage your client with conversation about topics in which they’re interested, but keep the conversation light, and focus on adding to the relationships instead of accidentally stepping on peoples’ toes.
Remember to teach and apply the “People First” mentality to your coworkers and the members of your team as well. This mentality will make a big difference in your interactions with the people they work with, not just your guests. Go out of your way to engage others, and pay attention to your communication. By combining these steps with a positive attitude, you’re sure to help your guests get the most out of their stay!