Soft skills are defined as attributes that enable you to interact with customers or clients effectively and harmoniously. Here are a few examples.
Hospitality can be very unpredictable. For example, a restaurant may be much busier than usual one night, then much quieter than usual the following night. Hotels often experience fluctuating demand, which can be due to many factors, such as the economy or the time of year. That’s why every hospitality professional needs to be capable of adapting to sudden change. For example, a manager needs to be good at monitoring shifts in the market to make sure the business has enough staff to meet demand.
Courtesy – being polite in your attitude and behaviour towards others – is essential for any hospitality job. This is an important soft skill that you need to maintain even when your customers might be rude or grumpy from time to time. For example, in a hotel, a customer might complain that their pillows are too hard. As a hotel receptionist or assistant, you’ll obviously have no control over this. However, a courteous response would be to say something along the lines of: ‘I’m sorry to hear that the pillows are not to your liking. I’ll send someone to replace them right away. Is there anything else I can help you with?’
Hospitality professionals will often encounter people from all walks of life from all over the World. Being sensitive to cross-cultural differences will help you address your customers appropriately and avoid any misunderstandings. For example, verbal and non-verbal communication styles can vary a lot between different countries.
All hospitality professionals need to be good at giving information clearly so they don’t mislead or confuse people. When a customer or client gives you feedback, it’s also important to be objective and avoid expressing any personal opinions, as this can come across as unprofessional.
In hospitality, sometimes there isn’t always an easy ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answer when you’re dealing with a problem. You’ll often have to use your judgement to make split-second decisions, especially when you’re rushed off your feet. Every now and then, you might make the wrong decision. If this happens, it’s important to accept responsibility for the mistake and move on. Working with integrity will help you earn your colleagues’ trust and loyalty, which will promote good morale in the business.
So whether you’ve set your sights on hotel management or luxury catering, hopefully you’ll find this advice helpful. If you haven’t already, please register your CV on BASE so we can connect you with all the latest hospitality jobs.
If you are passionate about customer service and you would be proud to work at Battersea Power Station please sign up today.