We at hotel Hotelintel.co believe that hotel students should be learning from as many sources as possible. To help them achieve this, we take questions from hotel industry students from all over the world and put them to hoteliers who know their stuff. Our experienced hotelier today – Mr. Sukamal Mondal has over 17 years of experience in the industry, having first cut his teeth in China. He worked his way up from waiter to restaurant manager and then through several management positions right up to his current position today as the General Manager of the Oriental Residence, Bangkok.
Q:**If a guest complains and acts very emotional, can you give some advice on how best to handle the situation, especially if the customer is wrong? **Jirachcha Sawangchai / Silpakorn University, Faculty of Management Science & Vatel International Business School
A:You need to L-E-A-R-N
L: Listen to guest clearly and make them feel that they have been heard carefully
E: Empathize them and show them that we really care and very much concern about their issue or their problem. The reaction that we always need is – we need to flow with the guest first. Offer body language by actions, by cues, by eye contact that you are in their shoes and totally understand.
**A: **Apologize genuinely, make sure there is no imitation behavior is included otherwise it can make worse
**R: **React to the issue immediately
**N: **Notify the guest what action been taken so that they feel valued
“Every aspect or action taken must be related to the guest benefit” – It should be WIN-WIN
Q:**How do you deal with the pressures of your position? **Ploypailin Pattanakul / Silpakorn University, Faculty of Management Science & Vatel International Business School
A:Stress is always there everywhere however it is always a choice. When you work with passion you will always take stress in a positive way.
Q:**In your opinion, what skills and traits do you need to be a successful General Manager? **Chaichana Trichokuiput / Silpakorn University, Faculty of Management Science & Vatel International Business School
A:I only think we need 3 things to be successful – Passion, Passion, And Passion.
My personal leadership success stories: I make myself accountable when things go wrong, I try my best to stay humble, Trust enough people to let them succeed or fail, I am ambitious without harming or backstabbing others, I try my best to be fair.
Q:**Would you share with us one of your remarkable experiences with your staff/customers? **NG Xi Xuan / PolyU School of Hotel and Tourism Management
A:This is from ORIENTAL RESIDENCE BANGKOK Assistant Front office Manager. Khun Sudaporn: ‘I did something very simple. I checked in a guest who although book a room that included breakfast, he wouldn’t get to enjoy it as he had to leave early in the morning before breakfast opened. I prepared a breakfast box for him so that he could eat it in the limo on the way to the airport. He was an old man, so the way I talked with him was very gentle – similar to the way that I speak with my grandpa. It make him feel like we really do care for him. The jackpot was that one week after he checked out, it turned out that he was a CEO of a big company (which is a potential client to the hotel). He emailed us and complimented me to our brand’s CEO. He loved our service a lot and he made sure that our hotel was his ‘preferred hotel’. ALWAYS FIND CUES TO ASSIST THE GUEST, BRING THEM A SMILE , ALWAYS GO THE EXTRA MILE.
Q:**How would you measure a hotel’s success? **LAI Yip Long / PolyU School of Hotel and Tourism Management
A:I measure Hotel’s success in many different versions:
- Associate/Team Member satisfaction level – their well being, benefits and their happiness, create a memorable work environment.
- Guest Satisfaction level – Simple- make them feel happy and wow and they will rate you accordingly.
- Enlarge Top line (Revenue and Stretch Bottom line (Profit).