In my travels across the country, especially to Blantyre and Lilongwe, I interact with many different hotel staff. I think that in general, hotel staff are far more customer friendly than in most other establishments. But this is not surprising as their industry is tourism and at the heart of tourism is the need to be friendly to guests and customers.
However, from time to time, I meet some hotel staff whose conduct leaves a lot to be desired in terms of their mood and the approach to managing customer queries, complaints and requests. Last week, at one of the hotels in the country, I had a good chat with one of the junior hotel staff. He was very jovial, charming and seemed to do his job with love and care.
I asked him for his opinion on hotel staff that are unfriendly or even a little hostile. Prior to meeting him, earlier in the day, I had experienced bad customer care from a lady in the business centre. I had a speech to print and I was running out of time. I had 30 minutes before an event and needed to take shower and have the speech printed plus do a little rehearsing. I had telephoned the business centre attendant explaining that I needed her to help print and send over the speech to the room and that I was running out of time.
She gave me an email address that I could use to send her the speech file. When I called 20 minutes later, asking whether she had printed the speech and sent it over, she told me that she had not received the email. At this point I was quite frustrated because she knew I was in a hurry and if she had not received the email, she should have given feedback proactively and in time. This is what staff who are good at their job do – check, monitor, follow up, track and feedback. I did not hesitate but gave her some feedback on what I expected from her and what I expect her to do next time in similar instances. Instead of accepting feedback from a customer, she went into rage and spoke quite negatively with a bad tone against me. I simply ignored her and helped myself to catch up with the time.
I narrated this story to the charming hotel staff and he said “some people come to work with bad moods from their homes.” He said there are staff, including customer facing staff, that sometimes come to work loaded with bad moods from their homes. He said he is always charming and good with customers even if he has issues at home.
Let us face it, we all get issues at home from time to time. May be you did not have enough sleep the night before due to a number of possible reasons like sickness or baby issues. It could be that you had a strained relationship with your spouse in the morning. Perhaps your car bumped into someone as you were driving to work. May be it is the middle of the month and your cash has been run down and you do not know how you will survive until the next pay day.
What this gentleman was saying is that all those issues need to be left behind as you enter office. Work to isolate them from you at work so that you do not have a bad or negative mood at work. Negative moods will greatly affect your performance at work. Negative moods will affect how you talk to customers and how you treat them. Bad moods will greatly impact your relationships with your peers at work or even your relationship with your boss and your juniors. It is therefore, very important that you manage your moods at work. In fact, if you keep good moods all the time, you will be seen as someone that can be respected, mature and solid as a leader. You are likely to get more promotions at work than your peers that fail to manage their moods. Good luck! n