Just the words hospitality training manual may be enough to make even the most engaged hotel staffer’s eyes begin to droop. But it doesn’t have to be this way: Hospitality training can be both engaging and educational, and a well-written manual is the secret weapon.
A strong training manual will provide not only the information your teams need to do their jobs well, it will be a how-to guide to creating exceptional guest experiences. Even as the customer-facing elements of the hospitality industry grow ever more automated, the fact remains that there’s no replacement for a friendly and helpful staffer.
With that in mind, here’s how to build a hospitality training manual your staff will want to read.
Include a Quick Reference Guide with FAQs
The easiest way to ensure your employees read your training manual is to include information they can’t do without and won’t want to keep having to ask someone else.
Work with existing staff to come up with a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and provide the shortest answers so new employees can get the reminder they need at a glance. This is also a good place to put hotel houskeeping tips, keyboard shortcuts, a visual guide to your handheld radios and often-called phone numbers.
Provide Quotes from Real Customer Reviews
With online review sites galore, it’s easier than ever for your guests to share their opinions about your property – the good, the bad and the ugly. Sharing quotes from those reviews in your hotel customer service training can help you reinforce why great service is so important.
Positive quotes about customer service highlight the magic that can happen when your staff goes above and beyond. Negative quotes put the focus on where your hospitality training may need some help, and they drive home that inadequate service has a real impact for your guests and your property.
Tell Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Stories About Customer Care
People love stories, and there’s nothing like a good narrative to drive a point home. To illustrate the importance of customer care, intersperse your training manual with real-life scenarios and response options for new team members to choose from.
Lay out a situation and give three choices for how to respond: one an example of exceptional customer service, one meh, and one that details what you don’t want staff to do. By gathering stories from existing staff to build your scenarios, you get them involved in the hospitality training process, too.
Provide Tips on How to Personalize the Guest Experience
Robot receptionists may be able to check people into rooms, but only a real person can empathize with a guest who’s having a bad day or assess how much assistance a foreign traveler needs to have an enjoyable trip.
Encourage staff to find out guests’ preferences so they can tailor their experience. It can be as simple as finding out if they need family-friendly restaurant recommendations or determining if they’ll be in town long enough to attend the big, unique event coming up. Your training manual is a place to guide staff on what questions to ask and when.
Involve Current Employees as Much as Possible
In addition to gathering their FAQs, shortcuts and stories, you’ll want to engage current staff in helping to build an effective training manual as much as you can. Get their input and ask what they wish they’d known when they started about things like hotel cleaning routines or eco-friendly elements of your hotel housekeeping checklist.
They’ll know better than anyone what kind of content a new employee will need – and want – to read, and they’ll appreciate that you’re recognizing their expertise enough to ask for their help.
Start Writing (or Rewriting)
Whether you’re a small property putting together an official hospitality training manual for the first time or a large resort in the midst of a training refresh, you want to build materials that will have the most impact on your new hires. Setting the right tone with staff will model for them how to treat and delight your guests.