The Hospitality industry includes a broad group of businesses that provides different services to customers. Boarding a plane, staying at a hotel or eating at a restaurant, are all activities within this industry. The field focuses on the satisfaction of customers and provides specific experiences for them.
Hospitality is a very unique field due to the fact that it heavily relies on the flexible incomes and the free time of customers. People don’t necessarily need to take a vacation and go on a trip – with or without their families –, which is why the Hospitality industry is very different from any other industry. Since the services provided are not necessities, providing a high level of customer service must be the ultimate goal for Hospitality workers. By doing so, they will attract potential customers, retain existing ones, and ensure their satisfaction.
A Hospitality expert, therefore, has a very strong focus on customers and the levels of services provided, as well as the economics of the industry. Jobs in Hospitality are all about providing friendly, efficient and attentive customer service.
Hospitality professionals are usually responsible for the following:
- Interacting with customers to ensure satisfaction.
- Catering to the customer’s needs, maintaining the highest standards of quality and service, constantly enhancing the customer’s experience.
- Attending to complaints in order to find a solution and provide a better service.
- Solving conflicts in a respectful and timely manner.
- Promoting the establishment’s products and/or services in order to ensure maximum revenue and customer satisfaction.
All professionals working in the Hospitality field usually share the same characteristics, which include, but are not limited to:
- Having a genuine love of people and being genuinely friendly.
- Being able to address people with confidence, in a warm and respectful manner.
- Having strong customer service skills and great patience.
- Having strong interpersonal and communication skills, including negotiation, conflict resolution, and relationship building skills.
- Being great at problem-solving, decision-making, and strategical/analytical thinking.
- Being organized and detail-oriented.
- Being great at multitasking and prioritizing.
- Being discreet and being trustworthy enough to handle sensitive and confidential information.
- Being able to work independently, yet being great at team working and networking.
- Having strong computer skills and a thorough knowledge and understanding of hygiene, health and safety regulations, as well as hotel’s policies and regulations.
- Being proficient in a second language.
Since formal education isn’t necessary to work in the Hospitality field, you can easily get promoted. You can simply work your way up the career ladder from an entry-level customer service role. Working in an entry-level position helps the individual understand the inner workings of a hotel from the ground up. However, in most cases, college degrees or a higher education is required. Similarly, certifications and licenses, although not obligatory, can help candidates demonstrate and support their knowledge and experience, as well as get better positions.
It is very common for applicants in this field to work flexible schedules, including weekends and holidays, as well as to stand for an eight-hour long shift.
Hospitality professionals can get their certifications in The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI), starting from Certified Guest Service Professional (CGSP) to Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA).