"Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travelers don’t know where they’re going."
- Paul Theroux


Views and Interviews

May 2021

The role of customer support
in the hospitality industry

Support teams play an extremely crucial role in customer relationships. In a sense they are the face of the company and have the responsibility to reflect an image of being patient, friendly and helpful in all interactions.

While many of these interactions could be related to complaints, customers do approach support teams for information and assistance. On promotion campaigns for instance, many of the calls coming in will be in response to specific ads or promotions. It will then be extremely useful to be familiar with the terms and conditions of the offer and the applicable period. These calls will be a good interface to gather names, numbers and other details to enter into a database.

Interestingly, part of the responsibility here will be to upsell to current clients based on plan chosen, or introduce linking options with exchange partners.

Here are some points to keep in mind when you’re training young career aspirants in the area of customer support. (These points are addressed to members of a support team.)

  1. You are the face and voice of customer support, and the way you engage with customers will determine which way the conversation is going.
  2. Understand each customer who calls, or people you are reaching out to – in terms of vacation needs, vacation plan chosen and family information.

  1. Keep track of previous calls, requests, complaints and other conversations with the customer. This could be important.
  2. Some customer interactions could call for a little more patience and talk-time – especially senior citizens who may be blurry about plans chosen, or payments made towards annual maintenance.
  3. You could receive calls complaining about food, service, housekeeping, or one of the staff members. It is important here to have a briefing on how such calls could be handled.
  4. One common complaint (we’ve heard this from support teams) could be about the member’s inability to obtain confirmed bookings – even during pre-assigned vacation slots.
  5. You could have calls before a vacation, during a vacation, and after a vacation – each of these calls could be about something you were not trained to handle. You would need to understand company policy on handling calls outside the scope of briefing sessions.
  6. If you run into a situation that calls for clarification or resolution from a higher level, you must inform the customer that this is being done, and how long a call-back could take.

  1. The last call you receive at the end of the day can sometimes be the trickiest, especially if extends beyond normal call limits – that’s when you need infinite patience and the ability to stay calm. Just like the first call you make, or receive in the morning.

Image credits - www.pexels.com/@yankrukov 

Content Disclaimer: The views expressed in our interviews and stories do not necessarily reflect the official policies, practices and guidelines of the All India Resort Development Association, or its members. These views are based on personal experiences, private opinion, or open source information. (Images used here are either "paid-for" stock photos, images shared by the people we interview, or images under one of the open source licenses such as Creative Commons and others.)

Here’s a link to some recent interviews done by us on the AIRDA website

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