Tourism is a very crucial sector as far as Rwanda’s economy is concerned. Rwanda is not as blessed when it comes to natural resources as compared to countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo or Tanzania. Even when it comes to tourism, countries
like Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania still have much more to offer.
Therefore in order to get a share of the tourism dollars, Rwanda Development Board has over time focused on attracting high end tourists and offering them worthwhile experiences, especially the breathtaking gorilla trekking experience. A number of
investors have heeded the call and invested in the construction of hotels.
What many of them forget is that in the hospitality business one has to invest in more than just hotel beds, breakfast and TV sets for the rooms. And I am not just talking about the basic customer relations that we often talk about. This has to be taken to another level; a personal level.
This is because the hospitality business thrives a lot on the trust and confidence that one has in an establishment and this precisely refers to the staff. This trust is built on the goodwill of the people in this place and not just the products that they have on offer.
It is therefore not enough that the food is good but that those who handle the food are
good enough for the customer to feel comfortable around them and relate with them on a more personal level. When a guest comes to your hotel for food or lodging, it pays for those attending to him or her not to be anonymous. They should introduce themselves.
In some places name tags are attached to the shirts/jackets of the waiters and waitress but that is not enough. Your customers (especially the regular customers) should be able to recognise the people working at your establishment by name instead of yelling out, “waiter” each time they need to be attended to.
Where your staff are recognised by their names, it becomes easier for a happy client to commend a hardworking staffer or even to point out the lazy or rude fellow. This makes work easy for the management in case they want to reward the hardworking and friendly staff member or to reprimand the rude worker.
It is common for clients to generalise when expressing dissatisfaction. The client who is not sure of the rude staff member will most likely complain that Hotel X has rude waiters yet in actual sense it was just one person he had a brush with. So in that single act your whole establishment is branded wanting simply because your staff were not told the importance of clients being able to identify them by name.
There is always magic attached to names. Once someone knows your name they are
bound to relate with you better. Just like when you are walking on the street and your name is called out as opposed to a random whistling or clapping. One is more likely to respond to the name than to the random shout out.
Therefore owners of hospitality businesses must strive to see that clients stop calling out waiters or waitresses or any other staff members in anonymous ways.