MyTravaly's Hotelier Interview Series - Sai Kripa Guesthouse
Mr. Sunil, Owner of Sai Kripa Guest House, Patna, Bihar, has shared his insight upon management of a small property along with the vision and challenges associated with it. He is new in the hotel industry, optimistic for the future of this industry and has shared his views upon the change brought about by this pandemic and the remedies being followed by hotels in order to gain previous grounds of growth and development.
As the owner, what is your day-to-day work or responsibilities?
As an owner of this 6 bedroom property, I do all the monitoring by myself on a daily basis.
How does training of staff happen, and what do you do to bring the best in your employees so that they provide good customer service?
Travellers today have higher customer service expectations than before, to meet and go beyond their expectations. I always prefer an experienced staff who prioritises good customer service over anything else. I regularly try to train them on customer service skills, behaviour, body language, collaboration and most importantly skillful resolving of unexpected issues. I also try to evaluate the service provided to my customers and make changes or modify the service and management accordingly to ensure a good customer service in my hotel.
How does your hotel encourage trust and loyalty amongst customers?
To encourage trust and loyalty among customers I focus on preparing my staff for an engaging communication, continuously evaluate their feedback, try to build trust and flexibility through easy cancellation and check in procedures. The loyalty of guests is of utmost importance to us.
Tell us something about your long term goals for the hotel and how do you plan to achieve them?
Currently, I am hosting a 6 room property, I do have plans to expand this into a 15 to 20 room property and have thought to take it forward from the next year with some financial aid from banks. I am also looking forward to transforming at least two rooms into a "suite" in the future and an upgrade in the current facilities available in this property.
What is success for a hotelier, according to you?
According to me the success of a hotelier is to resolve customer problems within a limited time and their efforts to sort such issues at the earliest through a concern empathy and understanding towards their guests and providing them a comfortable stay.
Something that is unique to your hotel and has given you any kind of advantage in this industry overtime.
I tend to focus on providing them our undivided attention to needs during their stay and to walk a few extra miles to make them feel special. I have also provided a larger space and area with proper air conditioning than most common and conventional rooms which are offered in this area and our priority on customers comfort is something that we take pride in.
How does the quality of leadership affect the role of a person at your position?
I believe everything in hospitality depends upon leadership, leaders visions, his plans and ways of execution. An effective leader focuses on fair play among customers relations and problem-solving along with intelligent management of the resources. It is all because of the leaders management skills that staff collaborate and effectively carry out their duties. This affects customer satisfaction followed by sales revenue and business. Likewise, if there isn't proper management by the leader, there could be loss in revenue and sales, so I think leadership has a big role in growth of business for a hotel.
What was the impact of the pandemic on your hotel? If bookings are reduced, by how much? Any Change in type of customers coming in?
We already know about the drastic decline in the mass of leisure tourists which has adversely affected the hotel industry. We noticed the movement of only the corporates and medical tourists who have any kind of urgency related to an important task. Moreover the duration of their stay has also reduced, substantially affecting the revenue due to the havoc. Meanwhile the service expenses have increased due to mandatory provisions of gloves, masks, sanitizers and other essentials related to the pandemic, which is also affecting the profit and revenue of the business.
How has your hotel been tackling this crisis situation?
We are basically trying to maintain all provisions of hygiene and cleanliness along with necessary precautions to tackle during this time. We are also trying to reduce the tariffs according to the availability of rooms to cope with the limitation of customers during this time by providing discounts and other essentials and already charging less than before.
Can you share a positive and negative overwhelming experience with your customers?
I haven’t had much experience in this industry so far, but overall it has been a good learning journey and I also hope to continue smoothly in the hotel industry.