In a time where guests pine for a complete experience during an overnight stay, customer service is pivotal. We’re looking into how a venue can improve client relations through staff training.

Within the hotel industry, staff can be seen as the making of a business; which is why offering great customer service at your overnight venue is so fundamental. Whether it’s by providing information, advice, recommendations or helping guests feel comfortable, the role of a customer service department is to provide a positive experience to your visitors. In doing so, they will be able to associate excellent customer service with your property and therefore become loyal clients.

Not only is your customer service used to solve any problems or complaints your guests may have, it is also the reflection of your business. It is thus the main contributor to your guests’ first impression and continues to be available and present for guests before, during and after their stay.

“Customer service training is an ongoing process, it never ends.”

Lonny Hunt, Head Concierge at COMO Metropolitan London, thinks that the first and most important thing needed to provide an excellent concierge and customer service job is to build a personal relationship with guests.

Lonny said: “We ultimately want them to trust us and lean on us for tips and suggestions. If we do this brilliantly, then the guests will return to our property and will recommend our hotel to their friends and family.

“Secondly, being up-to-date and ‘in the know’ is key for us: 5-star hotel guests always want to try the newest and hottest bars and restaurants and visit the latest exhibitions. Due to their popularity, these are usually the most difficult places to make reservations for. Guests really appreciate it and are truly impressed if we are able to secure a booking for them. Of course, we try and test what we suggest to our guests, so the team go out and visit restaurants, bars and exhibitions.”

At COMO Metropolitan London Hotel, they require all new team members to attend their New Hire Orientation Programme. This is the fundamental starting point to learn about COMO Hotels and Resorts’ ethos and unique point of difference, as well as their approach to guest service. A complimentary overnight stay is offered to all new starters and they are strongly encouraged to enjoy this within the first two months of employment. This allows them to experience the COMO Metropolitan London’s guest experience first-hand and to have a better understanding of the bedroom types and overall facilities, which include a state-of-the-art COMO Shambhala Urban Escape spa.

The COMO family strongly believes that to be able to provide top-notch guest service, one needs to have excellent product knowledge as well as soft skills around the delivery of the guest experience. All team members are trained on and required to learn the COMO service standards, as this is key to consistency. 

“Being up-to-date and ‘in the know’ is key for us.”

Lonny believes that when working in the hotel industry, the learning should never stop; revealing there are multiple training procedures that the COMO team is taught to follow to give outstanding service. COMO Metropolitan London prides itself on investing in its employees with training and development opportunities provided to all of them.

Lonny added: “I give my team of concierge, porters and doormen training four times a year, whether it’s practical or theoretical.

“A doorman theory training would be a one-on-one with myself, going through COMO’s ‘standard operating procedures’ on guests arriving/checking out at our front door and car parking procedures.


“A practical luggage porter training would include one-on-one training with myself in a role-playing scenario. I would play the role of the guests just arriving at their room, and I would have the porter deliver the luggage and present the unique aspects of the room.”

Customer service training is an ongoing process, it never ends. The more effectively service standards and product knowledge can be unconsciously accessed, the easier it is for hotel team members to be able to focus their attention on developing the relationship with individual guests, learning about them and being able to deliver a truly personalised service that will create memorable experiences.

Hospitality in general really is all about building relationships. Having genuine conversations with guests will ensure they feel valued and not just another ‘bum on a seat’ as the saying goes.

Often, visitors don’t want a lengthy chat on arrival if they’ve travelled far and wide to reach their overnight destination, so introducing yourself to begin with can suffice. Once the introduction is complete, for those who aren’t feeling talkative, you can point them in the direction of more information in the sense of a book, leaflet or web link.

One venue which has capitalised on the importance of concierge and customer service, and is therefore an extremely reputable hotel, is The Ned. The Ned’s central city location means that museums, markets and galleries are just a stroll away from the front door. The hotel’s concierge team has curated the ultimate tips for a guest’s trip, from outdoor dining and local culture to activities around town. The Little Black Book can be picked up from reception or found in a guest’s bedroom, and makes the perfect guide for invitees who are staying and leaves a magnificent lasting impression.

Ultimately, providing responsive, efficient and quality customer service has become a necessity for properties. Satisfied guests are more likely to come back and be loyal to your hotel, as they will become true brand ambassadors.