In the wake of the pandemic-induced economic turbulence, hospitality is suffering from labor shortages, with the increased cost of living compounding the impact on businesses and individuals alike. Now more than ever, effective customer service is pivotal in retaining customer loyalty and regenerating pandemic-hit revenue.
The key to providing outstanding customer service is ultimately through coherent communication, as adequate English language competency is essential for ensuring a positive guest experience. Language barriers can hinder the speedy delivery of customer needs, especially in a fast-paced hospitality sector. Therefore, businesses are beginning to prioritize English language training, as it results in better efficiency, productivity, and ultimately profitability of the industry.
In the casual dining sector, 73 percent of workers do not have English as their first language, and in hotels, 50 percent of workers are non-native English speakers. Therefore, it is important for hospitality businesses to provide their employees with effective English proficiency training, which can act as a vehicle of revival for their companies.
Unfortunately, due to the labor shortages within the sector, hospitality businesses are inevitably more likely to be plagued with increased customer concerns, as smaller workforces struggle to keep up with customer demand. Similarly, the increased cost of living means that customers are expecting more from their money, and are placing a higher value of importance on customer service. Through fluent English proficiency, a language is shared between the employee and customer, producing a coherent and cohesive line of communication to assist the customer with their every need and resolve conflict efficiently will be the keys to success.
Hospitality has recently been named the most stressful industry to work in, it is essential for staff to be provided with suitable training to enable them to excel confidently in their role. Staff deliver effective customer service when they are satisfied in their job – and feel supported by their employer within the workplace. In fact, 76 percent of employees say that a company would be more appealing if it offered additional skills training to its staff.
English language training ultimately acts as an instrument that provides staff with increased confidence, which will inevitably be reflected in their communication and interactions with customers. Not only is English proficiency among workers an asset to businesses within the hospitality sector, but it also improves employees overall quality of life, as increased opportunities are opened up to them.
It has also been revealed that retention rates rise 30-50 percent in workplaces with strong learning cultures, assisting in solving the labour shortage within the industry. As companies begin to understand the importance of this, ELT will become more of a norm in the hospitality sector, and become an attractive quality to prospective employees.
AI and English Proficiency Training
A Lorman study states that 85 percent of employees want to choose training times that fit their schedule, and this is certainly relevant to hospitality workers who have varying shift patterns. AI-powered apps can assist companies in this, as it allows staff to complete their training anytime and anywhere, while significantly reducing businesses training and tutoring costs. AI platforms produce specialised and job-specific content that is tailored to each user, so that staff can receive the most effective and suitable training experience possible.
A virtual English language speaking coach can empower workforces with confidence and native-like proficiency to produce coherent communication. To allow restaurant businesses to survive and grow in a tough market, having staff who can effectively communicate and tune in to customer needs with confidence will reap the rewards of happy customers.