So we’ve now talked about hotel and restaurant management games that help with team building and communication. In this article we are going to focus on customer service games. Whether you are in the hospitality industry or not, you want best in class customer service. This is become, more and more, a difference maker in what drives people to do business with companies. These games are going to help your staff build some necessary skills for working with guests not dealing with them.
Customer Service Games for HR
Using games in human resources is becoming a trend with 55% of Americans saying they “would like to work for a company that uses gamification“. This is growing and companies that begin to incorporate this into their HR plans will be better off. While this focus is primarily to push video game like games, we think the analog version can also do wonders.
The power and negative aspects of saying “No” is powerful. There is time and a place for saying it but in the hospitality industry, it would just be a go-to saying. This is not good fur customer satisfaction. In this game you work with your team to work on responses to “No” type questions. One person asks another member of the group a question where they cannot answer yes.
“Do you serve an eggless omelet?”
The person who was asked answers it with alternatives. Such as “We can provide a variety of breakfast options. While we do not provide an eggless omelet as a choice, we do have customizable omelets with the options listed below on the menu.” You can provide a higher level of complexity by limiting words such as can’t, will not, don’t know, etc. If the group is too big you can split it up into groups of two.
THE EASY WAY
This game could also have been placed in our communication post but we think it fits better in customer service. In this customer service game we focus on the communication with guests. You need an empty room that you can divide into four quadrants. Set the same amount of people into each quadrant. There is no problem if you have an odd number.
Quadrant one (1) You have people clapping their hands as loud as they can while they talk. Quadrant two (2) People talking without stopping. Quadrant three (3) People singing the alphabet. Quadrant four (4) People having normal conversation where one talks and the other listens and then responds. Every 30 seconds people can switch to another group. The only rule is that everyone must have been in each group at least once. After they have been in each box once they can choose which box they would like to be in for the rest of the game.
You’ll find people will draw towards quadrant four. The point of this game is to show the common pitfalls seen when dealing with guests. Quadrant one shows what happens when you are doing other things while talking. Quadrant two shows how important it is to listen to ther other person. Quadrant three shows what happens when your not focused on the conversation. Quadrant four is the only sustainable section.
To increase the difficulty you can add more quadrants or different actions. If you have a small group you could also reduce the number of quadrants. Some team members might already see what will happen before the game starts. Ask that they still participate and play along. We want these games to help them imprint their memories with these situations. Similarly to the Guess My Name post.
This one will be a little intimate but will provide your staff with a great example to draw from. It is not customer service game but a demonstrations. This game will require a ruler, a pair of gloves, scarf, and earmuffs. You will need two volunteers. Thank the volunteers and have them stand apart from each other. Without speaking, politely begin to remove the first volunteer’s shoes. Use a ruler to measure the size of their feet. Then place gloves on their hands to see how much space is left in excess. Lastly, put the scarf and ear muffs on them. When finished, you can remove all the items and ask them to put their shoes back on.
Without speaking, politely begin to remove the first volunteer’s shoes. Use a ruler to measure the size of their feet. Then place gloves on their hands to see how much space is left in excess. Lastly, put the scarf and ear muffs on them. When finished, you can remove all the items and ask them to put their shoes back on. Ask the volunteer how they felt when you were doing all of this.
Now move onto the second volunteer. Explain that you are measuring them for their custom winter outfit. Ask the volunteer if they would kindly remove their shoes to get a proper feet size. Announce you will be using your ruler to complete this task. Dictate every action you will be taking before you do it. Keep the conversation alive with small talk in between announcements of actions. At the end ask the volunteer how they felt during the whole experience.
If you want you can change the scenarios or materials. The point of the exercise is to show how explanation of actions eases how the guest will feel. At times we think this is unnecessary but it makes a big difference when you don’t do it.
LISTEN AND REPEAT
This last game is an add-on to the classic “Telephone game“. For those unfamiliar with this game, you have everyone sit in a circle. You whisper a long message into a participant’s ear. You can’t repeat the whisper after your said it. That person then whispers the person next to them what you said. The last person reveals the message they heard, which is often different than the original This game is also sometimes called the “Rumor game”. This is a fun game that shows how you can be actively listening and still forget things.
The group for this customer service game can be as small or as large as needed. You will need to give everyone a pen/pencil and paper. The first piece will be playing the telephone game. First write down a message like “I would like a balcony suite with two twin sized beds, extra chocolate in the mini-bar, a pool pass for twenty people (it is our birthday party), and a late checkout for 12pm.” Or a similar long statement for restaurants. Do not show the message to anyone. Whisper it to one of the participants and play the telephone game. Then write down what the final person
The second part of the game is a rule change. Now people can repeat and clarify what the whisper was. Ask them to write down what they finally got from the person. Then whisper it to the person next to them. The end should be the same as the first statement you said. If there is a difference have everyone show what they wrote. The one who started the error can be asked what they asked for clarification. The point is not to attack them but to see where improvements can be made in their strategy.
When you’re working with guests there is so much to prepare for and train. These customer service games should give your staff a good base to build on. Let us know if you liked this type of article in the comments below. What did you like? What can we do better? If you like it feel free to share this article on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn.