INTERNATIONAL REPORT—Crowne Plaza has launched a new training program to help hotel team members become more attuned to guests’ needs through a heightened awareness of the skills of emotional intelligence.
The training program called “Dare to Connect” has been developed using bespoke life skills modules, created by emotional intelligence experts at The School of Life and will help to upskill Crowne Plaza team members who work across the brand’s 98 hotels in Europe.
The training, run by heads of departments at each hotel, will focus on developing six core emotional intelligence skills: vulnerability, self-belief, connection, anticipation, authenticity, and perseverance. Those who participate in the training will learn ways to alleviate guests’ anxiety by responding to and anticipating the particular emotional needs people can experience when they are traveling for work.
By applying these skills to their day to day roles, team members will be better able to recognize cues in guests’ behavior and make natural and authentic connections with guests without following a script.
A trial run of the training program across four Crowne Plaza properties in the U.K.—Leeds, Manchester City Centre, Newcastle Stephenson Quarter, and Dublin Blanchardstown—has delivered promising initial results, according to the brand. Compared with previous years, the overall service scores grew by at least four percentage points, and overall experience scores grew by up to 5%. Also, the hotels saw an influx of positive guest reviews.
“While we understand that business travelers appreciate efficient and functional service, we’ve seen how applying an added layer of empathy to our guest interactions greatly improves the stay experience,” said Mike Greenup, VP of marketing for Crowne Plaza said. “The School of Life is really helping us achieve this by equipping our team members with the tools to give them confidence to deliver this deeper, more emotional level of service.”
Sarah Stein, head of content at The School of Life, added: “Emotionally intelligent connections between hotel team members and travelers helps create a positive feedback loop. Customers want to return to a brand not only because the products or services are good, but because they feel, in a more significant way, that they are understood and belong there. Guests are far more likely to continue using a service and to praise it if they feel this connection.”
In addition to the modules provided for the Dare to Connect emotional intelligence training, The School of Life will provide Crowne Plaza hotels with tangible service enablers to support better guest connections. These include the following:
- Destination postcards—To be given to guests as a gift at check-in, to encourage moments of connection both with Crowne Plaza colleagues and with friends and family back home
- Better Meetings tool—A box of questions, games and activities designed to help guests have more engaging and productive meetings
The Dare to Connect training program will roll out across Crowne Plaza hotels in Europe from 2019 onwards.