Hello, I’m Ardana, the Hosting Supervisor at Bukit Vista. I’m thrilled to share my journey working in this role with you today. Before delving into the intricacies of my position, let me provide a brief overview of the roles our hosts play here at Bukit Vista.
Our hosting team is divided into two groups: our online hosts, who promptly respond to inquiries from confirmed guests via platforms like Airbnb and Booking.com; and our onsite hosts, who are present on location to fulfill guests’ requests and ensure their needs are met.
As a Hosting Supervisor, my daily routine revolves around ensuring seamless guest experiences and effective team coordination. My responsibilities encompass a variety of tasks essential to guest satisfaction and operational efficiency. This includes:
– promptly responding to all guest messages, and ensuring no inquiries are left unanswered;
– meticulously address guests’ requests and queries, maintaining a high standard of customer service;
– foster smooth communication and coordination between our online hosts and onsite hosts, facilitating a collaborative work environment;
– handle special cases and unique requests by escalating them appropriately, documenting each case thoroughly, and diligently following up until a resolution is achieved.
Moreover, I am the point of contact for phone calls from both partners and guests, ensuring their concerns are addressed promptly. Another crucial aspect of my role involves guaranteeing that guests are not only content with their stay but also motivated to leave us a 5-star review, reflecting our commitment to exceptional service. Furthermore, I actively contribute to the growth of our team by training and evaluating trial candidates and trainees, ensuring they align with our company’s high standards from day one. Through these responsibilities, I strive to maintain a harmonious balance between guest satisfaction and team efficiency, ensuring our hosting services exceed expectations.
One of the major challenges we encounter involves communication within the team, specifically between our online hosts and on-site hosts. This challenge primarily stems from the low adoption rate of our internal tool, BIGRR/BVGO. Partners are accustomed to using WhatsApp for communication, leading to delayed responses via BVGO messages. Consequently, there are instances where guests aren’t assisted promptly due to being late in checking the BVGO notifications.
Another challenge arises from guest dissatisfaction, influenced by various factors. While some guests are content with our communication, location, and value, they may find issues with the room upon arrival. Additionally, certain guests express dissatisfaction with the accommodation’s appearance, despite the accuracy of the listing pictures. Furthermore, some guests face booking cancellations due to their own errors or inadequate planning. Unfortunately, they overlooked the cancellation policy during the booking process, leading to frustration when we could not issue a full refund. These challenges highlight the complexities we face in ensuring seamless guest experiences and effective internal communication.
Addressing various challenges demands tailored solutions. When it concerns miscommunication or miscoordination among host teams, a quick resolution is achieved through a phone call. For issues involving dissatisfied guests, a thorough investigation is essential. We delve deep into the problem, assess if an immediate on-site resolution is possible, and if not, consider compensation, relocation, or refunds to ensure guest satisfaction.
In the case of property-related concerns, our protocol involves reporting the issue to the dedicated Community Manager and Property Manager team. Their proactive measures are instrumental in enhancing the quality of our accommodations. This highlights the significance of regular property inspections and content updates, which are pivotal in refining the accuracy of our listings.
Guests and Partners Interactions:
In addition to communicating with guests and partners via messages to address concerns and fulfill requests, we often go the extra mile by sending our dedicated team members to meet and personally host our guests, aiming to inspire delight. This personalized touch includes gestures such as providing a simple lunch, coffee, or juice, allowing us to engage with them directly, share stories, and recommend must-do activities around our accommodations.
Furthermore, we believe in the power of humor and casual interactions with our partners. Understanding that not all property owners maintain a serious demeanor all the time, we embrace our shared humanity. I once read that “laughter is the essential ingredient of survival,” reminding us of the importance of finding joy amidst our responsibilities.
However, it’s essential to acknowledge that interactions with guests and partners aren’t always smooth. Occasionally, frustrations can escalate, leading to unprofessional behavior. In such situations, I always encourage my team members not to feel diminished or intimidated. As our CEO, Mr. Jing Co Yang, often emphasizes (which he also quoted from the Ritz Carlton 😂), “Ladies and gentlemen serve ladies and gentlemen.” This sentiment underscores our commitment to professionalism and courtesy, even in challenging moments, reminding us of the importance of maintaining our standards regardless of the circumstances.
Technology and Innovation:
In my tenure of 10 months at Bukit Vista, I’ve witnessed a significant evolution. When I joined the company in January, all guest messages across various platforms required manual handling and responses. Now, amid a technological revolution, Bukit Vista is swiftly integrating AI technology into our operations, particularly in message responses.
We’re in the process of developing an AI assistant named Gaia, designed to promptly address guests’ messages with simple queries or requests, automating escalation procedures and thereby enhancing response times and reducing guest waiting periods. Currently, Gaia’s capabilities are limited to providing basic information, such as amenities availability and local recommendations, as well as forwarding straightforward requests like additional supplies or room cleaning to our onsite staff. Complex requests and challenging cases, such as severe complaints or services beyond the listings, continue to be handled by our dedicated team members.
What makes Gaia remarkable is our approach to its development: we treat it as an intern, allowing it to grow and evolve as we continually feed it with new information, and enrich its knowledge base and advanced programming. In the future, Gaia will operate with complete automation, handling all messages flawlessly. Admittedly, this project may appear highly ambitious, but our motto, “To Inspire Delight Through Hospitality Innovations,” drives us to meet this challenge head-on, ensuring we live up to our commitment.
Personal Growth and Learning:
I initially joined this company as a Senior Hosting Specialist, and within three months, I earned a promotion to Hosting Supervisor. This achievement doesn’t stem from my exceptional abilities or ambition, but rather from Bukit Vista’s consistent effort to push me beyond what I perceived as my limits and help me recognize my untapped potential.
One aspect I truly appreciate about this company is its willingness to let me explore various roles, such as engaging in Buddy Balance Work to contribute to content creation and managing inquiries and reservations. Concerning my own position, I have experienced significant professional growth, particularly in sub-management and knowledge management. This role challenges me to make crucial decisions, assess and nurture people’s capabilities, and effectively manage stress when addressing complaints from guests or partners.
The dynamic nature of the work and the constantly evolving tools and environment at Bukit Vista keep things far from monotonous. To claim that my 10 months here have been more valuable than my entire three-year tenure in my previous career would be an oversimplification. This experience has been transformative, offering me opportunities for personal and professional development that I never thought possible.
My journey as a Hosting Supervisor at Bukit Vista has been a transformative and enriching experience. I’ve been deeply engaged in every aspect of our hospitality operations. The evolution of technology, particularly the development of our AI assistant Gaia, reflects our commitment to innovation. We are not just adapting to change but driving it, aiming to enhance our guest services further. My time here has been invaluable, offering me opportunities and challenges that have shaped me in profound ways. As I reflect on my journey, I am filled with gratitude for the experiences, the lessons, and the growth that have come my way. I eagerly look forward to the future, confident in the knowledge that at Bukit Vista, every challenge is an opportunity, and every opportunity is a stepping stone toward greater achievements.