We are really missing our guests and can’t wait for the day when we can open our doors again. Today we are spending time with our Front of House Manger, Elliot Gobo. We hope you enjoy getting to know him virtually until you meet him in person!
As Front of House you are the first point of contact for your guests – how do you make a great impression? First impressions definitely count… I create a welcoming atmosphere by properly greeting guests with a smile, showing friendliness and letting them know I am willing to help.
Communication skills are very important in your job – do you have any advice on how best to deal with guests as well as colleagues? My advice is to listen and understand and show empathy in all situations. I also find it useful to handle one situation at a time – to give my full attention to either a guest or a colleague. It is also important to be patient when handling conflict and do it in a professional manner.
You have a special skill – you speak German! Explain how communicating to international visitors in their native tongues makes them feel at home and extra special? They appreciate the fact that there is someone who understands their language. This encourages them to be comfortable and feel even more at home. One of the things that they prefer an explanation in their mother tongue is how to operate the room safe – especially elderly people.
Tell us how you came to learn German? I saw an advertisement on one of South Africa’s biggest Sunday newspapers – the Sunday Times. There was a joint initiative between the South Africa and German governments to provide training to 20 historically disadvantaged students. The focus was on cultural exposure, German language as well as tourist guide training in Germany. I was one of the successful students who ended up in Germany for a period of 12 months.
Customer service skills are crucial in your role – tell us which strengths are most important?I think the most important things are: listening and empathy skills; ability to respond quickly to my guests, a positive attitude and a willingness to go the extra mile.
Your position as Front of House puts you at the heart of operations at Morukuru Ocean House and Morukuru Beach Lodge – do you enjoy this responsibility? I really enjoy this responsibility as it gives me an opportunity for personal development. I’m always dealing with different personalities which are the greatest source of learning. Even when everything is running smoothly – I will always learn something – no day is the same and every guest is different.
As part of a team it is very important to contribute towards a positive working environment – how do you use your special magic to encourage this? I always listen to everyone’s ideas. Irrespective of position in the team everyone has a contribution to make. I also make sure that I communicate effectively – all staff need the correct information to do their job correctly. I always have a positive attitude which motivates the staff and gives them moral support. Lastly, I always remain consistent with whatever I’m doing.
How do you stay committed to your job and keep delivering the first-class service to our guests? I always try to be proactive … and not to wait for the problem. I am very disciplined in everything that I do. I also like to motivate my staff to stay positive. As a person who likes to talk and learn from others – I use that skill to give our guests top-class service.
I can’t wait to welcome our guests back to the beautiful De hoop Nature Reserve and our little piece of paradise”