9 questions to the world’s best receptionist
Nikola Farkas from the Hotel Sacher has been named the best receptionist in the world. The twenty-two-year-old is the very first receptionist from Austria to bring home the David Campbell Trophy which recognizes exceptional excellence in the hospitality industry.
David Campbell Trophy with twenty-two only. How did you achieve that?
Nikola Farkas: I think authenticity is a key ingredient. It’s important to stand by everything you do and every decision you make. You should never be fake. The second key ingredient is the strong family ethos at the Hotel Sacher. Family is one of our core values. It’s part of our DNA and guides the way we interact with each other and our guests. We always try to create a cheerful and authentic family atmosphere.
I think authenticity is a key ingredient. It’s important to stand by everything you do and every decision you make. You should never be fake!
What is the difference between ‘good’ and ‘excellent’ service?
Nikola Farkas: I think that being as well-informed as possible is the main difference. You should try to find out as much as you can about your guests before they check-in to create the best possible guest experience. When your guests arrive, you can find out lots of extra information through a bit of small talk. This is the best way to tailor a customized package for each and every guest.
What has changed the most since your first day in the job?
Nikola Farkas: We didn’t have hotelkit when I started. Back then, we had to make lots of telephone calls and write countless e-mails when dealing with customer requests and room changes. All we need to do now is run the daily handover in hotelkit which allows us to share all the relevant information and requests with the rest of the team. What used to take five minutes can now be dealt with within a few seconds. It all happens in a matter of seconds at the push of a button.
What do you like the most about working with hotelkit?
Nikola Farkas: I love the new Housekeeping Tool! It used to take so much longer to find out which rooms were being cleaned and which were ready to be checked in. Now, it’s simply a matter of opening up the digital Housekeeping Tool. We know the room status in a matter of seconds. This is very helpful for us at the reception because it allows us always to know when the rooms are available. It’s also a huge help to the housekeeping team because they don’t have to continually interrupt their work to give status updates. I think it’s definitely one of the best tools.
What’s the most challenging part of your job?
Nikola Farkas: It’s obviously a concern when we can’t fully satisfy our customers’ wishes or if one of our guests is not completely pleased. The biggest challenge is staying calm in these situations. The hotelkit Glitch Tool really is helpful as it allows us to direct the complaints directly to the relevant department.
Since Hotel Sacher started using hotelkit, have you noticed a change in the way staff works together?
Nikola Farkas: I’ve noticed that people make many more suggestions since hotelkit was introduced. The software makes it very easy to share ideas with the rest of the team. It provides a great platform where we can discuss any matter and vote on the best course of action.
The software makes it very easy to share ideas with the rest of the team. It provides a great platform…
How would you like your career to progress?
Nikola Farkas: I’m currently really proud and happy to be part of the Sacher family. However, it’s still very important to gain international experience. My dream is to work as a Front Office Supervisor in London.
What would you be doing if you weren’t a receptionist?
Nikola Farkas: I’ve always liked acting and musicals. I decided to work in the hotel industry because of the career prospects and the opportunities to work with people from all around the world.
Thinking back to the time you have worked at the hotel, is there a moment that particularly stands out?
Nikola Farkas: I remember getting along really well with a lady and her family from the moment they checked in. When it was time for them to leave, they invited me to come visit them in Washington DC to express their thanks for the great service. I really like to think back to this encounter. Some of the best moments are usually when guests are really appreciative of their stay when they are checking out. Then you know you’ve done everything right.