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Who, What, Where, When, Why and How: An English Language Guide for Customer Service

Customer service and hospitality jobs require strong communication skills. Knowing how to use the English language correctly is essential for providing great customer service. I
n this blog post, we’ll explore who, what, where, when, why and how – five of the most important English language tools to use in a customer service or hospitality job.
We’ll look at how to apply these words in various contexts, and provide some examples of how they can be used to better serve customers.
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Who – subject pronoun, as in Who is your favorite musician?

In customer service and hospitality, knowing how to use subject pronouns like “who” is essential for effective communication with customers. “Who” is used to refer to a person or group of people, and it can help you to identify the individual or individuals that you are speaking to or about.
For example, when a customer asks “who is in charge here?”, you can respond with “I am” or “my manager is.” This helps the customer to know who to direct their question or concern to.
Another common use of “who” in customer service and hospitality is when making introductions. For example, you may need to introduce a new employee to a customer, saying something like “this is Sarah, who will be serving you today.”
Using “who” correctly and confidently in customer service situations can help you to establish rapport with your customers, make them feel heard and understood, and ultimately provide better service.
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What – object pronoun, as in What are you doing tonight?

The pronoun “what” is commonly used in questions to ask about the identity or nature of something. In this case, it is used as an object pronoun to inquire about a person’s plans for the evening. In customer service or hospitality, this question could be used to start a conversation with a guest or customer, showing interest in their personal plans and potentially opening up opportunities for suggestions or recommendations for activities or events in the area.
For example, a hotel receptionist may ask a guest, “What are you doing tonight? Are you looking for any recommendations for dinner or entertainment?” This simple question can show the customer that their experience is important and valued by the business, and can lead to a positive interaction and potentially increased satisfaction.

Where – preposition, as in Where are you going on vacation?

Asking about location is important in any customer service or hospitality job. It helps to identify the needs of the customer and how to best serve them. The preposition “where” is used to indicate a location or a destination. In customer service, this can refer to where a guest would like to be seated in a restaurant or where they would like their room to be located in a hotel.
For example, if a guest asks “where can I find the restroom?” a customer service representative can give specific directions to the location. In a hotel setting, if a guest requests a room with a view, the representative can inquire about where they would like the view to be directed (e.g. a cityscape, ocean view, or mountain range).
When asking about “where” in a customer service or hospitality job, it’s important to be specific and attentive to the needs of the customer. This will ensure a positive and satisfying experience for the guest.

When – adverb, as in When will you arrive?

In customer service or hospitality jobs, timing is everything. It’s essential to be able to give customers a clear idea of when they can expect something to happen, whether that’s the arrival of their meal or the delivery of a package.
“When” is an adverb that helps you talk about time. It’s often used to ask or answer questions about specific moments in time, such as appointments, deadlines, or events. In customer service, “when” can help you set expectations and manage the customer’s experience.
For example, a hotel receptionist might say, “When will you be checking in?” to help ensure that a guest’s room is ready for their arrival. Alternatively, a restaurant server might say, “When can I expect your party to arrive?” to help manage seating arrangements and keep the kitchen on schedule.
By using “when” effectively, you can help customers feel confident that they’re in good hands and that their needs will be met promptly and professionally. Whether it’s a simple question or a detailed schedule, taking the time to clarify timing can help you provide top-notch customer service and hospitality.

Why – adverb, as in Why are you leaving?

In customer service or hospitality jobs, understanding the reason behind a customer’s actions or requests can be critical to providing exceptional service. The adverb “why” is used to ask for the reasoning behind a customer’s request or complaint. This can help you understand their needs and provide solutions that address their concerns.
For example, if a customer is checking out early from their hotel stay, you could ask, “Why are you leaving early?” This question can provide important information, such as an unexpected change in their travel plans or a dissatisfaction with their room or service. Once you understand their reason for leaving early, you can take appropriate action, such as offering to address their concerns or helping them arrange a new reservation.
Asking “why” can also help you gather feedback from customers to improve your business. For instance, if a customer complains about a long wait time at a restaurant, you could ask, “Why was the wait time unsatisfactory?” Their response might reveal areas for improvement, such as better communication with guests or more efficient kitchen processes.
Overall, understanding “why” a customer is making a request or providing feedback can help you provide exceptional service and improve your business. By asking this simple question, you can gather valuable information and build strong relationships with your customers.
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How – adjective, as in How was your day?

Asking about someone’s day is a common courtesy and can show that you care about their well-being. “How” is an adjective that is often used to ask about the quality or state of something, such as an experience or a day.
In a customer service or hospitality job, it is important to ask customers about their day or experience with your services. By asking “How was your day?”, you can open up a conversation and show that you value their opinion. This question can also help you gauge their overall satisfaction and address any issues they may have had.
For example, a hotel front desk employee may ask a guest checking out, “How was your stay with us?” This question allows the guest to provide feedback and can help the hotel improve its services for future guests.
Asking “How” questions in a customer service or hospitality job can also show that you are actively listening and empathizing with the customer. By using adjectives like “good” or “bad” to describe their day, you can further understand their emotions and tailor your response accordingly.
Overall, using “How” as an adjective in customer service and hospitality can help build positive relationships with customers and improve the quality of service provided.
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4 thoughts on “Who, What, Where, When, Why and How: An English Language Guide for Customer Service

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