Back Sponsored Listings » Service » Hospitality: It's the Personal Touch by Wings Academy

Hospitality: It's the Personal Touch by Wings Academy

Artificial Intelligence and other technologies are disrupting nearly every industry including banking, F&B, hospitality and retail. Business owners and employees in these fields are understandably concerned about how they can adapt and remain relevant.

“It must be [via] human interaction; every interaction must be human and have a personal touch,” advises Phương Huỳnh, a certified training professional with over seventeen years of experience in corporate and personal learning and development.

Many tasks that people once performed have been or will soon be accomplished by apps, QR codes, chatbots and even robots. But there will always be the need for some human presence and that presence must contain kindness, empathetic problem solving and emotional intelligence that technology cannot replicate, Phương says. 

A Journey of Passion and Purpose in Hospitality

For people tasked with teaching others how to excel in their workplaces, learning is like eating and drinking every day she says. “I learn something from every moment; I learn from you today, I learn from the customers. I learn from all the people that I meet,” she explained to Saigoneer when we met to discuss the role of professional trainers in Vietnam. 

Phương, the founder and CEO of Wings Academy, is an expert in customer experience, particularly within Vietnam's retail and hospitality sectors. The holder of an MBA from UBIS University in Switzerland, her journey in fostering excellence in service culture has included numerous roles, including serving as the National L&D Manager for Accor Hotels and as the Training Manager for Odyssea Hospitality Management company. Currently, Phương holds a prestigious position as the exclusive trainer of service culture for Melia Hotels International in the Asia-Pacific region. 

Born into a family deeply involved in Vũng Tàu’s hospitality sector, her upbringing instilled in her a strong respect for the industry. However, it was Phương’s humble university time when she spent over three years conversing with tourists in the park to hone her English skills, that ignited her initial interest in activities involving human interaction in hospitality. This hands-on experience laid the foundation for her career trajectory while helping her master English so fully that she was formerly served as a translator for international corporations and individuals.

Behind every successful woman stands a supportive partner, and for Phương, that pillar of strength is her husband—a Saigon-based architect and Spanish citizen she admires for his encyclopedic knowledge. Describing him as a polymath, she credits him with broadening her horizons and introducing her to diverse cultural perspectives, particularly those related to hospitality and service standards, all while nurturing her unwavering national pride.

An Educator’s Mission Sparks Inspiration at Wings Academy

Wings Academy, guided by the motto "Inspire others for their own shining," has an educational mission that promotes personal and national growth. With Phương at the top, it aims to realize Vietnam's full potential and foster a culture of lifelong learning among the nation’s citizens. 

The company’s vision emphasizes the role of service excellence and genuine hospitality in making the world a better place. "With my work," she says, "I aim to create welcoming environments everywhere, delivering outstanding service with a smile and a personal touch." 

Phương's clients for training including hospitality companies, such as Accorhotels Group, Meliá Hotels International, Melia Vinpearls hotels, Gran Meliá hotel, Wink hotel SG, SASCO, Vietsolutions, New Viet Dairy; retail entities including P&G, Maison JSC, and ACFC; and businesses in other industries like finance and banking, healthcare and medicine, real estate, construction and education. "Every industry that has customers needs a service culture and the spirit of hospitality. And the hospitality industry seems to set the standards of service for the others," said she.

Since its inception, Wings Academy has attracted a dynamic team of seasoned educators and trainers, specializing in cultivating service culture, professional image, and communication skills. They work together to provide consultations for learning and development needs, design learning materials, craft standard operating procedures and develop and facilitate courses as well as provide follow-up support.  Through individually tailored courses and workshops catered to the hospitality and retail sectors, the academy has a say in defining what service will look like in Vietnam for years to come. 

The Spirit of Hospitality, the Personal Touch

Phương believes hospitality transcends conventional industry boundaries and extends far beyond the traditional realms of travel and tourism, food and beverage, lodging, and outdoor recreation. One shouldn’t view hospitality as simply the services provided to a customer; it's about the emotional connection forged with each interaction in the journey.

"It's not merely what you do, but how you make the customer feel," she emphasizes. Hospitality, to Phương, is an intrinsic part of one's character—a demonstration of personal kindness and genuineness. It's about serving with heart, embodying human kindness, empathy, and a sincere dedication to meeting every need.

In Phương’s view, this spirit of hospitality should permeate every sector, every business, and every individual. Recognizing that the customer experience hinges on human interaction, she advocates for prioritizing the employee experience. Doing so is a crucial element in the standard pillars of all businesses: product, process, people, and technology.