|Harry Nobles & Cheryl Thompson, September 2001
In a word, VERY! A recent and extremely gratifying experience
reiterates this point. Our client, a large and recently renovated
hotel and conference center had twice failed to earn the AAA Four Diamond
rating. On both occasions, the inspector had lauded the property’s
outstanding physical facilities. On both occasions, inconsistent
service delivery had denied the higher rating.
Concurrently, the hotel’s guests recognized and responded very favorably to the improvement in guest service. Comment card scores increased dramatically, and a noticeable increase in repeat guests is also evident. This happened despite a very tight local market and lower rates offered by some competitors.
Which is more important? Getting the desired AAA rating or exceeding guests’ expectations? Obviously, without a strong and loyal client base, AAA and Mobil ratings will not mean much in the long term.
Whether your goal is a higher rating, exceeding your guests’ expectations, or a combination of both, service can make a difference. While even consistently superior guest service cannot overcome all physical deficiencies, it can have a significant impact on how your guests remember their experience. Superior service delivery by an efficient and hospitable staff can be a major factor in a guest’s decision to return to your property rather than to try one of your competitors. A reputation for superior service can also become an important part of your property’s unique image and identity.
Whatever your goal, I suggest you determine your current level of service, decide on the improvements needed, and devise a plan to accomplish those improvements.
Service is always important, and in this period of keen competition takes on an even more vital role. Providing consistent service is neither cheap nor easy, but neither is replacing unhappy guests.
|Also See:||Front Desk Service Mistakes / Aug 2001|
|Food & Beverage Mistakes & How to Correct Them / July 2001|
|Bell Staff Mistakes & How to Correct Them / July 2001|
|Attitude vs Aptitude / June 2001|
|Female Business Travelers' Expectations / June 2001|
|Is Outsourcing Your Training a Viable Alternative? / June 2001|
|Unique Identity + Consistent Service = Success / May 2001|
|AAA Standards vs Guests' Expectations / May 2001|
|Are Your Guests Better Informed Than Your Staff? / April 2001|
|Are U.S. Hotels Rated Differently From Other North American Hotels? / April 2001|
|The Design Theme - AAA / Mobil Ratings Connection / March 2001|
|Attitude Can Make the Difference / January 2001|
|How Should Casino-Hotels be Rated? / Dec 2000|
|Does AAA Rate Resorts Fairly? / Nov 2000|
|Is Your Property Suffering From Design Deficiency? / Nov 2000|
|The Future of AAA Ratings / September 2000|
|What Is Your Optimum AAA Rating / August 2000|
|If You Disagree With Your AAA Rating…../ June 2000|
|Are AAA Ratings Always Accurate and Objective / May 2000|
|Creating Atmosphere / Jan 2000|
|What is "Atmosphere"? / December 1999|
|Maintaining Your AAA Rating / Nov 1999|
|Earning a AAA Rating vs Maintaining a AAA Rating: Which Is More Difficult? / Oct 1999|
|Can Outstanding Service Offset Hotel Physical Deficiencies in the Rating Systems? / Harry Nobles / June 1999|
|Consistency: The Hallmark of a Fine Hotel / September 1999|
|Who Should Train Your Employees / Aug 2000|
|Mobil Travel Guide Announces 1998 Mobil Four-and Five-Star Award Winners / Jan 1998|
|Key to Success: Training + Follow-Up / June 2000|
|The Legend of the Pineapple / Harry Nobles / Feb 1999|