Exceeding the Expectations of our Guests
|By John R. Hendrie, January 2005
Mired in mediocrity, our Hospitality Industry has lost focus – exceeding the expectations of our Guests, as measured by their satisfaction. That is the bottom line – our Guests, their hopes and our delivery. This situation is not corrected by discounts, clever promotions, or throwing marketing dollars down that “black hole”. We need to rethink what makes that memorable experience, for our consumer is very savvy, a prudent shopper, no longer swayed by our claims of value.
This requires an investment by you to “do business differently”. Only through this paradigm shift to “Remarkable Hospitality” will you enter the realm of excellence.
For the past twenty years, we have witnessed a transformation in almost every industry to become more Consumer oriented. Having spent a number of years in Senior Management positions, directing change in Manufacturing, Transportation, the Graphic Arts and Biotech, I have helped execute these transformations. Some Companies just could not make the transition; others were too late; and some moved on, as a very different looking enterprise. The change activity revolved around reengineering, rightsizing, downsizing and other terms you may conjure. But, the goal was to assess resources, realign process, people and products and then compete with advantage, meeting consumer expectation. Sadly, the playing field was littered with casualties – both human and physical assets. That is the Corporate America we now know. The strong and the flexible survive.
Is Hospitality in such dire straits? I sometimes wonder. As a business so tied to the human touch and sensibilities, we are off kilter. But, we can learn to better manage that critical guest experience with a new strategic equation, which reflects the following integers:
1. VALIDATION of your relationship with the Guest. Perceptions and values of your guests indicate their needs and expectations. This information can be gathered by multiple means, such as surveys, Customer Satisfaction feedback, Focus Groups and the like. How do you know how you are doing, if you have not solicited this response? Next, you must consider the product and service mix that you currently offer to that Guest. If the guest expects A, and you emphasize B, the disconnect is apparent. Lastly, the organizational structure which delivers these products ands services must be reviewed.
2. ANALYZE what you have compiled. You now have matched your guest, your products and services and your staff and made an ASSESSMENT of where realignment must take place. A new strategy will evolve with performance standards, measurement and recommended action to better manage that guest experience.
3. IMPLEMENT “Remarkable Hospitality”. Your new credo, the “Guest-Centric” approach to doing business, will need a practical means of expression, grounded methods of measurement, and a consistency of delivery. Every exchange with your Guest must emphasize that you will care for them, attend to their needs and that their business and concerns are valued. All your staff will need to reflect this behavior, understanding that Guest Satisfaction is the only performance yardstick. And, you must be prepared to reward those employees who excel with this value proposition.
This model is not new, but the application to Hospitality is. We simply have not embraced the simple concept of engaging our Guest, gaining their loyalty, and better than meeting their expectations. We have not learned to manage the experience, frame expectations, create real value and then market our uniqueness. It can be done!
By John R. Hendrie, CEO
Hospitality Performance, Inc.
|Also See:||Are Your Guests Expecting Mediocrity with Your Hospitality Services? Move Your Level of Excellence to the Remarkable / John Hendrie / December 2004|
|Guest Services - A Tradition Diminished / John Hendrie / December 2004|
|Rescue from Mediocrity; The Decline of Service Etiquette - A Sequel / John Hendrie / November 2004|
|Offering Crushed Pepper Before Tasting the Entrée; The Decline of Restaurant Service Etiquette / John Hendrie / October 2004|
|Destination Marketing – How to rebuild your Reputation and the upcoming Season after the Hurricanes / John Hendrie / September 2004|
|Six Factors Which Dictate Success in Performing Destination Marketing / John Hendrie / September 2004|
|Influencing the Consumer to Book Business through Your Commitment to Quality / Aug 2004|
|Major Hotel Operators Have Rediscovered Hospitality Fundamentals by Revisiting the Guest Room / John R. Hendrie / July 2004|
|Destination Marketing 101: Take Care of Mom / John R. Hendrie / June 2004|
|Service Unions Combine, Presenting Huge Challenge to Hospitality Industry / John R. Hendrie / March 2004|
|What Value Quality? Most Hospitality Operators Use the Term “Quality” In their Advertising. What Exactly Does that Mean? / John R. Hendrie / April 2004|