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 How Important is Service?
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by Harry Nobles

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.  

We were retained to shop the   property, identify the potential for a Four Diamond rating, and recommend a plan of action.  Our evaluation confirmed that the physical   facilities did support a higher rating.  We also concluded that guest service delivery was the problem.  

      Ask Harry

We encourage readers to email us with questions on ratings, guest services, design, decor, etc. We'll  respond  promptly to your questions. Email: hospsvc001@aol.com

Based on our recommendations, management implemented specific service standards and an efficient training program.  The property was awarded the higher rating at the next AAA inspection.

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 repeat guest 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. 

This may be an opportune time to determine if you have employees who might be happier at one of your competitors with lower standards.  If the unemployment data we see and hear daily is accurate, this could also be the right time to consider rejuvenating, re-motivating, or replacing some staff members.

 Providing consistently superior guest service is neither cheap nor easy, but neither is replacing unhappy guests.




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Contact:

Harry Nobles Hospitality Consulting
www.nobleshospitalityconsulting.com
hospsvc001@aol.com
(757) 564-3761

Also See: What to Do? Improve Guest Services or Upgrade Facilities / Harry Nobles / December 2008

My Dream Hotel? / Harry Nobles, October 2008

Hurricane Ike:  Challenges and Opportunities? / September 2008

Who Should Train Your Employees?/ Harry Nobles / September 2008

Designing for the Future a Key to Earning 4 or 5 Star/Diamond Rating / Harry Nobles / February 2008

Look for the Ducks / Harry Nobles / April 2007

How Should Casino-Hotels Be Rated? / Harry Nobles / April 2007

Is 'Mega Boutique Hotel' an Oxymoron / Harry Nobles/ December 2006

Hotel People I Have Know / Harry Nobles / October 2006

Now I’ve Seen Everything -  “Food Servers Employing the Internet to Divulge Names of Customers Who Tip Less than 17%”/ Harry Nobles / September 2006

Does Hotel Room Size Matter? / Harry Nobles / September 2006

If You Disagree With Your AAA Rating / Harry Nobles/ May 2006

AAA Evaluation Procedure: Is It Fair? / Harry Nobles/ May 2006

Four Star vs Mobil Four Star / Harry Nobles/ February 2006

Rating Condominiums / Harry Nobles / January 2006

AAA Five Diamond Lodgings; Chain vs Independent / November 2005

Katrina & Rita: Silver Lining or Opportunity? / Harry Nobles & Cheryl Griggs / October 2005

Our Dream Hotel / Harry Nobles & Cheryl Griggs / July 2005

Losing a Diamond or Star / Harry Nobles & Cheryl Griggs /  March 2005

Ratings vs Guest Satisfaction / Harry Nobles & Cheryl Griggs / February 2005

Our "Pick of the Month" / Harry Nobles & Cheryl Griggs / November 2004

5 Star vs 5 Diamond: What’s the Difference? / Harry Nobles & Cheryl Griggs / November 2004

Strategic Alliance Announced, Committed to Hospitality Excellence / August 2004

Family Resorts: Suggested Strategies / Cheryl Griggs / July 2004

Are Small Resorts Unfairly Treated by the AAA and Mobil Rating Criteria / July 2004

Designing For Optimum Global Ratings / Cheryl Griggs / June 2004

QualAsia Formed to Provide Authoritative Organization to Inspect and Evaluate Hotels Across Asia; Harry Nobles Appointed Chairman of New Asian Hotel Rating Service / May 2004

Validity of Online Hotel Ratings / Cheryl Griggs / April 2004

Resorts Ratings Redux / Harry Nobles & Cheryl Griggs / February 2004

Are Your Trainers Trained? / Harry Nobles & Cheryl Thompson Grigg /  January 2004 

The Language of Service / Cheryl Griggs / October 2003

Hotel Renovation Ideas vs AAA Ratings Criteria / Harry Nobles / October 2003

New Employee Orientation: Necessity or Luxury?  /  July 2003

Save the Best - Replace the Rest / July 2003

AAA and Mobil Ratings As a Sales Tool / May 2003

How Well Do You Know Your Competitor? / May 2003

Our Favorite Hotel?  / March 2003

The Current Value of AAA Hotel Ratings / Feb 2003

Stars and Diamonds; Some Similarities and Some Differences / January 2003

AAA's Delay: Good or Bad? / July 2002

Timing Is Everything, Or Is It? / July 2002 

Boutique Hotels: Have They Gone Too Far / May 2002

People Really Do Make the Difference / Jan 2002

What Is a Boutique Hotel? / Dec 2001

The Non-negotiable Traits of Leaders / Oct 2001 

How Important is Service? / Sept 2001

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 

To Harry Nobles Hospitality Consulting Index Page


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