Term “Quality” In their Advertising. What Exactly
Does that Mean?
|by John R. Hendrie, April 17, 2004
Most Hospitality Operators use the term “Quality” somewhere in their
advertising and promotion. What exactly does that mean? One would
compile multiple responses, as Management tried to define “Quality”.
The same would be said for their Staff, and, just as importantly, the Guest.
We all have different perspectives.
The Basics: Quality is a Process. There are Performance Standards created, communicated and implemented. The Standards are reviewed constantly to stress Continual Improvement. Success Stories are heralded. Problem Areas are immediately addressed. Steady “feed back” is required. This is not a one day exercise. Quality must become integral to your Business Performance.
The Bottom Line: Does your definition of Quality translate to the Guest’s expectations? Hospitality Operations are boldly diverse. We present to the Consumer various locations, architecture, ambiance, price, amenity, and activity. When they make a reservation – book a room, a table, or a ticket – the Guest has an Expectation. Now, we must deliver and not create a disconnect, because we may be at cross purposes with our Guest and their concept of Quality.
The Assignment: How do we create a “common ground” to meet these expectations and avoid the false steps in fully serving our Guest? The Quality Process begins with recognized, reasonable Hospitality Performance Standards. ALL parties understand cleanliness. The environment you represent must be clean and not assault the five senses.
We need to feel safe and secure. We require certain “creature comforts”. We look for our needs to be attended with some courtesy, accuracy, speed and pleasant attitude. Finally, we expect the facility to present an acceptable appearance / condition. These elements are how you will be judged by your Guest. They represent the Benchmarks for a memorable Quality experience or not. These Performance Standards are the foundation, and the Guest needs to know you are serious and sincere. Particularly for those Destinations which are Family oriented, recognize that the greatest influence on where the Family will stay, dine and recreate is the Mother, and she holds Quality Standards dearly.
The Report Card: The success of a Process needs to be measured – a Performance Evaluation. Where do you rate with these Hospitality Standards? Do you deliver, and, just as importantly, does your Staff? Your Quality message must be communicated daily. Your Staff must abide by your Message. Clear guidelines, need to be in place, practiced and assessed. Attention to detail and meeting the Guest’s needs are the Mantra.
There are many means to evaluate your Performance: the personal relationship you have with your Guests; in-house mechanisms, like Comment Cards; Mystery Shop Services; Assessment Companies; and formal Guest Satisfaction Systems. They are all meaningful.
In Summary: The Guest Experience all begins with Expectations, and success is built upon how well you deliver your product/service in relation to those Expectations. Performance Standards are the Hospitality Norm, and they “frame” the experience. Your adherence to these Standards has definite Value in the Marketplace, particularly if your efforts have been validated , designating your Operation a Quality Destination. You also have at hand mechanisms to continually improve your performance, for Guest Satisfaction “feed back” is critical and actually creates Customer Loyalty opportunities.
Does Quality have Value? Absolutely. It is the bedrock of our Industry. Quality establishes your Reputation, becomes your competitive edge, and results in increased Revenue. Let’s restore that Consumer Confidence!
John R. Hendrie
Hospitality Performance, Inc.
|Also See:||Service Unions Combine, Presenting Huge Challenge to Hospitality Industry / John R. Hendrie / March 2004|