|by Osvaldo Torres Cruz, April 2009
Guest’ satisfaction is the main objective of every Hotel wishing to
differentiate from the others and therefore, holding and even improving
its position in the international market. Every day there are more and
more Hotel authorities realizing that achieving guests’ welfare and pleasure,
is the only way to guarantee their coming back. Apart from the fact that
the same guests will most probably make many positive remarks, and thus
will generate more new customers to come. Nevertheless, how can we be sure
that we succeeded in gaining the guest’s satisfaction and mainly, how can
we measure the guest’s satisfaction degree?
Most traditional ways to measure guest satisfaction have been opinion
inquiries. However, it is well known, that not all guests are duly motivated
to fulfill them. Besides, the questions, limited to be answered by means
of Xs or checkmarks, are already rated beforehand, such as: excellent,
good, medium. Thus, we are losing invaluable complementary data which can
help us to characterize the extent of the guest satisfaction in a more
sensorial way. On the other hand, the inquiries are generally handed over
at the end of the experience. If there had been some dissatisfaction or
complaint, it wouldn’t be solved. Even more important, we won’t be able
to demonstrate to the complaining guest, the Hotel resolving power, aiming
to gain the visitor’s welfare.
I think that following up the guest satisfaction and measuring its
degree of intensity, must be done in a personal and systematic way during
the whole experience. All contact service Divisions should be focused towards
this objective. Personalized service allows discovering valuable nuances
that cannot be included in an inquiry. I am referring to the shades of
emotional and experiential realities lived by the guest on account of the
service he received or that he is still receiving. Such as:
The guest is having dinner at the Hotel restaurant. When the
maître approaches to ask him his opinion about the service, the maître
will be able to perceive the impact which the quality of service is provoking
on the guest emotional area by evaluating his body language, tone and intensity
of words, gestures etc., that cannot be measured with a checkmark or X
in an inquiry.
As Hotel Butler, when I follow up the guests’ satisfaction, I daily experience
their emotional intensity, regarding the assistance they are getting. This
allows me to differentiate the elements causing the achieved satisfaction
degree and its evolution.
At the end of the experience we will get a more complete evaluation
of the level of satisfaction reached.
Statistically, it has been proved that not all guests use to submit
their opinions on the inquiries offered at the Hotel, even guests who have
received personal and sustained attention. Among the possible causes we
found are lack of interest, motivation or time.
As one of the providers of Personal Services, the Hotel Butler, for
example, systematically follows up the guest satisfaction. This action
generates the guest motivation and personal will, facing the demand of
submitting his opinions. Many times the guest leaves without rendering
his written opinion on an inquiry. However, as Butlers , we will have that
valuable information obtained by daily follow up during his stay. This
data can be added to his final profile and can be used for future stays.
Who will take better care of the guest satisfaction, that the person
assisting him since his arrival, the one who has dealt with his welfare?
And, what better retribution from the guest to that person, representing
the Hotel, that expressing his opinion on his performance and on the services
rendered by the Hotel to guarantee his welfare?