steven ferry

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steven ferry

Auditing the Auditors: What Happens When Quality Assurance Morphs Into PR & Marketing?

Steven Ferry | December 2, 2019

By Steven Ferry, Chairman, International Institute of Modern Butlers If Quality Assurance had not been taken over by such interests, it would be focused on operational audits and follow-up actions that result in improved service and thus influenced guest perception based on real-world intentions and actions. This hijacking of QA could explain some very real problems that hoteliers are facing today in their operations and even with guest perceptions.... Did you hear about the case of the incredible disappearing hotel manager? No? Well, this is not so much a joke or a detective story as the beginnings of an obituary for the old-t...

Auditing the Auditors: A Quality Assurance Program for the 21st Century

Steven Ferry | November 27, 2019

Part III of IV By Steven Ferry, Chairman, International Institute of Modern Butlers In the first two articles in this series, we looked at how independent Quality Assurance programs have fallen into a conventional wisdom and modus operandi that is out of touch with their clients' and their guests' needs and then examined the challenges and relevance of QA in helping their client's assess their performance in a world increasingly guided by the megaphone of social-media reviews. In this third and last article, we look at what an ideal QA program would look like, in the hope that third-party QA companies, and/or internal QA programs are...

Auditing the Auditors, Part II of III: The Art of Finding the Pulse

Steven Ferry | August 31, 2018

By Steven Ferry Services that fail to change with the times, fall out of use: Robust, third-party QA programs are, surprisingly, one such otherwise valuable service that we may see disappearing as social media are increasingly used by guests and management alike, to determine the state of affairs and rankings of hotels and resorts. The replacement of professionals by amateurs, who are armed with a little knowledge and the full confidence of their own particular experience, is not necessarily an improvement; but it is certainly a reality. Part II of the three-part series on Quality Assurance looks at the pros and cons of each, and the best ...

Auditing the Auditors, Part I of III: A Report Card on Independent Quality Assurance

Steven Ferry | May 22, 2018

By Steven Ferry Don Quixote tilted his lance at windmills: we tilt ours at service standards that do not meet expectations, which is why I am spending a perfectly beautiful Florida spring Sunday inside, banging away on the keyboard when sensible people are beaching, sailing, golfing, etc. Why? We tried unsuccessfully on several occasions over the years to give independent QA providers, standards for the butler service being offered by (463) luxury hotels around the world so they could incorporate those standards into their own and help raise butler-service levels in the hospitality industry in a way that our small organization could ...

Emotional Engagement—A Mantra in Search of a Technology

Steven Ferry | August 16, 2016

By Steven Ferry Emotional engagement is one of those hot subjects that most have heard of but very few can actually define. What is it exactly? As with any subject, a keen observation of life in action followed by a logical analysis can shine light on the dark corners of our knowledge to bring clarity to our understanding, and, in order to be useful, a workable procedure for action that brings about desirable results. In the case of emotional engagement, it would be guests who are thrilled at the renewal or reinforcement of life and energy they experience when interacting with hotel staff. Of course, that would presuppose and require th...

Constant Creativity & Enthusiasm In the Drive to Exceed One’s Own Lofty Expectations

Steven Ferry | April 12, 2016

By Steven Ferry Four- and five-star hotels and resorts around the world number in the hundreds, catering to different markets/publics with different needs and wants. The imperative to make the guest experience so memorable that the guests become repeaters and ambassadors, occupancy runs dizzyingly high and word of mouth sizzles, is one that every new (or existing) General Manager/Managing Director faces; each has a vision, a style of management, a stable of successful actions, and erstwhile colleagues they trust to support their standards and whom they quickly bring in to precipitate success for owners, shareholders, management, staff, ...

Would You like Your Service Today Live or Programmed, Madam? Part II

Steven Ferry | December 17, 2015

By Steven Ferry Last month, Part I of this article traced the history of robots in hospitality from Ancient Greek times to the first workplace application at GM 50 years ago, and the exponential progress made in robotics since then with the introduction of Artificial Intelligence, and the rapid encroachment into the workplace, including hotels now being run mainly by robots. Surprisingly, and little known, is the fact that there is a convergence between humans and robots: the effort to make robots capable of everything and more that humans are capable of, and humans being "improved" with robotics. In just 15 years, the expectation by th...

Love and The New Age of Service

Steven Ferry | December 1, 2015

By Steven Ferry Much attention has been placed by training departments of luxury hotels and resorts on bringing new hires up to the required standard of superior service. This is no small challenge in some areas, given the lack of familiarity of the new hires with high-end lifestyles, the expectations of those who live them, and the general state of education and society in general. This article delves a bit deeper into one fundamental in such service: staffs who really are full of joy and passion for their work, which is partly a matter of motivation and partly a matter of EQ skills. We have always taught that there are four levels of ...

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