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Providing Quality Guest Service in Hotel Industry

The hospitality and tourism industry is the largest and fastest growing industry in the world today. An exciting aspect of this industry is that it is made up of so many different professions.  As diverse as the hospitality industry is, there are some powerful and common dynamics, which include the designing and delivering quality products and services with distinctive excellence which enables the hotel to exceed guest’s expectation. The purpose of hospitality is to enhance the lives of guests through quality service.

Quality Guest Service is the consistent delivery of products and services which not only meets the expectations but also exceeds the expectations of guests. It focuses on providing delightful hotel experiences that may last a lifetime.

Legendary Hotelier Cesar Ritz’s view on Guest Service:

 “No detail is too small and no request is too big if it is meant to satisfying a customer”

His philosophy on guest service formed the foundation for service in hotel industry.

Quality pertains to skill or the ability to anticipate, assure and satisfy the needs of the customers every time. An organisation that has consistency in meeting the needs of guest is considered to be of high quality.  Successful hotels today differentiate themselves from their less successful counterparts with an ongoing and significant emphasis on guest service. Creative advertising, the property's brand name, or a discount incentive may be sufficient to encourage guests' first visits. However, what occurs between the time guests reach the hotel's parking lot or front door and the time they depart influences (1) their perception of the hotel, (2) their interest in returning to it (or even to another hotel of the same brand), and (3) what they say about their hotel experience to friends, family, and others.

The most consistent and exemplary service is delivered as an integral aspect of a hotels ongoing emphasis on quality. A focus on quality yields service standards that address guests' needs. Such a focus also yields an understanding about the "best" work processes and procedures that should be used to consistently meet service standards (and to do so cost-effectively). The realization that traditional work processes may need revi­sion and that the emphasis must be on pleasing the guests rather than on doing what is easiest or least costly. Therefore, it is important that hotel managers work with their staff to design quality standards in their work place. Part of the effort is attitudinal: managers and their staff must want to please guests.

Today's hotel guests desire good service, and they are willing to pay for it. Effective managers, continually ask this question: "What is best for our guests?" One of the primary responsibilities of managers is to address this question, and the effort is never completed because guests' needs change over time. If managers make decisions considering their guests' needs a priority, their hotel is likely to be successful.

Practicing Quality service requires that you are good at procedural service as well as personalized service. One is not sacrificed for the sake of other. Both are emphasized and practiced. Beginning a quality journey can be time-consuming, especially because planning and revisions to work processes must be done alongside daily work responsibilities. However, the results of an effectively imple­mented and ongoing quality program can be significant. First, the majority of the guests' needs will be met. Second, a mechanism to address the unique needs of spe­cific guests will be in place. At the same time, errors will be omitted, operating costs will be reduced, and the hotel will become more profitable.

Tips to make Hospitality Service Memorable:

 Service is an attitude as much or more than it is a skill.

  •  Focus on guest (Guest-centric approach).
  • The quality plan should be the hotel's business plan.
  • Top-level managers must emphasize quality.
  • Understand the role of the guest contact employees
  • Weave a Service culture into education and training systems
  • Emphasize high-touch instead of just high-tech
  • create a warm environment of hospitality;
  • strive for excellence in guest service skills;
  • Focus on procedural service (Standard Operating Procedure) as well as personalized service (warmth, care , attention to detail).Both must be emphasized and practiced.
  • include quality as part of  department's planning efforts and identify quality-and service-related goals to help drive the department's planning efforts;
  • facilitate continuous quality improvement (CQI);
  • empower employees (i.e., employees are given the responsibility for quality and are not just simply told what is expected of them)
  • use teamwork and cross-functional teams for process planning
  • Link rewards to guest satisfaction and to financial results;
  • Thrive on change
  • An emphasis on quality is not a program that begins and ends at a specified time. Rather, quality is a philosophy that affects the actions of hotel managers and staff members at all times.

The Key objective in the service equation is to create guest loyalty .We not only need to keep guests happy during their stay, but also to keep them returning- with their friends.

Success Mantra

An organizations mind, body and soul are its people, process and technology. If an organization integrates people, process and technology with emphasis on consistent quality management, it can create memorable hotel experiences for its guests, that may last a life time.

Publish Date : 06-August-2013

Submitted by : Dr.D.Antony Ashok Kumar, Teacher, Director & Principal, SRM Institute of Hotel Management, Kanchipuram

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