When you read a cross-section of negative comments from online reviews and guest surveys, its easy to recognize a common theme across all lodging operations: 'Heart failure.' More specifically, I am referring to the failure to understand the true heart of hospitality, which is 'caring about as well as caring for others.'
'Great customer service is […] a systematic reinvention of established technology, data, and operations – leveraging automation, data, and agents together to exploit each of their unique strengths.' These were the words of Forrester Vice President and Principal Analyst for Application Development & Delivery Professionals, Kate Leggett, in the beginning of 2018.
With one of my main roles at KTN being to conduct front desk hospitality training worldwide, one issue that always seems to surface is turnover at the front desk. Turnover everywhere in the hotel staff is a major challenge in tight labor markets most hotels operate within, however it seems to especially be an issue at the front desk.
The 'Make Mom Proud' Standard for How to Treat Your Customers
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 listening and decide to upgrade their assessments and programs.
It has often been said that as much as 80% of communication takes place non-verbally. It is certainly true that facial expressions such as what we show with our eyebrows, our smiles (or lack thereof), and body language, which is what we show with our posture and gestures, all are essential for communicating.
I have always believed that the front desk staff played a critical role, now more than ever they truly are the first impression makers, for better or for worse. Chances are that hard evidence for this is available online every day in your guest surveys and/or your online guest reviews.
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.
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.
The reason I train everyone to love guests ‘buts’ is because when we can manage to get a good ‘but’ out of a guest, that means that we have shown the guest we are asking because we truly care and want to know. Let me explain…