Many years ago if you had asked a hotelier what he sells in his hotel, he would have responded: Bed and Breakfast or Room and Food.
Later, this response has changed to ''Service'' which means a place to rest and sleep and additional facilities and amenities to make it more pleasant.
But nowadays no one is looking for a place to rest under the name of HOTEL. It means there is a lot of choices instead of a hotel to be relaxed and eat and also have a good time. Moreover, if someone looks for only a place to spend a few days in the base of his budget or priorities, he can choose simply a home or an apartment and no need to make a hotel reservation.
So, that's why we have to think about the reason why people prefer staying in a hotel instead of other places. In other words, if we can perceive that people do not come to our hotel only to spend the time and to have a place to sleep and eat, we will be able to define what we are selling in our hotel.
After working for a few years with the possibility to contact people in the hotel industry, I realized that people are looking for something beyond the service that we sell by coming to a hotel and that is ''value''.
What does ''value'' mean?
Let's imagine you go to a hotel. You will expect to see your room like its pictures on the hotel website and receive the services as the hotel promised. If you find all the things as much as you expect, whatever you receive more defines as ''value''.
It can be small chocolate on your pillow or a flower on the bed or even a very warm welcoming and greeting!
The room service is only a service but how to do it is value. Answer to any guest question is the staff's duty but how to respond is the value that we show and give to a guest.
But I don't mean that we can make the value only in a good situation. Absolutely no!
In the above example, when neither the room nor the services are in line with your expectation, you will complain. After that, whatever satisfies you from changing the room offer or dinner in the hotel restaurant or even a good excuse that convinces you is defined as ''value''.
So, when we talk about the ''value'' in today's hotel industry, it doesn't mean value for money instead means how we can present our respect to the customer. That is why you see a low point on guest reviews for ordinary unpleasant cases. For example, a guest maybe rates your hotel with 5 or 6 points only because he didn't see your care about a request to recommend him a good restaurant or even for more towels or pillows.
So, who works in the hotel industry should know that these days a guest expect to receive and have more than his expectations during his stay in a hotel. Reciprocally, the managers should teach to their team that we sell ''value'' not ''service''.
About the author
Dariush Alagha is a freelance journalist and blogger in hotel industry. More than 100 notes, articles, and interviews of him have published in Iranian hotel and tourism magazines, in Farsi. In 2011, he launched the first Iranian online hotel news website www.bazarhotel.com. He is still this website editor. Since 2014, he has started working practically in Italian hotels.