Through the Eyes of a Hotel Butler: Guest Satisfaction: Checkmarks Versus Words.
By Osvaldo Torres Cruz
Saturday, 4th 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?

Osvaldo Torres Cruz
Hotel Butler
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