Through The Eyes of a Butler: The Guest and the Service Level.
By Osvaldo Torres Cruz
Thursday, 10th December 2009
Every Hotel must be aware that working in a highly competitive market as the hospitality market, demands as a condition of survival to achieve a certain level of service.

To that end, the Hotel as a business venture, must define a service philosophy which surely opens a path towards a service strategy.

However, nowadays, keeping a Hotel in the market is not enough, especially when the main hotel services have turned into commodities, that is to say, services without value, since there is no or little difference from those very extensive services offered by other hotels.

There are two views in the market: one is to remain and the other is to make a difference and the latter is precisely where a hotel service strategy must be focused, since is the only way to achieve the long-cherished positioning in the market.

The ability to identify what minimum level of service must be achieved to stay in the market and what is the level needed to obtain the competitive advantage in some given market segments, depends on the Hotel strategic skills.

Upon the arrival of a guest for the first time, he also brings as a luggage, the set of his previous experiences, which are precisely the tools he will be using to assess and seize the level of services that will be offered. So you might say that the level of service will be established by the ability to adjust same to the perception and personal identification of the guest who is experiencing it, meaning, the closer it meets the guest's rational and emotional needs, the better he will feel identified with the service. The meaning and value of the service shall then rise in the eyes of the guest, and will benefit the overall level.

The guest appraisal is a powerful tool to measure the level and design of the services offered. This assessment is obtained through the system of bonds supplied by the Relations Personalized Services (RPS), for example, during monitoring the degree of satisfaction experienced by the guest.

This is a tool which offers a guest differential valuation regarding every service rendered, thus enabling us to adjust the service to his criteria and improve it in case there is a gap between the expected level and the one offered. This will result in an immediate service recovery.

From the guest appreciation, it must also be valued the most important attributes for each service in order to design a level of improvement and to look for ways to eliminate internal procedures and systems that no create value for our guests, E.g. if in the laundry service, time is the main attribute, the service improvement strategy must be devised to shorten the time of delay in the delivery, so that the investment should be perhaps focused to buy more machinery or increase the number of operators.

If the competition is now offering a new feature in the laundry service e.g. tailoring, the investment should then be focused to incorporate the same service in line with the guest demand for this new benefit.

The guest is the most important point of validation regarding the level of services offered, as well as the best source of data to match and better exceed the level of services in the international market. A guest who has been staying at many different hotels has the best weapon to evaluate and enhance the level of services offered: the pattern of comparison.

The window guest in the services level strategy provides a solid visual guide for discussions about the quality, perceived values and level of services offered.

Osvaldo Torres Cruz.
Hotel Butler

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