Having used hotels a great deal over the last twelve months, I have come to the conclusion that the missing ingredient for many ‘quality’ service organisations is a lack of attention to detail. First impressions may be great and is presumably why external organisations, such as the AA, give such high ratings but from my own experience there is no consistency.
Having stayed in a four star hotel every week for many months I have experienced the following:
- Problems with plumbing creating unpleasant smells or noise
- Dirty or missing crockery and cutlery
- Items missing from the room set up, such as hairdryer, tea bags, biscuits
- Tired or dirty furniture and environment
- Inedible food
This is just a sample but you must be getting the picture by now!
Perhaps as a hospitality professional I am ultra critical but ensuring a high standard of service is delivered on a consistent basis is what sorts the wheat from the chaff. Most of the staff are welcoming and attentive but the sighting of a manager is rare suggesting that checking is a low priority. Is it therefore any wonder that attention to detail is poor?
There are many ways to combat this through; training, use of audits and walking the hotel floor but where is the flair and enthusiasm for ensuring your customer has a great visit every time?
I’m sure there are several good reasons that can be given, for example:
- The industry doesn’t attract the right calibre of staff
- Training budgets are too low therefore not everything can be covered
- Operational costs are tight due to the economic climate therefore there just isn’t enough staff
The likelihood is that some or all of these aspects are true and there are probably several more that aren’t listed. However what is relevant is that a consistent high quality service can only be achieved when every member of the team has an eye for detail and can see through a customer’s eyes. Creating this as part of the culture of the organisation is where I suggest the work should start.