How to achieve great customer service

The service your guests receive will often be the most memorable part of their stay. Few people will return by choice, where they’ve experienced poor service, nor recommend a hotel even when they’ve received average or good service. Service is invariably your opportunity to create a key differentiator to your hotel. So as a manager what can you be doing to contribute to your service levels?

 

Last year I attended the inaugural Boutique Hotel Summit in London. Although I don’t think anyone could quite agree on a precise definition of boutique, one theme that came up consistently was that of delivering consistently great service.

So how do we ensure that our staff deliver great customer service?

 

Define great service

Well, the first thing to do is define great service. I’m not proposing here to define what I think it is; I’m sure you already have your own ideas. But if you needed to explain this to any of your team, would you be able to define it? I believe the starting point is to reflect on what it is that your guests expect and how they define great service. Understand your guest and who you’re targeting.

What is the style of your hotel, and how is this reflected in the way you serve your guests? There’s often a fine line between uninterested or unreceptive and being over attentive and bordering on being intrusive. There’s then striking a balance between formality and overfamiliarity. These are things that we often know when we see it, but it’s sometimes difficult to describe this to staff.

 

Recruit on attitude

Once you know what level of service you’re looking for you’re in a much better position to get your staff on board. Start by getting the recruitment right. In my book attitude will always be a higher priority than skills. You can develop skills by training, but it’s much more difficult to change people’s attitudes; an eagerness to please people, a willingness to go the extra mile, and an enthusiasm to learn are the key attributes to look for at the recruitment stage.

Develop a reputation as a good employer. This way you’ll be in a much better position to attract the type of people you really want when the need arises, rather than your hotel being a last resort for those desperate for any job they can get.

 

In tomorrow’s blog we look at direction and how to focus on what you want to achive.

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2 thoughts on “How to achieve great customer service

  1. Neil Simmons

    Very interesting. I have an eagerness to please people, a willingness to go the extra mile, and an enthusiasm to learn. Being a owner, how can I put these qualities to use?

  2. Caroline Cooper Post author

    Neil
    Thanks for your feedback. You may find parts 2,3 and 4 will help you learn how you can put this valuable qualities to good use.

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