Friday, January 8, 2010

Managing Customers Expectations

Hospitality business is not only about meeting customer’s physical needs. In my opinion it is more important to meet their psychological needs. We may not be able to keep up with the best in luxury, creativity and technology consistently. But we can definitely astonish our customers always by raising the bar for service standards.
It is quite possible for hotels to be one of the leaders in its class. I will recommend following action plan to achieve the best in customer service.
• Prepare your mission statement reflecting vision and principals of the company.
• Lay- down key result areas.
• Set long term and short term goals to achieve the desired results.
Above will only remain in files or used as a publicity tool until they are put in action. We need a cohesive team with unified goal to accomplish key result areas.
Let us take an example of a hospitality group whose mission statement is “We at X will strive to be the best in Hotels…. by astonishing our customers, managing their expectations every time………….” If we want to transform this mission to action, the whole team has to be committed. We need to define typical profile of our team members who will be best suited for this purpose. This should be Passion, Aptitude and Attitude, Personality, Team player,……., Skills. Prepare a DNA profile indicating percentage of each trait you require in your team member. Start by selecting the leader matching your company’s DNA profile. It should be mandatory for all to pass Aptitude / Psychological evaluation test.
In my opinion Psychological aspects of a team member is 80% important while skills may be 20%. Let us not forget, a happy customer tells 3 and unhappy tells 7. Bad reputation spreads like wild fire which can damage any business very fast. It is crucial to aggressively promote good service by rewarding team members for astonishing the customers. I recommend zero tolerance policy for bad service.
It is worth to pay a premium for hiring candidate with your DNA profile as they contribute to;
• Increased repeat business.
• Better productivity.
• Increased customer’s satisfaction.
• Reduced costs.
• Able to command better price for products and services.
• More publicity.
• Increased recognition.
• Faster business growth and expansion.
• Reduced staff turnover.
• Easy to hire employees.
• Fun place to work.
• More revenue and profit.

A season’s Greetings and have a good year ahead!

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