Inaugurating Service Excellence into Your Hotel

By Roberta Nedry President and Founder, Hospitality Excellence, Inc. | June 06, 2010

This may be time for each of us to reconsider how to take service to a higher level. In his inaugural address, President Obama urged a new era of responsibility and that we need to give our all to the difficult tasks ahead. Many of the ideas and values he expressed can be useful reminders and analogies to welcome guests into the "Promised Land" of hospitality.

Hotel leaders should encourage their employees to take on new areas of responsibility in creating guest experiences and provide appropriate training to do so. President Obama reaffirmed that our nation is great but emphasized that greatness is never a given. In hospitality, greatness should never be taken for granted and hotels must always strive for constant, consistent and persistent service to maintain and enhance reputations they have earned.

He noted that "it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things -some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom." In the hospitality business, leaders who care about their employees will inspire them to take risks with new ideas, empower them to do more and create opportunities to make more memorable moments for each guest. Employers who care more about employees will see those same employees care more about guests. Guests who are cared for, especially in uncertain times, will become more loyal and in turn, feel reassured to spend more, want to repeat their experience and will refer others. Everyone feels comfortable at "home" and when the same spirit of welcome is created for guests, they become more comfortable and are able to more fully enjoy a leisure or business hospitality experience away from home.

President Obama emphasized "values upon which our success depends-hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism", all essential to progress and duties we should seize. These same values are essential to hotels and hospitality organizations. Hoteliers should have the courage to take the next steps in service delivery and instill curiosity, hard work, honesty, loyalty and commitment in their employees. With a strong mission statement which unifies all managers and employees in a shared purpose, service excellence standards can be defined. With a solid framework for exceptional service delivery, these values and standards will become stronger than ever and guest experiences will benefit from a new generation of service excellence.

At the luncheon, following the inauguration, the words " empower them with wisdom and infuse them with a passion" were used in the invocation by Dr. Barry Black as he addressed the new president and his cabinet . These are wonderful words and thoughts to consider as new platforms of service delivery are established. Wisdom to take on a fresh way of thinking and passion to create the memorable moments that matter.

Crises are not necessary to inaugurate change but this is a fantastic time to inaugurate a new era of service and identify things that can be changed or addressed now! Just as the recipe section was the most visited part of the inaugural website, your recipe for service success can be the most delicious part of your strategy moving forward.

Coming up in January 2018...

Mobile Technology: Relentless Innovation

Technology has become a crucial component in attracting and retaining hotel guests, and the need to enhance a guest’s technology experience is driving a relentless pace of innovation. To meet and exceed guest expectations, 54% of hotels will spend more on technology in 2018, and mobile solutions in particular will top the list of capital investments. Many hotels are integrating mobile booking, mobile keys, mobile payments and mobile check-in into their operations. Other hotels are emphasizing the in-room experience, boosting bandwidth and upgrading flat screen TVs to more easily interface with guest mobile devices. And though not yet mainstream, there are many exciting technology developments on the near horizon. The Internet of Things (loT) is taking form in some places, and can be found in guest room control systems, voice activation systems, and in wearable sensors that can be used for access and payment options. Virtual reality headsets are available at some hotels so guests can enjoy virtual trips to exotic locations or if off-property, preview conference facilities and guest rooms. How long will it be before a hotel employs a fleet of robots for room service, or utilizes a hologram as a concierge, or installs gesture-controlled walls that feature interactive digital displays? Some hotels are already using augmented reality for translation services, or interactive wall maps, or even virtual décor. This pace of innovation is challenging property owners and brands to stay on top of the latest technology trends while still addressing current projects. The January Hotel Business Review will explore what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in the mobile technology space.