The Three Pillars of the Hotel Industry: Customer Service, Colleagues and Money
What You Can do to Make Financial an Equal Pillar
By David Lund Hospitality & Leadership Expert, The Hotel Financial Coach | January 22, 2017
Brands are asleep when it comes to the opportunity they have to increase their effectiveness by creating financially engaged leadership teams in their hotels. Brands sell expertise to owners. Brands need to realize the key to mastering the third pillar, the finances starts with investing in financial leadership training in their hotels. Brands mandate guest service and colleague engagement programs and the owners pay the tab. The exact same relationship exists for financial leadership training and everyone wins, the owner, the leaders and the brand.
Pillar 1 – Guest Service
We manage guest interaction with an understanding and belief that we're all invested in good guest service. Even the departments that don't have direct guest contact help support the colleagues and departments that do. We are all responsible. Good guest service is a no-brainer for anyone in the hotel business. It's the very moral foundation that our business is built upon. Finding ways to increase guest service is just good business. We invest in guest service at all levels in our hotels and we take the function of providing great service very seriously.
In branded managed hotels, the management company typically has guest service programs that they have either created or they provide in alliance with a vendor. In addition, we spend serious dollars asking our guests how we are doing. Guest service scores are critical to the operations of the hotel. In every instance the brand mandates the guest service programs inside their hotels and the owners pay 100% of the tab, for everything related to creating and maintaining guest service. Many owners question the management company's programs, these can be very expensive and the results are hard to nail down. Annually the brand will send their hotels the yearly programs via the budget documents that outline all the programs the hotel needs to add to their upcoming year. Even if the hotel adds labor for training the owner, in the end, pays 100%.
When we think about a brand and its service reputation it's interesting to see through this mirage, to look and see that ultimately the owners of the hotels are paying to create the brand's service promise. This is largely a secret to most people. Understanding the relationship between the brand, the owner and what is created via this dance is an interesting segway. In most branded hotel's, the annual guest service score forms part of the executive team's bonus criteria and achieving the targeted number or better is a direct link to their pocket books. The last thing I will say about guest service is we do not tolerate leaders or staff that do not provide excellent service.
Pillar 2 – Colleague Engagement