Earlier this summer, I shared some "Best Practices on Engaging the "high-touch" Side of Our Business" in my blog. I summarized feedback from attendees in a series of workshops I conducted for a major international hotel company that addressed the danger of becoming a "Commodity".
This article/blog kicks off a related topic:
Question: How do we motivate our hospitality staff to care every day, to build and maintain a commitment to delivering quality??
Answer: In surprisingly small ways.
It's All in the Details...
I am certainly not the first person to have written on the topic, and there have likely been others who have used the unusual example I am about to offer as an example of the most fundamental area of any hotel or restaurant.
The first topic discussed is one that every guest experiences, regardless of hotel location, room rate or level of service: SLEEPING
These workshops were held across North America and participants had wonderful ideas and best practices of how to make the "sleeping" experience positive, memorable and unique. The best ideas I heard included addressing all five of the human senses
Sight - the guest room and the bed must be inviting. This means neatly prepared beds, using pillows as décor and a sense of freshness to the eye as one enters the room.
Smell - the fragrance discussion in hospitality is not new. We all likely have fond memories of entering a bakery or a certain restaurant, yet too many hotels do not address this sensation. Care must be taken in cleaning products used, and there are packaged scents available that can be subtly present in the guest room, which enhances the overnight experience of sleep.
Sound - Rooms must be reasonably constructed or designed to block out street noise or external sound, as well as addressing the sounds of ice machines and elevators. Suggestions by attendees included ways to identify and then deal with those noises. A number of properties today include a CD player (with brand or hotel provided CDs) and/or a higher quality radio that offers additional calming effects conducive for sleeping
Taste - the general manager's reception, fresh popcorn in the lobby, homemade cookies or other treats can be positive interactions for guests as they retire to their rooms. These can reinforce situations they have at home, and therefore find positive when traveling.
Touch - as in #1 Sight above, the guest room and bedding must be inviting. Well maintained, comfortable bed coverings with quality linens complete the five senses for a guest who is on the road every week or for those who travel only on vacations.
Feel free to share an idea for a column at email@example.com anytime or contact me regarding consulting, customized workshops, speaking engagements ... And remember - we all need a regular dose of common sense.
John Hogan is a successful hospitality executive, educator, author and consultant and is a frequent keynote speaker and seminar leader at many hospitality industry events. He is Co-Founder of a consortium (www.HospitalityEducators.com) of successful corporate and academic professionals delivering focused and affordable counsel in solving specific challenges facing hospitality today.
www.HospitalityEducators.com is a membership site offering a wide range of information, forms, best practices and ideas that are designed to help individual hoteliers and hospitality businesses improve their market penetration, deliver service excellence and increase their profitability. Special pricing for WYNDHAM HOTEL BRANDS managers and staff is offered now through October 11, 2010 that also includes a complimentary copy of LESSONS FROM THE FIELD- A COMMON SENSE APPROACH TO EFFECTIVE HOTEL SALES. Use the codeWNDM1004 and pay only 35 cents per day for a 12-month membership.
goods of the highest quality
a characteristic of somebody or something
an essential identifying nature or character of somebody or something
the highest or finest standard - excellence
a declaration that inspires or is intended to inspire confidence