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So there I was, lazing on a typical Sunday afternoon and browsing on my iPod. Thought that I would do a little research online to see what articles there were about hotels, latest news, trends etc

There seem to be quite a few surveys about a host of topics when it comes to hotels. Of particular relevance were the ones I read about the latest trends and demands of hotel clients. What struck me was the list of items that had very little to do with personalized service! In fact, the majority of demands that clients are looking for don’t involve people at all.

Let me elaborate.

On arrival many guests want automated check in or self styled check in facilities. Punch your own reservation number into the kiosk and your room key is presented. No smiling receptionist required here.

On scrolling through the trends the regular features began to show a trend. Cleanliness was a high priority, adequate safety and security; hi speed (complimentary) internet.

The bed had to be comfortable (and clean) and the same applies for the bathroom (cleanliness a high priority here). Add an in room TV bouquet selection that ticks all the boxes was another highly ranked prerequisite.

On some surveys lighting played a crucial role and on many other people had a lot to say about the aroma of the facility. Yes, how your hotel smells!

A wide selection of beverages and an appropriate menu selection were also in most top ten lists.

Then finally almost at the bottom of the list , a lot of clients like a prompt, efficient check out! So there’s the service aspect. Right at the end, when the client is leaving !?

Yet if you provide poor service at your hotel, you will soon hear about it. In person and probably online on one of the many platforms now available to complain!

The point I am raising here is that although we are a labour intensive industry many of the so called “new demands” of clients require very little personal interaction at all. Most of the services (internet, TV, etc) in fact promote just the opposite. We spend an inordinate amount of money training and developing teams and service employees to provide the very best in service possible yet our clients are telling us on many occasions that they prefer to be left alone. !

And the message? Clients expect top service as a standard. And it should be discreet. It shouldn’t have to be listed. When they stay in a hotel they shouldn’t have to list personalised service as a requirement. It should be a given. Mandatory.

Lets talk: clive@chevanhospitality.co.za

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