Madam, may I ask you something? What do you think of this hotel so far, are there things that you have noticed positively and, if I may be so bold, do you intend to come back here again? I was a guest in a hotel for three days. Since last year I have been guiding the hotel in guest experience and guest orientation. During the evaluation, I decided to interview a number of guests briefly.
What a service!
How nice that you ask, my husband and I just talked about it! Certainly, there are things that stand out to us and that we also enjoy very much. We immediately felt at ease when we arrived. The reception came with a cup of coffee and some goodies in the cosy lobby, suitcases that were brought to the room and a nice present in the room with a personal card. The mini bar we can use free of charge, the invitation for a drink in the bar around the clock of five, the bicycles that were ready for us… What a service! We truly feel pampered!
It didn’t take me long to think about the answer to my question, but also the other guests I spoke to. Sure! What I also noticed during the conversations with guests: No one talked about beds, bathrooms and food and drinks in the restaurants. In this hotel, the facilities are fine but certainly not brand new.
Taking the effort!
Often people tell others about the little things they were surprised about during their stay. Earlier I wrote about the Singaporean service guru Ron Kaufman. His definition of Service is also relevant here: Service is making an effort to make it easy or happy for someone else. Where a guest notices that that effort has actually been made, you can count on bonus points and a special place in their heart.
It strikes me that there are many companies that are making huge advances in the field of service. Guests, customers and clients are relieved of high-level concerns. Companies make a lot of (extra) effort to perform above expectations. That makes guests what I call ‘service-dependent’. In other words, in places where the service is once lacking, where much less or even no effort is made, the guest really misses the experience their stay. The person suddenly does not get what he or she has counted on, becomes grumpy and leaves.
Service is no longer a ‘Nice to have’
In many cases, it is the reason why a company stops operating at a certain moment. Somehow they were no longer able to make an effort there.
Good service is for more and more modern (spoiled) guests no longer a ‘nice to have’, it is the new standard.