By Alan Campbell, Featured Contributor
IN PART ONE we asked a history professor to give his opinion on what he thought was a hotel. If I ask someone else that question I am sure that the answer will be somewhat different. It depends on how a hotel is viewed, and looked on as a building only that houses a number of rooms? Is it viewed a home away from home? What goes through the mind of the customer when he/ or/ she sees a hotel? This would be of course depending on if branded hotels came to mind. With all of the different brands of hotels, and extended stay properties out there, it would be difficult to choose. Not all hotels are created equal, and not all pursue the credo of customer satisfaction.
With the wandering history professor, that has traveled the world and has stated that he has patronized several of the branded hotels, as well as some not so well known. He mentioned the quality of service, and how he was treated when problems came to light. In his eyes there were some things that were done wrong, or in fact should have never happened in the first place. Now, if we look closely at the various incidents we will find that it comes down to the people that the industry puts in front of the guest.
We really don’t take the time, and is some instances the initiative to look for the right type of person. I received several responses from the first article I had published. I say published because I only wrote the introduction, the body of the article was from the history professor. It comes down to one common denominator; Customer Service. If you don’t have that you have nothing at all. All hotels whether five star or one star are nothing without great customer service. I keep harping on this subject, because no matter what is said or written on it the industry is unable to meet the goal.
Industry standers are in the mid-seventies (%) at best. Can we do better? I say we can, when we the industry decide to put people pleasers on the front line. It also means that they deserve a better salary, yet I know I will get raised eyebrows on that idea. I wish at times that I was able to give out the property name along the famous seventeen mile drive in northern California. Since changes were made there many years ago, that at the time the owner objected to very strongly. If you ask him today he will tell you “I don’t interfere with Mr. Campbell” Mr. Campbell has made all of my properties in California show a profit that I did not think could be done. I only say this because the property is built from the ground up on customer service only. If that is provided everything else will follow. So to all of you developers, build your fancy new hotels, and make them the tallest, or the biggest, and the prettiest, but without the customer service behind them, they will crumble in the dust. I challenge the industry to at least strive to get an 85% customer satisfaction ratio for next year. Make customer service the priority, and not the bottom line. I will guarantee you that a great customer service attitude will produce a great bottom line.