Many players in the Hospitality Industry have been able to define and deliver excellence when it comes to customer experience. What the Hospitality Industry does well is to make Service Excellence the backbone to deliver on this “Experience”.
2. The dictionary defines “Experience” as
“an event or occurrence which leaves an
impression on someone”.
So how does one go
Service Excellence? Here
are a few relevant steps
that an organization can
take to embark on this
3. Tony Hseih, the CEO of Zappos says that "Customer Service
shouldn’t be a department, it should be the entire company."
For frontline staff to deliver on Service Excellence, it first has to
be made a priority and a part of the organization’s value system.
It has to flow from the top. Simply training or instructing your
staff to be hospitable with the customer will not work, it has to be
imbibed within the culture of the organization.
Instill your value system
4. What is your customer saying about the service delivery of
At Marriott, to stay in touch with customers, Chairman of the
Board and President Bill Marriott personally reads some 10
percent of the 8,000 letters and 2 percent of the 750,000 guest
comment cards submitted by customers each year. Once you
know what the customer is actually saying about the service
delivery of the brand, it becomes easier to bridge the gap
between where you are and where you want to be.
Listen to your customer
5. Whether that be buying a pair of trousers from a store, visiting
the bank to open an account, walking in to a car showroom,
visiting a clinic/hospital, the list could go on, but essentially any
interaction which has a user/customer/guest on one end and the
product/service provider on the other end, what really makes or
breaks the interaction is the “Experience”
How to Achieve
Service Excellence: 7
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6. Hire the right
Technical expertise is important, but when you are
hiring an individual for a job role that involves a high
degree of interaction with the customer (internal or
external), it is critical to focus on the softer elements
like communication, grooming and people's skills.
Setting up attribute-based interviews which focus on
these soft skills are helpful. Hiring candidates with a
hospitality background is always a plus.
7. The customer will have multiple opportunities to form an impression
about your organization. Listing down of those opportunities as a
part of the Customer Service cycle and what needs to be done
during those interactions/opportunities is essential if you want your
frontline staff to deliver excellence on them. In some cases
hardcoding the experience works, whereas in some cases setting
up a broad framework and guideline within which your employees
can operate works better. The decision should be solely based on
what would work better for the end customer.
Define and document
8. Documenting the standards is not enough. You need to equip
your employees with the right knowledge and skills required to
deliver service excellence on the defined standards. Effective
training workshops and interventions are very helpful in facilitating
the knowledge and skill transfer to your employees. Additionally,
setting up processes and guidelines which allow for quick decision
making and remove bureaucracy have a great benefit.
Equip your employees to
deliver on excellence
9. Whenever the opportunity arises, reinforce the
importance of Service Excellence within the
organization. Many companies brand their program on
Service Excellence – making it aspirational. Use visual
cues as a constant reminder for employees
The Ritz Carlton allows, better yet encourages
employees to spend up to $2000 to solve guest issues.
More than the money, it’s about giving control to the
employees to use their time, effort and when needed –
the company’s money to enhance the experience of
any guest. Till the time your employee does not own the
interaction and feel like they are in control to make
decisions, you are not equipping them to deliver on
excellence (both from a process and mindset
10. From service design to service recovery, here is our
guide to achieving service excellence.
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