In this post, I have discussed what is service in the hospitality industry. Let’s begin with a quick question.
What is the most important thing in the hospitality industry?
Is it infrastructure, sales and marketing, technology, automation or strategy?
Is there anything more important than these in the hospitality industry?
Yes, you got that right. It’s the customer service which acts as the soul of hospitality.
There is no doubt that customer service is the name of the game in the hospitality industry. And for good reasons.
Topmost Hotel Chains across the globe would agree that it is customer service that has helped them gain the competitive advantages they hold.
Let’s get on with defining hospitality service in this article along with the role of hospitality service.
Defining Service in the Hotel Industry
It’s customer service that makes top-notch hotels stand out from fly-by-nights.
If we look at the historical background of the hospitality industry, service has always been an integral part of the hospitality ecosystem.
In essence, providing world-class customer service strengthens customer relationships which are an invaluable asset to a hotel or any hospitality venture.
Which begs the big question: what is service in the hospitality industry?
Simply put, service in the hospitality industry is the level of assistance provided by staff members to facilitate the purchase by the client.
It also encompasses a raft of efforts hotels make to achieve a pleasant customer experience for guests.
Of more importance, however, is the fact that customer experience goes hand in hand with customer service.
Service in the hotel industry is even more important and in this post, we dare to use the hotel industry as a service prototype of the hospitality industry.
This is due to the fact that service in the hotel industry is the most visible one for evaluation.
- Service in the hospitality industry begins by measuring Customer Mood
This point tries to define the purpose of service in the hotel industry together with providing tips to ensure the purpose is met.
A recent study by the industry’s bigwigs shows that the clients aren’t impressed by what you can offer or even what you know until they see that you actually care.
So, personable service is a sure way to improve your client’s mood.
This is one of the key customer service tips in the hotel industry to ensure guests are satisfied and elated.
Nowadays, service in the hospitality industry goes beyond a smile or a simple “thank you”.
As hoteliers, you need to create a dynamic, ambient and unforgettable experience for your customers to stay ahead of the competition in the hotel sector.
Also, Service in the hospitality industry might mean more than customer service.
Services also include back-of-the-house and non-customer-facing activities but they all contribute to the overall experience of customers.
So, it is crucial to remember that:
Customers again are both external and internal with external customers as guests and internal as staff and stakeholders.
It’s undeniable that competition in the hospitality industry is as cut-throat as ever, making high-quality customer service indispensable.
Here’s the thing: most people don’t get what service is all about.
It all begins with the first impression.
Thus gauging the mood of the customer would hold the key to personalised service.
- A key step in Hospitality service is to Judge and satisfy the Customer’s Needs
This is similar to the previous point or a subset of point one but deserves a special mention.
It is very important to judge the needs of your customers without their asking.
A blog post on Hubspot identifies 16 customer needs. These include multiple things like price, functionality, design and so on.
However, the key ones mentioned are the ones related to service and this holds true for the hospitality industry service.
Have a look at the screengrab below from the article that mentions key customer needs related to service.
As the above infographic suggests, even hospitality professionals should satisfy customer needs by answering the below questions.
- Are we being empathetic to the customers?
- Are we delivering what has been promised? Hospitality professionals must show that they care.
- Are we being transparent in delivering our services?
- Have we given complete control to our guests? They need to be able to curate their experience.
- Do our customers have options to explore to enrich their stay or experience with us?
For instance, if a family staying at your hotel has children then you should provide them children’s supplies without the need for them to chase you for everything.
It is important to ask yourself the question as well. What is service in the hospitality industry? A service is an act of respect, kindness and love.
Service can be said to be the heart of the hospitality industry.
This will help your customers get comfortable as they will feel more respected.
- Service in the hospitality industry is all about improving Customer Loyalty
Excellent customer service goes the extra mile to ensure that customers are happy and well taken care of.
Remember that a satisfied customer is a loyal customer.
And, customers are a vital part of the business in the hospitality industry.
So, make them your centre of attention – at all times – and they will certainly be happy.
Follow a few of the below tips to ensure customers walk away happy and come back again and again.
- Offer personalised experience (emails, SMS, personal connect all help)
- Try to personalise all customer touchpoints right from booking to checkout.
- Create brand awareness through content marketing and social media marketing.
- Reach out personally to existing customers with exciting offers.
- Use customer service loyalty programmes.
- Hotel service involves much more than routine emailers. Create a personal connection with guests.
- Keep your guests informed on how the service of your hospitality organisation is improving its element of hotel customer loyalty. Create delights for them.
Feedback is a crucial part of customer service in the hospitality industry
Sure your business model is water-tight.
Sure your staff is top-notch.
But, without general feedback from the customers, you wouldn’t know if your business approach is actually working.
A famous quote from Bill Gates would set things up here.
Customer Service, however, offers you an opportunity to measure how you are performing.
It allows customers to communicate their experience – both bad and good.
With this feedback, you will know what to fix.
Maintaining an updated information book helps you improve the quality of customer service in the hospitality industry.
You should know about the time of their stay, so you can help them plan their stay in a better way.
You should recommend them good restaurants and guide them about other entertainment options.
- On-time services are crucial in hotels and in the overall hospitality industry
If you aren’t able to provide on-time services to your valued customers then this will hurt your business.
Give individual priority to each customer.
If you set customer satisfaction as your basic priority then you will be able to develop a loyal customer base.
As a result, your customers will not only come back again but will suggest your services to their friends and family members as well.
- Following the Etiquette and meeting expectations of Hospitality Service
Hotel customers are always seeking an energetic service and a memorable experience.
And, excellent service will enable you to do exactly that.
On the whole, service in the hospitality industry allows hoteliers to meet – and possibly surpass – customer expectations.
Apart from ensuring that every service is being supplied on time, it is important to make sure that the etiquette of the service sector is also met.
This includes both on-call and in-person services.
While conversing with customers it is important to maintain a level of respect.
Moreover, provide proper follow-up to make sure they are enjoying their stay at the hotel.
If they have any complaints, get them sorted out at the earliest.
Positive endings are extremely important in the hospitality industry.
Always end things on a positive note.
Always smile and greet when you see them.
Call them by their name and maintain a good sense of humour when talking to them.
These are some of the things that must be ensured to understand and improve customer service in your hospitality business.
If you don’t pay much-needed heed to the improvement of customer service then levels of customer satisfaction will fall as well.
In contemporary times, the hospitality industry has emerged as one of the largest business domains in the world.
With more people travelling around the globe, this industry is expected to grow in the future as well.
To succeed in the hospitality industry customer service is the key and thus focus should be on the customers.
The Hospitality industry in future would be more inclined towards technology but service would still hold the key to success within the hospitality industry.
While all customers are not the same it is one thing that makes them all happy, superior service.
So if they get something without asking, it makes them feel special.
When properly ensured, these services help businesses maintain a good environment.
As a result, they are able to develop a loyal customer base which is essential for growth and profitability.