Quality customer service is of utmost importance to the success of any business operating in the hospitality industry. Popular hotel brands in the business have set a benchmark in the industry and defined customer service standards for competitors. The hospitality industry has invaluable lessons to offer for businesses in other industries when it comes to customer service.
Hospitality industry has been known to deliver high quality customer service experience through personal touch. Hotel industry depends on direct interaction of the customers with the hotel staff. There are several services which can only be delivered and valued if personal touch is present. Few of the services which are valued by the guests include room service, spa treatments, tour guides and being served by waiters etc.
Companies in other industries need to understand the importance of personal service and find ways to integrate this element into their operations. Hotel industry focuses on personal attention, which can be a part of other business’s customer service agenda too. For example, in a car show room, personalized test drive and brief presentation on a car’s features could go a long way to add personal touch to the overall experience.
Customers are often willing to pay different ranges of money for usually the same service, for example a room and breakfast package in a hotel. What is the differentiating factor, which motivates the same person, to pay $50 dollars a night for a place, and pay $150 dollars for another one? The critical difference is the value for money and how the customer perceives that service quality and experience to be.
All touch points combined together, create the right experience, which starts with the way the guests are received, the interaction of the customer service staff, the layout of their meals, the exclusive services added to their package and the attention to detail etc., which takes the service quality from an average to superior experience. This creates the value for money for the customer, who is then willing to pay for the experience instead of just the service itself.
This is an important lesson for businesses working in other industries. They need to find ways to make the customer feel valued and special. This will not only enhance the customer service experience, but will also create a sense of loyalty in the minds of customers.
The element of luxury is integral to the operations of the hospitality industry. The customer journey is entirely focused on ensuring luxury and a unique experience for the customers. Room service, restaurants and rooms are designed in such a way that they create a feeling of luxury for customers. The concept can also be deployed in other industries as well, especially for businesses working in service industries.
Companies can find ways to add value to the overall experience of the customers. For example, clothing stores could offer customers special packaging that reflect a brand name. This will allow businesses to add an exuberance to their products without any major changes in costs.
Hospitality industry relies on feedback from all stakeholders to constantly improve its services. It seeks feedback from customers in the form of questionnaires as well as comment cards etc. Word-of-mouth advertisement for getting more customers is another important factor, which is why service quality is vital. Recommendations from the visitors they serve help the company to generate more business.
In the same manner businesses in other industries should also try to get constructive feedback from the customers. This will enable them to make amendments and eliminate their shortcomings. Effective feedback mechanism has an added advantage of making the customer feel important, since it reflects that their opinion matters. For example, a grocery store could seek feedback from customers regarding its store’s layout. Revamping the layout to suit customers’ needs will benefit the brand name and be appreciated by the customers.
Hospitality industry is also known for its standard operating procedures (SOPs). Every process and activity is standardized and streamlined in such a manner that it facilitates convenience for the customers. For example check-in and check-out procedures, room service and laundry service etc. All these services are designed in such a way that it is creates value for customers through convenience and efficiency.
The concept of standardized procedures is important for other industries too. For example, when it comes to troubleshooting and problem solving, if there is a standard, streamlined procedure to make the complaint and get the issue resolved, it would immensely enhance customer service. Customers would know exactly what to do if they are facing an issue with their products. It would also allow the company to handle all the complaints in an organized manner without getting cluttered with multiple issues at the same time.
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