Customer Satisfaction in the Hospitality Industry
Serving people is the foremost activity in hospitality, and being expertly served is the reasonable expectation of your guests. How far you go to create customer satisfaction determines the level of success for your hospitality business. But customer satisfaction isn't just about service. When the other elements that round out your guests' experience are adequately addressed, customer satisfaction should be high.
Honing your staff's customer service skills is essential. "Customer service" is a broad term encompassing everything from friendly and professional greetings to being available at any moment to capably assist a guest. It implies serving your guests in a warm and inviting fashion. Customer service begins the moment an individual calls your business, either to make a reservation or to gather information. High quality service means meeting -- and exceeding -- your guests' expectations to feel warmly welcomed.
The physical perception imparted by your hospitality business is important in achieving customer satisfaction. Your restaurant or hotel need not spend lots of money to create an amicable environment. Over-the-top interior design can be perceived as either cold and off-putting, genial and inviting or somewhere in between. The difference lies in the emotive quality of your employees -- the main ingredient in creating a special experience for your guests. Your environment must be clean, well-lit and comfortable, however, for your customers to feel at home.
When customers are paying to be served, they expect to be able to relax and enjoy themselves without worrying about security. A secure environment means having plenty of friendly employees visible to guests from the moment of arrival to departure. Helpful, too, are frequent interactions with guests to instill a sense of inclusion in the goings-on at your establishment. Security need not be overt, however. Armed and uniformed security guards will frighten guests rather than impart a sense of safety.
Your guests need to believe they are receiving an excellent value for their money. Value can be inexpensively included in their visit in the form of discounts, free candy or snacks, bottled water at no charge, gift cards and the like. Guests generally don't expect these perks, so they can build repeat business -- a sure sign of customer satisfaction
Your goal is to achieve 100 percent customer satisfaction. You can use various tools to gauge your progress toward that goal. Customer survey cards are mini-surveys, allowing your guests to tell you about their experience. This type of tracking system identifies areas for improvement and areas where you and your staff are successfully serving your guests.