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Hospitality Industry: Customer Service & Guest Satisfaction

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  • 0:03 Customer Service &…
  • 1:11 What Is Great Customer…
  • 2:46 Importance of Happy Guests
  • 4:27 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Allison Tanner
This lesson discusses customer service and guest satisfaction in the hospitality industry. It also describes why they are important and how they impact the company's success.

Customer Service and Satisfaction

Susan, the training manager for +1 Hospitality, bounces into a room full of new staff and shouts 'Happy customers makes for happy profits!'

Well…almost.

Susan goes on to explain that in the hospitality industry, whether it's a restaurant or a five-star spa, tremendous focus is placed on providing quality customer service. Now simply defined, customer service is the action of providing a service. It's made up of both the interactions with staff and the quality of the services provided, such as clean hotel rooms or great food.

At +1 Hospitality, and in most companies in the hospitality industry, emphasis is placed on the quality of service. Quality or good customer service refers to the customer's perception of the experience:

  • Did they enjoy themselves?
  • Did they feel they received good service?
  • Were they happy when they left?
  • Do they want to return?

Positive answers to questions like these can increase guest satisfaction, which is how satisfied or happy a customer is with the services they were provided.

What Is Great Customer Satisfaction?

Looking around the room Susan asks, 'What makes customer service good, or even great?'

Most of the new employees answer with things like:

  • Putting customers first
  • Being polite
  • Never being negative
  • Having a good attitude at work

Susan agrees with them that these are all aspects of customer service, but it's more than that. Great customer service causes the customer to feel like they have had a great experience; while good customer service just meets expectations. You want to make sure that you always fulfill promises. If something is wrong, your good customer service can ensure guest satisfaction.

This means effectively dealing with problems by:

  • Apologizing
  • Affirming the guest's feelings
  • Fixing the problem
  • Making changes to prevent future problems

Imagine that a guest of +1 Hospitality just received their steak. It came under cooked and the potatoes were cold. Chances are you can apologize, ensure the customer feels that you understand their plight, serve them a new steak, discount the ticket, and still have a satisfied customer. However, if they come back a week later and the same thing happens again, you'll likely lose their trust forever.

In any hospitality situation, whether it's catering or running a hotel, customer service only increases guest satisfaction if the company can provoke a feeling of satisfaction and happiness with the services received. A perfect hotel room can't make up for a rude staff member and a kind staff member can't make up for a dirty room - you have to have it all.

Importance of Happy Guests

Susan moves on to explain that there are many reasons that customer service and guest satisfaction are vital to the survival of the hospitality industry. She tells the team that new technologies, especially social media, have drastically increased the competition. With social media, customers can immediately post a review for the world to see. If there are several bad reviews, the company will not only lose the customer who was angry, they'll also lose the customers who might have come before they read the review.

Picking up her cell phone, Susan directs the team to a variety of apps which provide home-based stays, such as Airbnb. She explains that the hospitality industry is also seeing new competition and alternative options popping up on a regular basis.

She goes on to say, 'How can a bad hotel compete with a mansion on the beach for the same price? They can't.' Because of advanced technology which provides on the spot reviews and alternative options for services, the hospitality industry has been hit with increased expectations for providing great customer service and ensuring guest satisfaction.

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