Spa

 

Always questing for the best service

After an expatriation of 7 years in South Asia – lands known for their extreme and kind sense of hospitality -, I decided to return to Portugal with these rewarding and fulfilling experiences, to continue my job, my passion, in the hotel industry.

And I may say, it is not always easy, but after all these years, I realize that we are all still talking about and concerned with the expectation of finding the best way to guarantee the perfect equationin our Hotels/Resorts: Best Service = Guests’ Satisfaction.

When I say “all”, l am referring not only to the professionals of the Industry but also to travelers/guests who,today,are just as experts and as demanding as us… always ready to tell you what is wrong with your service (in case you don’t know) – and to be fair,most of the time, they are correct in their comments!

I find myself often in these two roles, so I am quite open to hearing about this subject, and find myselfsearching for the answers, always alert and willing to learn from others and from my own experiences, good or bad.

So, one of the recurring questions about service is: why is it so difficult to maintain something so essential and obvious in our business industry?

The explanation and solution has been clear for long time, but the real question is, are we willing to changeour way to manageand to take the necessary actions to be successful in the service we deliver?

I remember reading an article few months ago which described a realistic finding about Service: it said that most hotels today propose quite a lot of services at arrival, and have even a good team at the front of the house, but were still failing to provide an amazing “arrival experience”. The main and common issue was the lack of guestorientation from these teams, they did not work together as ONE team with the guest’s interest in mind and at heart.  Individually these “service agents” could even do a great job, but the “arrival experience”, as all the other experiences lived in the other departments, are perceived by the guests as “ONE” experience.  To conclude,in the end, the guests were frustrated and could never be satisfied.

We are always looking to provide and/or to live “THE ULTIMATE HOSPITATILY EXPERIENCE”, the best service possible, because we expect it and we deserve it!

As General Manager, I believe that the change should start from the top, by first clearly revisiting and prioritizing the actual official and standardized hospitality procedures,to adjust and to focus on the most important point to guarantee at all times the expected “ultimate experience” to the guest!

Most of the time,wevalue in our Hotels, much more the efficacity, the tangible than the efficiency, the intangible, forgetting the guest expectations forthe best service and experiences.

Not preventing one from the other, as efficiency is important, but simply and mainly valuing the perception of the guest who is looking for SATISFACTION inhospitality with “heart&soul”rather than through too much of a structured/square/cold/old fashion hospitality approach, and not often “guest oriented”.

Talking about Guest Orientation ….unfortunately,today, quite a number of these Resort/Hotel properties, more precisely employees /management/owners, work with the wrong interests in mind. They privilege their own personal interests and moods which brings internal disharmony, often perceived and reflected at the end on the final guest experience.

I believe that successful service in hospitality today is very simple: it is the balance between 3 major interests: GUEST / EMPLOYEE / COMPANY, and it is proved that unbalanced energies, minds and hearts don’t work in the long term, and certainly do not guarantee the best service that is so expected in our properties.

In hospitality we should always believe and value our people, and we all should be inspired to invest in the training, coaching, teambuilding of our Teams every day, for them to consistently and constantly provide enthusiastically, willingly and understandingly the PERFECT ULTIMATE EXPERIENCIES, with the guests’ interests and satisfactionalways at heart and in mind.

 

Marie-Hélène Moreira

General Manager

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