Only fools offer service!
A place to expect some service
Budapest is a beautiful majestic city. Impressive with wonderful skyline, buildings and hotels. On a nice day two weeks ago when I had some time I decided to visit hotels. I just love it. To see - be impressed and enjoy the service. Or to check if service still exist. Here and anywhere else.
I went to Marriott, Sofitel, Intercontinental and last to the Four Seasons Hotel. They are all in easy walking distance and I thought to have a coffee or lunch when I feel that I like something. So you could say I am a customer willing to pay – even hungry – and I make the effort to walk around to give you my money for a little enjoyable lunch, coffee or whatever you tamped me with. That’s your business – isn’t it? And here came the service experience.
All had impressive lobbies and security. Some designs I liked some I thought well fitting to the chain and some very impressive. But that’s hardware.
Service is human to human – that makes the difference.
In none of this hotels I was greeted by the staff I meet. Three had electrical doors and the fourth the security guard opened the door for me. With dark sun glasses and without greetings. I passed Front Desk staff talking to each other, bellboys, managers busy with telephones or papers in their hand. I was successfully ignored. Just saying hello makes a big difference. Its acknowledgment, it feels good – that’s where service starts!
All this hotels make profits. I am sure the P&L is attended to any minute. They stopped offering service. They look at their computers. The need to make more revenue , more profit any time with ever changing managers and outsourced staff. The learned from the banks and from the insurances and industries that produce cars, weapons and toilet covers. In hotel business we seem to have forgotten that we don’t produce toilet covers. We are supposed to create feelings, emotions, quality – all which doesn’t fit into a bankers P&L. Useless.
Service is for fools who don’t understand how to make fast profit, high turn over with lower labour cost. We are far away from where we should be. Lets go back!
Fast profits, no service and great profits is what MacDonald’s produces. We are on the way there? I didn’t have lunch or even a coffee. But I learned something.
Author: Stephan Busch, Academic Director at the State University for the Humanities Moscow RGGU, Faculty of Tourism & Hospitality earned his Master Certificate in Hospitality Management from Cornell University, USA.
Stephan Busch has an invaluable and diverse experience in launching operations, business development and service training- for hotel and cruise companies in Asia, Europe, Canada and Russia.