Service – the opportunity to stage performances
Whenever this pandemic is over let’s start new as the old normal will not return we should take into account what was great in the past and got lost. What was not good and should be shelved forever and what can we do new to offer hospitality.
Design, exquisite materials, technical innovations are all part of hotels and restaurants we do not want to miss. And we should always stay up to date when it comes to design and technology. But Hotels & Restaurants without service, without human values are empty shells. That’s why I believe that it is important to offer again excellent service on a wide scale. Not just good, not mediocre service – excellent service is what is needed again.
The Grand Hotels of the past were unique places where the owner of the building itself was running the hotel. Today we have managing companies that run the hotel part and property owners. Managing companies can change fast . Today it might be a Kempinski and tomorrow a Ritz Carlton. The attachment to location, the responsibility for the whole is lost.
“From 1960 began the second age of the hotel. The old trade of feeding and watering people was industrialized.
In hindsight two innovations have proved essential. The first was to separate the property business from the business of looking after guests. The growth of debt markets has made it possible to spin off hotel buildings to separate owners, who usually borrow heavily against them. Marriott hived off its real estate in 1992. In 2013 Accor, based in France, became the last global hotel group to embrace this logic.”
(1) A short history of hotels - Be my Guest, Economist print-edition icon Print edition | Christmas Specials, Dec 21st 2013
Financially it was a success and lead to the fast development of hotel companies worldwide. It also had its down side and one of the results is the loss of the ability to provide excellent service on a wide scale.
The industrial hotel has been an economic triumph. But over the years its uniformity has made it an emotional failure. Because of its impersonal blandness, frequent travellers have less fealty than pirates.
(2) A short history of hotels - Be my Guest, Economist print-edition icon Print edition | Christmas Specials, Dec 21st 2013
In a recent article that I read the question was asked:
“What is it that is really delivered when we talk about good customer service?
Is it a scripted standardized form of dealing with customers and guests
is it part of the intangible characteristics that shape the relationship between staff and customers?“
Unfortunately the growth of the industry has led to a “brand commoditization” that has almost systematically removed the opportunity for staging performances, creating experiences and offer excellent service.
To offer excellent service again doesn’t take much. Just a bit of change. This change can not come only from the bottom. It also has to come from the top – the management and owners.
At the end great service can exist even without design, exquisite materials and technical innovations. It can not exist without respect, tolerance, pride, dignity and honesty.
The advantages of excellent service are multiple for guests, owners, management and staff. It is desired by all of them but even the desire is declining as less and less guests know what excellent service is – they simply do not have the chance to experience it anymore or only very seldom. Most guests are already happy to receive any kind of service at all.
The problem is made worse by the fact that our Owners, Management and all the way down to the line staff very few are left who know what excellent service is, how it can be offered and taught and what benefits go along with great service.
It leaves us with a hotel industry that was described by Dirk Dalichau in a rough but to the point article.
“It is a slow moving dinosaur with too many ego driven Narcissistic Managers, who spend too much time fighting ground breaking disruptors such as AirBnB, waste energy protecting their own power, complaining about the demands of new generations and limiting their teams abilities to please guests and deliver amazing experiences. It is full of boring and dated concepts that fail to understand todays traveller and their need for unique and effortless experiences.
Service Levels are shockingly bad due to an absence of TRUST in people. The ill founded belief that employees need to be controlled and restricted in their authority, instructed to follow orders and keep their mouth shut and their ideas to themselves.
Rather than identifying why so many people love new concepts such as AirBnB, they waste their Creativity looking for new ways how to control, and restrict.”
(3) The shocking truth about todays Hotel industry! Dirk Dalichau, Published on July 25, 2016
Author: Stephan Busch, Academic Director at the State University for the Humanities Moscow RGGU, Faculty of Tourism & Hospitality and the Swiss International University earned his Master Certificate in Hospitality Management from Cornell University, USA. He has a diverse experience in launching operations, business development and service training- for hotel and cruise companies in Asia, Europe, Canada and Russia.