Customer Service in Focus

During a recent visit to one of my hotels, the importance of customer focussed service was again highlighted – which in my eyes includes meeting statutory requirements.

On a positive note: the hotel I work with had an Environmental Health Officer visit last month which showed no significant issues. The business performance during the festive season exceeded last year’s achievements and budget. This is in stark contrast to what I was told by staff what happened at nearby competitor hotels.

In a highly rated competitor hotel, customers walked out during the Christmas lunch after not receiving the expected service – mainly due to unacceptable waiter service. The issue was quickly posted on modern (social) media and the local press picked up on the issue with disastrous reputational consequences for the business. What happened to proper planning and training?

The second story I heard was with reference to a premises manager (personal license holder) in a hotel who had left the operation several months ago. The premises license holder however did not inform the licensing board (should have been done within 7 days) nor did he put in place a new premises manager (must be done within six weeks). This is a serious contravention of the licensing law as no alcohol should have been sold at the hotel. An issue like this could have easily been spotted if an externally managed audit had taken place.

Finally, whilst I was conducting my audits (H&S, Food Safety and Licensing) at my client’s hotel, I witnessed another story: a wedding party was relocating their business to my client. The “new customers” initially had planned to use the hotel across the road but found out that this hotel was undergoing a renovation during the wedding day and the bar service would not have been available.

And the moral of these stories: some lose, some win. What happened to “planning, training and checking”? As a hospitality advisor, I provide services in support of management and the owner.