Managing Guest Services Chapter 7 “We are in the people business. Not the hotel business, not the real estate business. Instead of machinery, we have people. Instead of automated conveyor belts, we have people. Instead of computers that hum and print stuff, we have people. We have not come to grips with this basic concept.” Steven J. Belmonte, president and CEO, Ramada Franchise Systems, Inc. Talk delivered at annual conferences in 1999. Total Quality Management (TQM) in Innkeeping Quality assurance (QA) Customer relations management (CRM) – Every person in the organization has an opportunity to impact positively on the guest. – Management must make certain that employees have the opportunity to impact the guest. Samples of Quality Assurance Programs The Real Components of TQM Bedding – Linens and pillows Cleanliness – Most noticeable in the bath – Bedbugs Noise – Central heat and air conditioning noise – Construction and street noise – Hallway/neighbor noise Temperature – Heat and A/C sometimes don’t work Total Quality Management Defined Total quality management involves two parties – Buyer-receiver – Seller-giver A single, satisfactory definition of quality is just not possible with so many variations in both service-delivery and service-receipt. Buyer’s view of TQM Guests measure quality by comparison Quality in the service industry is in the eye of the beholder. Successfully implemented, TQM matches the buyers’ standards with the sellers’ ability to deliver. – When done right, the guest/buyer knows that the hotel delivers quality guest services. Seller’s view of TQM TQM originates with management. – Focus on both employees and guests. Leadership – Managing as a leader requires change in both the style of management and the composition of the workforce being managed. Empowerment – Giving the workforce authority to act. – Employees must be convinced to accept the empowerment offered. Diversity and Turnover Diversity and Turnover Two labor challenges – Workforce diversity • Lodging relies on a non-white, non-Anglo workforce • Diversity is a business necessity. – Labor turnover • Turnover at lowest level of organization exceeds 200% annually in some jobs in some hotels. • Every employee is replaced twice per year! Selecting & Retaining the Right Employee Find the right pool of applicants. Nominations from hotel’s own workforce. Labor unions a good resource. Training is an investment. – Trained staff is able to do a better job for the house and the customer. The author’s definition of TQM “QUALITY MANAGEMENT IS AN ATTITUDE THAT HAS EVERY ASSOCIATE ACTING LIKE A CONCIERGE AND THINKING LIKE A MANAGER.” Customer Relations Management (CRM) Customer relations management must be the industry’s response to antiservice. CRM must ferret out the problems, train for the solutions and reward those who demonstrate the right responses. Measuring Guest Services Moments of truth – Opportunities for meeting guest expectations-or failing to meet them. Controlling Quality Through Inspection – Reinforcing standards through inspection is a critical element of TQM. – Inspectors rate both the physical plant and the staff’s responses to moment’s of truth. – Daily reports from housekeeping inspectors and periodic walkthroughs by managers of all levels must be part of the team’s control of quality. Controlling Quality Through Guarantees – Quality Guarantees (QGs) are simple assurances that the hotel will deliver on its promise of quality. – QGs must be the culmination of a proven, ongoing TQM program – Guarantees should be unambiguous, limited in scope, and focused on objectives that are easily understood. Americans with Disabilities Act Enacted in 1990, effective in 1992. Requires changes in physical structures and hiring practices to accommodate the disabled, be they employee or guest. – Physical accommodations – Signage Complaints Identifying the Complaint – Desk personnel and managers must ask direct and specific questions. – Comments that flow from these solicitations are not complaints. – Management is given direction for improving service and, thus, preempting real complaints Preventing the Complaint Early Warning – Preventing the complaint by anticipating the problem and providing unsolicited accurate information is far preferable to quieting angry guests after the fact. Comment Cards – The better the questionnaire, the better the information obtained. Handling the Face-to-Face Complaint Prepare – Training programs emphasize the probability of a complaint and give employees the proper mindset so they are not caught unaware. Respond – By listening • To bring about change, the complaint must be received and understood – In a proper venue • Complainers who grow hostile or overly upset, loud, or abusive must be removed from the lobby as quickly as possible Handling the Face-to-Face Complaint cont’d By Making a Record – Asking permission to record the complaint by taking notes indicates how seriously management views the matter. With a Settlement – Upgrades, gift baskets, tickets to events, admission to spas, etc By Asking the Guest – Hotelier needs to get into the guest’s head, to view the situation from the other side. – The complainer becomes part of the solution. Summary Service is what the hospitality industry is all about. TQM – Every aspect of the operation is managed at the peak of quality. Guest and employee satisfaction is at its highest when service is delivered by courteous, empowered staffers.