Managing Guest
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
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
Samples of Quality Assurance Programs
The Real Components of TQM
– Linens and pillows
– Most noticeable in the bath
– Bedbugs
– Central heat and air conditioning noise
– Construction and street noise
– Hallway/neighbor noise
– Heat and A/C sometimes don’t work
Total Quality Management Defined
Total quality management involves two
– 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
– 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
• 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
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
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
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
– Training programs emphasize the probability of a
complaint and give employees the proper mindset so
they are not caught unaware.
– By listening
• To bring about change, the complaint must be received and
– 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
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.
Service is what the hospitality industry is all
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.