Don’t bother me

“Don’t bother me. I’m busy.”

That’s the attitude I felt from the staff at a resort where I recently spent a few nights. And it was a shame. Recently renovated, with a gorgeous property and excellent activity lineup, it had every other element of a great resort … except for warm, hospitable service.

The thing is, service is what defines hospitality.

Not service in the white-glove, standing-over-you-in-a-suit sort of way. Service in the I’m-so-happy-to-see-you-and-have-you-staying-with-us sort of way.

We got off to a rocky start from the beginning. Mixed-up reservation. Room not ready until an hour after the check-in time. Coffees that took five minutes to order with no one else in the line. Maitre’d who claimed the other restaurant across the lobby was sold out when it was 20% full.

This is why guest listening and feedback technology is so important.

Sometimes even the most disappointing hotel-service experiences are actually the sum of dozens of encounters where the staff is indifferent. Yet in each of those individual cases, I’m probably not going to hunt you down as a manager and say, “Hey, your staff is terrible!”

But I might tweet about it.

I might leave an online review.

By then it’s too late.

Or, maybe I don’t want to leave a scathing TripAdvisor review because I’m lazy or don’t have the time or don’t want to hurt your business. But I promise myself I’ll never visit the hotel again and certainly will not recommend it to any of my friends.

What’s your plan to prevent situations like this at your hotel?

Because how else do you know if your guests are receiving unacceptable service?

How do you intercept problems for the silent majority of guests who aren’t confrontational and won’t verbalize dissatisfaction in person?

How do you know where staff training is needed?

How do you measure the effectiveness of that training?

In today’s environment, relying on face-to-face conversations with your guests isn’t sufficient to fully understand the service your hotels provide. Provide multiple feedback options, analyze the results constantly and act on that feedback as you work to build a culture of warm, hospitable service.