Many Hospitality operators are resistant to change and will not/cannot provide that memorable experience. They are too focused upon who they are. How frequently have you heard, "We are who we are. Why have someone tell us what we already know?" Unbelievable to have this attitude in today’s market; but, it does exist.
There is a tendency to be overprotective about one's perception of their business. But, to be successful, the Hospitality professional must move from the "me" to the "them" - the guest, the visitor, the customer - the ultimate consumer, who is most interested in "what is in it for them". One means to elevate your business is through a Quality Assurance approach which does capture this potential, particularly with so much business conducted over the Internet and third parties - "booking the unknown".
The hospitality "picture" which is promoted to the public through print, the Internet and advertising, creates an expectation. Marketing the business is your attempt to influence the Consumer, who demands value for his/her dollar. They no longer will be swayed with illusory descriptions - no hype, humor or hubris. The Consumer seeks at minimum some reliability, and you must deliver.
Quality assurance measurement provides that sense of confidence, and, once such an approach is established, your marketing effort becomes far more meaningful. You have now validated and differentiated your product/services in terms which translate as value to that discerning consumer.
Quality in the marketplace, particularly, the destination markets, should be embraced by all lodgings, restaurants, attractions, and retail stores. Every visitor does care about cleanliness, safety, comfort, service and the physical condition of the facility, whether you operate a theme park, casual dining, a bed and breakfast, a resort, shoe store or golf course. The ultimate consumer does relate to reasonable Quality Standards of Performance, the ongoing effort for continuous improvement, the assessment process to validate having met those standards, and, the time honored reward - the designation as a quality business.
With this approval, you now have the means to really influence prospective business and increase your revenue. All your marketing efforts should reflect this quality designation. Tell the consumer what quality means to you and use the appropriate quality symbols, seals and designations in all your promotion.
You have moved away from "your perspective", which is really only meaningful to you, to the audience who will make you successful, the ultimate consumer, who now has found value, reliability, and confidence in your commitment to quality, something they understand and for which will spend their discretionary dollars.
Your business - Quality Assurance performance standards - measurement - assessment process - continuous improvement - quality designation - effective marketing - increased traffic - improved revenue. A very simple formula for profitability, yet this begins with how you "frame" the Consumer Experience and then integrate quality into your business and marketing efforts.
John Hendrie is the author of the LRA blog, focusing on anything and everything about customer experience. LRA Worldwide is the leading global provider of Customer Experience Measurement services for multinational companies with complex customer interactions. For over 30 years, LRA’s innovative brand standards audits, quality assurance inspections, mystery shopping programs, research, and consulting services have helped ensure our clients deliver consistent, memorable, and differentiated experiences to their customers. Many of the world's preeminent global hospitality brands, as well as companies in the gaming, dining, healthcare, sports and entertainment, real estate, retail and travel industries choose LRA to help them measure and improve the customer experience. For more information, visit www.LRAWorldwide.com.
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