Post by Matthew A. Woodruff, Vice President of Quality and Guest Satisfaction, Hospitality Ventures Management Group
President, Guest and Brand Excellence for Hospitality Ventures
Management Group, my job is to ensure that the guest experience we
provide and the feedback we receive is not just "good" but rather
you experience EXCELLENT service, you remember it and want to take the
time to tell others en mass by filling out comment cards, writing
letters and posting your experience on social media sites. The exciting
part about the concept of Good to EXCELLENT is the amount of effort
between the two is relatively small. A little more focused effort and a
philosophical change in your outlook can yield EXCELLENT guest
EXCELLENT is contagious, and it starts with you
choose your attitude every morning and that attitude can be
contagious. The next time someone asks, “how are you,” tell them you’re
you can create a culture of excellence at your hotel, that culture will
rub off on your associates and guests. Your associates will start using
the word EXCELLENT in front of your guests and their fellow associates.
They will start to answer the switchboard "Were having an EXCELLENT day
at the insert your hotel name," without you even making it a "policy."
And, your guests will start using EXCELLENT to describe the memorable
service they experienced at your hotel.
Ensure excellence through touch points
will expand upon the concept of touch points and how they can be used
as a tool to ensure EXCELLENT guest experiences in an upcoming blog. I
define a touch point as "an opportunity that we create to engage our
guests and ensure they have an EXCELLENT stay." You have many touch
points in your hotel right now and others you can add easily. Utilize
these touch points as opportunities to interact with your guests during
their stay to ensure that they love their experience.
Confirm excellence with guests
do you confirm your guests actually had an EXCELLENT stay prior to
leaving your hotel? The best way is to just ask them! Avoid asking
questions like "How was your stay?" or "Was everything OK?" Those
responses typically will be "It was fine" or "Yes, it was OK," and they
don't confirm excellence.
when a guest is departing, use the guest’s name, look them in the eye,
and ask, "Ms. Smith, did you have an EXCELLENT stay with us?" If the
answer does not come back a resounding "Yes," be prepared to ask a
follow-up question like, "Was there something we could have done to
improve your stay?" It is then you will learn the root of any negative
issues she may have experienced. At this point you have to use service
recovery to make the guest remember the resolution more than the problem
that she experienced. I’ll expand upon this topic in a future blog.
Make EXCELLENT the lasting memory
the word EXCELLENT throughout a guest’s stay will have a subliminal
effect when that guest is remembering the experience. Guests will use
EXCELLENT when they are completing surveys or writing reviews on social
media sites because that is the word they recall when they think of your
that if you ask a group of guests to circle "Good" on a 1-10 scale,
you’ll probably find some guests will consider “5” to be good while
others may circle “7” or “8.” However, ask those same guests to circle
"Excellent" and you’re likely to get very few responses below a “9” or
An EXCELLENT culture really can have a profound effect on
the guest experience at your hotel. The key is to first believe in it
and work to make it a part of your life and your hotel’s essence. Then,
monitor it throughout your guests’ stay and confirm it upon their
departure. If you follow these guidelines, I am confident that you will
be wowed with your results.