Three pillars of WOW service in the hospitality industry
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Three pillars of WOW service in the hospitality industry
Marina La Grange, 15 January 2019

Today’s hospitality is not only about a comfortable room, a stylish design or exquisite cuisine. Professionals of the hotel industry have long revealed a direct dependence of the company's success on the level of service provided. According to statistics, only 30% of complaints are related to the product while the remaining 70% comes from dissatisfaction with the service.

With the rapid increase in the number of properties, meeting the expectations of guests is becoming more and more difficult, but even this might not bring the desired results. Nowadays, tough competition dictates hoteliers its new rules: guest expectations must be exceeded, which is why we more often hear about the mysterious WOW effect that leads to an enviable reputation, distinguishing the company in the market and creating a competitive advantage.

Creating the WOW effect is not as difficult and costly as it may seem at first glance, but it requires the development and implementation of the three main business components: corporate culture, quality control and staff training.

Corporate culture: why is it needed and what does the service have to do with it?

Often, we may find a contradiction: with all the desire to delight the guests and provide high quality service, companies do not always strive to create favourable conditions conducive to this. The lack of a unified style of communication within the team, complex processes, unclear or not achievable goals – all these directly or indirectly affects the service, as well as impacts the company's image.

Corporate culture is the foundation of an organization’s success, and the first building blocks of this foundation are laid when the company's management leads by personal example of accepting and sharing all corporate values and principles of work. Purposeful development of organizational culture helps not only to achieve team cohesion and first-class service, but also high financial performance, and as a result – the main corporate goal.

“Excellence is not an act, but a habit…”

Said Aristotle once. Service quality control is the coordinated actions of the whole team to achieve a common goal – continuous improvement of the level of service and increasing the efficiency of processes.

What is a standard? Firstly, it is the basic work requirements that should be followed. Failing to meet these requirements makes it impossible to create a WOW effect. This concept implies not only on following the standard but going the extra mile, which means doing something more than the execution of instructions from a-z. Without a systematic feedback analysis there might not be improvements as this is the only way to better understand guests’ expectations; and to adapt the business development strategy accordingly.

This hard work can only be effective if teams receive constructive feedback when mistakes occur, and in return they demonstrate a desire to find solutions rather than a defensive reaction.

Staff training and development

The main purpose of training is to support the company to achieve its business goals. How can we see the obstacles? During the process of analysis, new opportunities for development and improvement become apparent.

Training helps to transform the employee’s way of thinking, their behaviour models, and, consequently, the outcome of work. Nowadays, the hospitality industry is about focusing not only on technical skills of personnel, but on developing soft skills. The ability to build relationships allows the team to identify guests needs and exceed their expectations by providing personalized service.

It is very important to provide learning and development opportunities to all staff, and not only to employees who work with guests directly. All team members need to understand that the overall success depends on each of them and on their ability to work together as one team.

To succeed in modern industry, it is necessary to constantly evolve – to control and continuously improve the quality of service, maintain corporate culture and invest in training of staff. Concluding the importance of these three components, we can say that the central figure of the hotel operations is an employee. It is the people representing the brand that create a unique and memorable experience for guests and that’s what makes one hotel different from another.

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