About five months ago, I wrote a column that highlighted one of the most memorable service codes ever offered in hospitality – the Statler Hotel Service Code. I included the original wording (penned in 1916) and gave readers the opportunity to receive a training powerpoint I created that is an updated version of the Statler Service Code, using current terms and approaches. This offer generated close to 100 requests from around the world, in all six continents and from hospitality businesses ranging from a small airline in Scandinavia to tour guide services in South Africa. Hotels and management companies representing luxury to mid-range brands and independent hotel owners and managers shared their goals and (at times) frustrations with motivating their staff.
Following this column, I included an illustration of what I meant by sharing a lunch experience at a national, mid-priced US restaurant chain with these observations:
- The hostess sincerely welcomed us
- We were offered several options on where we might prefer to sit
- We were given the name of our server and were encouraged to ask anyone on staff for anything needed
A major point of distinction in this experience was at our departure and this remains a major point in Statler’s Service Code. As we left the restaurant, at least three people on staff who were not part of our service team went out of their way to offer a sincere “thank you, please come again!” Their appreciation of our business had little to do with what we ordered or how much we spent.
Recently, we went to another brand of this same ownership group. We were warmly welcomed and promptly seated. The server was introduced and offered a sample of the wine of the day. We liked the flavor and ordered two glasses. Service was good (but not great) and the hostess sort of threw a corporate questionaire on the table as she walked by.
At the same time, our check indicated the cost of each glass of wine was higher than each of our lunch entrees – a bit of a surprise, as it was also higher than anything seen on the table menu as well. I completed the questionaire, attached my business card and handed it to the host or manager as we left, making sure to make eye contact.
It has been two months now. No communication from the restaurant and by the way, no return visits from us.
Hm…. should I have “complained”?
Or should someone from this very large chain taken the time to read what they clearly said they wanted – feedback?
I’d like to open the topic to readers of this short column:
How does your hotel provide memorable customer service?
How does your hospitality business team provide exceptional and memorable customer service?
Recent blog postings on memorable service standards have prompted high levels of reader interest. I am reaching out to top hoteliers for examples of how to deliver exceptional service that builds customer loyalty. We all recognize the need to avoid being viewed as a commodity.
Please limit each submission or idea to a paragraph or less and send them no later than May 5, 2011. I will share your responses with readers in a future column. Thank you in advance!
Feedback or ideas for future pieces are welcome. Contact me at info@HoganHospitality.com
Service is global in nature!
John Hogan is a successful hospitality executive, educator, author and consultant and is a frequent keynote speaker and seminar leader at many hospitality industry events. He is Co-Founder of a consortium (www.HospitalityEducators.com) of successful corporate and academic mentors delivering focused and affordable counsel in solving specific challenges facing the hospitality industry. www.HospitalityEducators.com is a membership site offering a wide range of information, forms, best practices and ideas that are designed to help individual hoteliers and hospitality businesses improve their market penetration, deliver service excellence and increase their profitability. Special introductory pricing is in effect for a limited time that also includes a complimentary copy of LESSONS FROM THE FIELD- A COMMON SENSE APPROACH TO EFFECTIVE HOTEL SALES. If readers would like to contribute to the site, please submit your material for consideration to Kathleen@hospitalityeducators.com. We are interested in expanding our global networks and resources as we support our membership.