How to Assess How Well Your Hotel is Performing
There are many different techniques that owners and staff use to monitor the quality of service provided at their hotel. Mystery shopping, surveying of the opinions of staff and customers, as well as the feedback from ongoing training sessions, are all invaluable sources of information on how the public perceive the service your hotel is providing. Of course, there are also numerous more subtle ways that you might judge the performance of your staff. These smaller tests can often give you more real-time information than the more formal measures outlined above, but they make it difficult to quantify the issues and information available. In a world of metrics where people increasingly desire to show progress through easily grasped numbers, the more quantifiable measures of success can be invaluable. Here is a brief survey of the main options:
Surveying Hotel Staff and Customers
Before spending the time and effort on undertaking a hotel mystery shopping programme your first port of call should always be to undertake an open, honest and low pressure series of consultations with staff, alongside forms that ask those guests who would like to provide feedback to do so.
A tricky area to deal with, it s best to make this as anonymous as possible. While you ll almost certain receive some negative comments from staff they also represent the front line and can give you invaluable feedback about areas where service is falling down about which the directors might be suffering from a blind spot. Staff need to feel that they can be open and honest in this process, so let them know that they won t be identified by the process and that they are contributing positively to the way the hotel is run rather than being spied upon.
This is another good way of monitoring the standard of service that your company is providing to guests. By providing a form or an online system for comments and suggestions you can achieve a snapshot of the highs and lows of the service you re providing. However, this method of research often becomes merely a way for less assertive guests with complaints to air their grievances in a non-confrontational manner. On top of this, whether the comments are good or bad, this represents a pretty self-selecting group.
Hotel Mystery Shopping
Once you ve assessed the information from more informal methods of market research, you might well decide that the time is right for a more concentrated and expert assessment of your company. Hotel mystery shopping visits utilise well trained secret shoppers who arrive equipped with a pre-arranged set of assessment parameters and then provide feedback that is collated and analysed to give you a more complete picture of how your organisation is performing.
Antony Shaw, Vice President of Global People Development at IFH Institute for Hospitality Management, is a leading expert in the field of
hotel mystery shopping
. IFH provides high-level quality control for the worldwide hospitality industry through its renowned
hotel mystery shopping