Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Hotel Mystery Shopping Service Explained

The concept of hotel mystery shopping is becoming ever more popular in the hospitality industry. In today's competitive world, the difference between acceptable service and exceptional service can mean the difference between a one-off customer and one that wants to return to your establishment over and over again. The training of staff in any department of hospitality is important and there are reputable companies and institutes that offer comprehensive training courses in all aspects of hotel work. From reception, housekeeping and restaurant jobs to top management posts, every position is equally important in contributing to the team that delivers the best service possible for your business.
Hotel mystery shopping has become an important tool in measuring the service provided in hotels and maintaining the top quality expected in every department.
Maintaining Excellent Service
The world of hospitality is all about the customers' experience and that goes beyond simple theory. The concepts behind service to the customer are theoretically based but it is the practical execution and 'going that extra mile' that must be encouraged if a business is to remain competitive. This industry thrives on repeat business and reputation; because the employees are directly involved with a customer's pleasure and comfort of stay they have a direct impact on the customer's entire experience and, consequently, the potential for people to return or recommend to others.
The hotel mystery shopping service not only covers front of house staff's direct contact with the customer, but it also includes facility provision, marketing of services, choice of food and beverage availability, atmosphere and general tone, quality and vibe of the business. All of these aspects of providing the best service are imperative and must be assessed and continually monitored if your business is going to succeed.
The Service Provided
There are a number of international companies that pride themselves on providing excellent hotel mystery shopping services. Many are based in more than one country and can provide their service in several locations, in multiple languages and all with the same level of consideration.
Reputable companies offer a very individual service and will design a bespoke programme that encompasses the individual requirements of their clients. Some aspects of one particular company may need more focus than another and programmes are tailored to focus accordingly. First and foremost, the hotel mystery shopping experience is one that follows comprehensive training courses and aims to maintain the standards initially set. The company providing the service is usually the same one that hosts the training courses, meaning the assessments are relevant and appropriate.
The internal brand of every client varies and is what makes the difference to the customer. Mystery shoppers are very well trained and briefed on the establishments they are assessing, and the atmosphere and experience they should be expecting. The customer experience begins the minute they decide to stay or visit a hotel and ends when they have left completely. It includes general feel, facilities, interaction with staff and overall impression. Some of these appear intangible, but the surveys and reports designed to evaluate these components are easily analysed and conclusions can be defined and acted upon.

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