The most important characteristics and activities of a successful luxury hotel business are excellent presentation and maintenance of hardware, and provision and constantly improvement of software, which is the service quality in sustainable manner. These require fulfilling the expectations as the base standard, then exceeding them in every way from pre-booking to post stay. These are the common operating standards of the luxury hotels. What makes the difference in luxury hotel and helps the hotels to stand out from the competition is anticipating the guest needs and fulfilling them before they are demanded.
“Every guest has a dream” when they plan to choose a hotel, upon their arrival as a first impression, and during the stay in the premises, from a genuine welcome at the doorstep, till the quality of a single espresso to be served in the hotel’s Lobby Lounge in a tranquil environment, or the quality of a pillow for a wonderful sleep at night. There are many luxury hotels in marketplace aiming and performing to provide the same or even better service. Therefore, it is very important not only to attract the luxury travelers with the promise of these dreams, but also to keep them in the hotel and convince them to welcome come back, which is called as retention. To maintain the position held and to compete in future, it is necessary to provide quality service while exceeding the expectations, by which the old guests will be retained, and new guests will be attracted, which is the founding basic rule of conducting a business.
When it comes to luxury hotel business, all the basic services are supported with an anticipation, which is fulfilling the unforeseen needs of the guests. This is when the luxury service starts to be different. Service quality and guest satisfaction is critical for the service survival. Guest satisfaction is a perception that involves the emotion of well-being and pleasure that results from obtaining what the guest dreams of and hopes for and expects from an attractive product and service. When the guests meet their expectations, they are satisfied. When anticipation kicks in, they are delighted.
Happy and delighted guests are loyal guests. To delight the guests, it requires to maintain seamless service, and technically as well as functionally excellent products. Luxury hotels have the anticipated inventory of tangible and intangible assets on hand, as they might be required by the discerning guests, or hotel anticipates that the guests might need during the experience. Nothing is more beautiful than a surprise in a luxury service! Luxury hotels are aware that a guest who has to continuously wait for the hotel to do its part may grow tired, no matter how loyal he or she is, and will replace the hotel with competition, which is the least desirable. Luxury hotels keep the guests loyal by always focusing on them, fulfill their basic needs at first, and anticipate their needs to serve better so that they will remain loyal.
The physical presentation and perception of the luxury hotel asset is important in achieving guest satisfaction. A perfectly designed public areas and guestrooms, furnishing the premises with expensive carpets, chandeliers, furniture, decorative elements, and service gears are great support of amicable environment in luxury hotels. They all have similar desire to create such luxury environment. However, the difference lies in the emotive quality of luxury hotel employees as the main ingredient, in creating a special experience for guests. In a happier environment where the service employees are also satisfied, they provide the guests with anticipating, supported by caring, detailed, warm, natural, helpful, and sincere service straight from the heart, which is all about this difference, and represent the operating philosophy of the luxury hotels.
Anticipation is an important tactical strategy of the luxury hotel service, which is the core element to delight, retain and make the guests loyal to brand.
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