Trends Shaping the Future of Guest Service in Hospitality
By Cate Farmer General Manager, Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort | April 19, 2020
The hospitality industry is about just that – hospitality – so the success of a hotel or resort depends greatly upon providing personal, memorable guest service. Knowing how vital guest experience is, hotels and resorts are constantly evolving their approach, finding fresh new ways to ensure a service-minded approach that ultimately exceeds travelers' expectations.
With an increasingly competitive atmosphere and online reviews now accessible at travelers' fingertips, the importance of providing the highest level of hospitality, service, and attention to detail is not only of the utmost importance but it is becoming a base expectation for today's travelers.
As the general manager of a AAA Four Diamond-rated resort - one that has received both praise and accolades for the ways we've integrated guest service into our culture - I have personally seen a focus on service to transform a guest's experience from ordinary to extraordinary. I believe that in the year ahead, cultivating a positive work culture, personalizing the guest experience, and offering engaging experiential activities are three trends that will continue to dominate the discussion. By prioritizing each of these things as part of their approach to guest service, hotels and resorts will be successful in positively shaping their overall experience.
A recent report indicated by American Express stated that seven out of ten customers are more likely to spend a minimum of 13% more money with a company or brand that provides a top-notch customer experience. With an increasingly competitive landscape and online reviews now accessible at travelers' fingertips, the importance of providing the highest level of hospitality, service, and attention to detail is not only of the utmost importance but is becoming a base expectation for today's travelers. So how can a management team ensure their culture aligns with, and exceeds, that expectation?
I am a firm believer that great guest service starts with the hiring of your employees. Identifying the right team members who embody your brand's culture, language and spirit will ultimately translate to your guests. Margaritaville is known for its authentic brand of fun and escapism.
At Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort, we've worked incredibly hard to find ways to translate that brand to guests, starting with hiring the right team members, who can deliver that sense of escapism on a daily basis. We've learned to put long, rigorous interview sessions in the past and incorporate new methods that can provide us a clearer understanding of an individual's personality. Through one-on-one round table sessions, we learn more about a candidate, their work experience, and in what department they would excel best. We ask open-ended questions to encourage free-thinking and dialogue. Key factors we like to look out for are a person's ability to detail previous experiences that exhibit accomplishment, leadership, motivation, communication, problem-solving skills, and their ability to learn quickly.