The concept of ‘quality’ is not to follow a single model, rather quality stems from the processes, strategies, people, and culture of an organization. Assuming Service Quality as part of your company’s philosophy will allow the results to speak for themselves and will differentiate you from your competitors.
In my experience, the concept of quality must be assumed as part of the lifestyle of all the employees of a company. I recommend implementing the concept of quality through educational models that improve the organizational culture and put it in line with the values, strategies, workers and systems of the company. Only then will the quality be constant, measurable and improvable over time.
We all know that quality aims to satisfy or exceed the customers’ expectations in the product or service offered. This requires, as mentioned above, Process Quality, Service Quality, and the Quality of Human Talent.
According to customer satisfaction models (developed by Zeithaml, Parasuraman and Berry in 1988 at Harvard University (SERVQUAL Methodology)), the 5 factors that a client takes into account when selecting a service or product, are: reliability (32%), response capacity (22%), security (19%), empathy (16%) and appearance (11%). If you focus on each of these factors, you can better understand the needs of your client, guide your strategies and planning correspondingly, offer personalized attention, and exceed client expectations.
But beyond reviewing the basic concept of Quality, I would like to share 5 strategies for building or implementing a service quality system that includes all important areas of the organization, yielding real results.
5 Strategies to Successfully Implement A Philosophy of Quality Service
- Authenticity: take advantage of the cultural aspects of your region or nationality. Every culture has its own charms. Integrating them into the service you offer or the way you serve your customers will powerfully differentiate you and help clients to remember your brand as something unique. This authenticity is part of the experience your customers should feel when they arrive at your hotel or business.
- Organizational Culture: if you make Quality processes part of the organizational culture of your hotel or business, the benefits will be both more sustainable, and longer lived. This means that alongside your values, strategies, processes, systems and human talent, Quality is a fundamental pillar to not only satisfying but exceeding the expectations of your client.
- Empathy: empathy begins by really understanding the needs of your clients and knowing what your competition offers. As you take the time to weigh these needs against the options available in the market, you can put yourself in the «shoes» of your client. Anticipate those needs and surprise your client by going beyond what he/she expects of you. Provide the resources to train your staff so that they develop sufficient skills to manifest that empathy in service. Remember, service quality is what your client perceives, not what you think you have offered.
- Automation: offering the client the convenience, security and speed of accessing your services efficiently and in a few steps is of vital importance so that the purchase process doesn’t lead clients to migrate to other hotels or products. Make sure these processes are well structured in all of your direct sales channels. Automate the purchase and internal processes that are necessary to achieve a sale with efficiency and security, thus contributing to the quality of service you want to offer.
- Efficiency: efficiency encompasses clear, well-established and structured processes; services and product designs based on the real needs of your clients; responsiveness, reliability, and the tools to constantly measure and evaluate your results. Evaluation allows you not only to avoid organizational mistakes, but to innovate and find better ways to achieve your objectives and surprise your client.
If you focus your Quality models with these considerations, your hotel or business will grow successfully and continuously. This quality will be recognized by your clients, who will become the best advertisers of your brand should they assume your company’s lifestyle or philosophy as their own.
Ana María Pittaluga
Hotel consultant, founding entrepreneur of AMP Hotel Consulting and mentor, with more than 20 years of experience in the tourism and hotel sector, leading business innovation and business development plans in Latin America and Europe.