Martha Beck said “The way we do anything is the way we do everything.” In work and in life, details are one thing. Caring about the details is something entirely different.
What sets great hospitality operations apart is the attention they place on thinking through every aspect of their services and offerings, and the effort they place on those deliverables. From uniforms to how throw pillows are placed, if you want to take your operation to the next level, you need to care about the small stuff.
An area that doesn’t get much attention is delivering requested items to guests. So many hotels fall down here and if they paid more attention to the inspection process BEFORE the delivery is made, they’d avoid countless duplicate service calls and frustrated guests.
Two areas where an immediate impact can be made are:
Refrigerators, glasses, mugs - just about anything that is retrieved after the guest departs must be inspected and cleaned or discarded if broken. Housekeeping needs to be checking linen and terry when cleaning rooms and again before delivering additional requested items to rooms. Anything that is worn or not in good shape (like old, overused bathrobes) should be discarded. While this adds an extra step in handling items, there will be more eyes on your goods, ultimately reducing the chances of item defects. It’s also very important to avoid returning multiple times to satisfy one request so attention needs to be paid to the full request to ensure that guests receive everything they are asking for the first time.
Logos and labels are small details that often get missed. Bottles turned away from customers or crooked logos directly (or indirectly) cast doubt in the customers mind. It signals that you don’t take all aspects of your business seriously. If you don’t care about these details, how will you handle the larger ones.
Individually, these items may seem trivial, but taken as a group, missing the mark can lead to an easily avoidable negative perception of your operation. It can be the difference between a passive customer and a real promoter of your business.
Guest expectations are high. They want to feel like they’re the only people to have ever stayed in a room or used a requested item. This places a heavy burden on employees to go the extra mile when delivering goods. There has to be a good process in place to inspect items before being delivered AND after items are picked up.
Training staff on attention to detail is tricky since everyone has a different perspective on how things should look. This is why it’s crucial that managers think through all steps and details, standardize and document specific processes (such as room set ups, cleaning and room deliveries) and train to those standard operating procedure. This removes ambiguity and clearly sets expectations which can then be measured.