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Service that Sells • Sharpening your customer skills
Service Excellence • A Blue Print to Touism Success • Service Sells, Its Proven
A Fallacy in the Tourism Industry • A place of hospitality, must be a vibrant, living thing, somehow we have got down to the idea of thinking that a hotel is a place where we sell beds and food and a restaurant is a place where we sell food and liquor. We aren’t selling that, don’t get distracted by that, those are secondary things.
Our Business • We are primarily in business to make money - awards are great but they don’t pay the bills. • We are in the business of creating an unforgettable experience at every turn, creating WINET……. at every level.
Winet • Well I Never Expected That…. . ! Exceeding Guest Expectation is the Key
Creating a Culture with People To be employed…. teach your employees the following: • If you want to be respected - be respectable • If you want to be liked - be likeable • If you want to be loved - be loveable • If you want to be employed - be employable
What Service Sells - It’s Simply Service Excellence • • • Attitude Passion Enthusiasm Willingness to make a difference Willingness to learn It is quite simple - the company with the best team wins… attitude is everything
So What Makes Companies Successful? • Forbes magazine annual list of most admired companies rates companies by eight criteria: Innovation Financial soundness Employee talent Use of corporate assets Long term investment value Social responsibility Quality of Management Quality of produst and services
Employee Talent THIS IS KEY TODAY • A Business is a team not a solo performance • What matters is your ability to unleash the potential in others, align their efforts and keep them enthused over time. The more superstars you have on your bench the better.
Optimising Your Talent • Every employee has talent otherwise they would never have been employed • Identify your talents needs • Harness the reason why people came to work for you • Begin to understand why people arrive on time for work everyday • Get to know people for the people they are and not just employees who work for you…. .
So How Do You Become a Killer Competitor through Service • In time of increasing uncertainty, a cool head and common sense are invaluable business weapons • When others are flapping and frantically trying to apply the latest management tools, it’s a good idea to remind yourself what actually matters and to work at it with a vengeance keeping it simple and back to basics
Killer Competitor • To be more competitive, you have to keep delivering more for less - and keep moving the bar • The further and faster you can improve, the harder it will be for others to keep up… how often do we become complacent. . .
Optimising Resources • Get to know your people - mentorship • Get to know your peoples’ skills and limitations • Harness the enthusiasm of the people who work for you • Build a business around people not the product… products are a fad. . they date and people copy your great ideas
What Should Be Measured Yardsticks • Employee turnover • Exit interviews • Talking to customers asking what is good and what needs improvement • Ask suppliers who they rate as employees who best represent the image of your business • Employee retention vs Profit before interest • Mystery guests • Return cients vs new business written • Source of business
Transferring Best Practice • • Develop a culture of service Develop your own personality Instill a service culture Coach rather than punish poor delivery Be there…. . Get employees to choose their attitude Make a difference at every step of guest interaction Strive to set an example at every employees interaction with you…. not only our guests
Strategic Choices Is it: • Product Leadership • Customer Intimacy • Operational Excellence through service
Case Study on Why and How Service Excellence Works
Case Study - The Royal Hotel Durban • 159 years old • Early 90’s voted best city hotel in South Africa for five years running • Leader in Hotel Keeping in RSA in 90’s • 272 rooms, 18 Banqueting rooms, 8 restaurants
The Reality • • 1998 - Inner City Decay Security was a problem Inner City died after 6. 00 pm Inner City tenants began the drift north to Umhlanga Ridge depleting the luncheon and conference business • Revenues dropped 3 years running to the point of the hotel no longer being profitable • Additional 325 rooms from the Hilton came on line • Durban had a perception of being the poor cousin to Cape Town
The Choices • • • Close the hotel Convert into inner city residential Cut costs further Close food and beverage outlets Close room stock
The Choices • Close the hotel • Convert into residential building • Cut costs further • Close food and beverage outlets • Close rooms stock • No due to perception • No - conversion too expensive • Cut as far as we could • No - all restaurants were profitable • Due to building design, cost savings were not really there
The Decision • Cut our wrists in a warm bath…. • Develop a world first strategy to stay in business and make profits…. • The Choice was simple…stay in business
What was the answer • Create a USP • Develop a service culture unparallel to our competitors • In source - do not outsource • Create service excellence through passionate people
The Process • Dissect the business and see what was profitable and what was ego business • Dissect the competition and see what they were not doing right • Find the best people possible • Create a workforce dying to serve and who can made a difference
The Process • Identified the passionate and enthusiastic members of management and staff who loved serving people who did not just come to work for the money • Promoted these people and asked the rest to retire early, leave or moved elsewhere in the company • Looked around the company and brought people with a passion and experience to The Royal
The Process • From 310 permanent staff we dropped down to 97 permanent staff and introduced. . • 180 management and chef trainees through the International Hotel School • We had workforce overnight who wanted to serve, learn and who had passion and enthusiasm
The History • The International Hotel School – The Carlton Hote – The future of our business in hospitality lay in young people – To many hotel managers and chefs leaving to go overseas – A short term answer to the Carlton’s Inner City Decay
The Problems Encountered • New experience for our customers was a bit frightening at first • 180 people with little or no hospitality skills - just raw passion • A dated hotel • A very critical travel trade • Competitors criticized and belittled the move “The Royal has become a training hotel - disgraceful’
The Difference Was…. . We knew what we were doing was right
Actions Taken • Massive training in service and delivery to customers • We spoke to our customers about what we were doing and asked them for suggestions and advice • Created innovative food and beverage concepts and even a Theatre restaurant to get people back into the inner city at night
Actions Taken • An innovative direct mail campaign to our customers who had left us • We created a fresh new approach to getting business through young energetic passionate people • We got young people to become involved in aspects traditionally left to the senior managers • We told our staff what we were doing and what was expected of them • We insourced our outsourced temp casual staff through The Food and Beverage Academy
Actions Taken • Created new innovative banqueting packages • Started fun outside catering run by trainees • Had formal trainee dinners for the groups management • Gave trainees the accountability of junior managers with the responsibility which went with it
In short, we got people to believe that every decision in service made a difference to a customer’s experience and had an impact on the profitability of the business
The Results…. . . • Profitability in 10 months • Occupancy grew 13. 5% in first year • Restaurants increased profitability by 18% in first year • Reclaimed 83 corporate accounts previously lost to competitors • Won the PMR award for best city conferencing hotel….
The Results…. . • Almost a 0% staff turnover • 40 - 50 trainees every year now get recruited by Cunard lines • In excess of 120 Management trainees now hold senior management positions in the world top hotel brands • More than 26 non Three Cities Group Hotels have internship trainee programmes • Three Cities Group now has in excess of 1000 trainees training annually
The Benefits • Royal hosted the Commonwealth Banquet The Queen stayed for 6 days • Vice President of the USA stayed • Government Ministers, Kings, all stay at the Hotel
The Message • Service Excellence only comes through training and adapting to changing business dynamics • Service Excellence comes from thinking out of the box…. And not worrying what people say about you • Service Excellence comes from empowering and mentoring people to become passionate about heir product • Service Excellence comes from doing what is right for you and not what your competition does or is doing
The Message • Service Excellence does not mean winning every award – It means that any guest who uses your services leaves having had a memorable experience which they talk about and which keeps them coming back
In Conclusion • We ultimately build an operation with pride. You tell people you are the best and now you have to make it the best • You may not be there right now, you might be all the way at the bottom of the list but that commitment to being the best starts with developing people. When that happens your customers and staff will start giving you ideas on how to be the best
In Conclusion • Training and developing young passionate people can be treated as just lip service However • Even more rewarding than Service Excellence is seeing a young person develop and succeed…. .
Service Excellence is the basis of Everything Manage It, Harness It, and YOU WILL SUCCEED