With World Cup fever riding high with our hospitality and tourism industry, I'd like to pose a timely forward-thinking question based on an overseas trip I came home from this week.
I brought my eldest daughter with me to a speaking engagement in Brisbane and extended the trip for a little quality time with Samantha.
It wasn't just the weather that let us down. In almost every experience from hotel to restaurant to café, stores for shopping, we were disappointed. Will we go back to those hotels? No. Will we say nice things about them if asked? No. The same with the restaurants we went to.
Problem: In every city; In every industry; there is a huge amount of competition. Hundreds of hotels. Hundreds of restaurants and café's.
Hundreds of shops. Hundreds of hospitality options. And let's face it - in these economic times, business is lean with customers more careful with their dollars.
Conferences have lower attendance - so less rooms and meals per occasion for hotels (a normal mainstay).
• Name brand expensive hotel rooms (well to me $200-$295 a night is a pricey) with exceedingly uncomfortable beds, paint peeling on the walls. Stained carpets.
• Outrageously priced internet connections
• Coffees left on the counter even though the café was empty and the wait staff could have brought it over.
• Substandard poorly cooked $28 mains in a restaurant that was one of many along a popular restaurant filled street.
• A cab driver that didn't bother to get out of the car to remove our bags from the trunk.
• A pesky sales clerk that won't leave one alone to shop in peace.
Little things can add up to a bad experience. Now let me ask you. Who's to blame? Is it the staff who meet the customers face on? Or is it the managers?
My hand is up on the managers side. I don't believe that it is the staffs fault. I put the blame squarely on management's shoulders.
Could we use the analogy that businesses should act like families; managers act like parents? The managers ensure the proper running of the 'house' and the 'kids behaviour' (i.e. staff). Management should be the ones ensuring staff maintain clean and pristine premises.
Ensuring staff that meet 'guests' are treating them right and making them feel special. Ensuring the staff always put the best foot forward. Training their staff to be courteous, polite, helpful. Ensuring quality control occurs in the kitchen. Looking over the competition and ensuring they're doing things better than the Smiths and Joneses next door.
What do you think?