by Egi Gaisie

This is a special edition as Ghana observes this year’s National Customer Service Week, dubbed NAKOFEST, which begins today, 3rd October, and celebrates tourism and hospitality excellence.

Considering all that we now know about customers (if you have followed the last five articles), how should we respond as service providers?

Having started as a front desk clerk at one of the then top hotels in the country, and considering the diverse fulfilling experiences I have garnered over the years, and the many more opportunities still glaring at me, I present a trump card in this article for all those working in the hospitality and tourism industry; the S.P.I.R.I.T approach.

The MUST-KNOW for all service personnel:

The purpose of service organizations is to be attentive and responsive to customers/guests’ needs. If there are no customers/guests, there is no business.

Every customer/guest comes to us with a baggage of expectations. When we meet guests’ expectations, comprising of core, unstated and service, as elements, (refer part 3 cont.) guests perceive the service as high quality. When we fail to meet their expectations, they perceive the service as of relatively low quality.

It is extremely easy to lose customers/guests and very difficult and expensive to replace those we lose; this is particularly true where there is much competition.

In every customer/guest’s mind is a scale (expectation /customer service scale), to rate every service encounter. This is similar to the following images that help hospitality operations assess how well they are doing in meeting customers/guests’ expectations.

Source: Slide Team
Sources: Customer and Shutterstock

The Way Forward-BE BORN OF THE S.P.I.R.I.T.

Permit me to borrow a common phrase from the gospels in the bible, but with a twist. Unless you are ‘born of the spirit’, you cannot thrive as a service provider in the world of hospitality and tourism.

You will be born of the SPIRIT of hospitality when you correctly anticipate the needs of customers/guests. Anticipating customers/guests needs? Now that seems daunting, particularly when merely meeting customers’ needs seem like a struggle for most service providers!  After all, you cannot read minds! That’s why the best way to figure out what your customers/guests want is to ask them.

Currently hoteliers are becoming more tech-savvy. With the help of technology, they can receive continuous feedback from customers/guests anytime, anywhere! As an individual service provider, you too must learn how to ask relevant questions at appropriate times. The information you receive will help you meet and/or exceed guests’ expectations.

What follows is the trump card: Service with the S.P.I.R.I.T approach

That’s the SPIRIT!

Look out for our usual Thursday edition; it draws down the curtain on Questions of service series with style!

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