Many people think that good service is only provided ‘at the top end’ of the service star scale. In other words, if I’m running a 2 star motel then only a low level of service should be provided. In the context of WHAT is provided and WHAT is paid, this is true. But the service experience can still be above expectations. For example, the person greeting me may be genuinely happy to check me into my room. When provided directions to my room I am asked if I am interested in knowing where some cheap but good quality food can be found. In responding yes to that question I am provided with the appropriate information, which includes a range of discounts should I choose to eat at those places. (Later, when I do choose to eat at the place, my discount is honoured and the food is reasonable for what I have paid for it).
I go to my room, the key works and my room is fresh and clean. I have asked for a non-smoking room and there is no evidence that the last person who used it smoked like a chimney. The information booklet is up to date and includes relevant information about public transport, taxis, health clubs and eateries. When I check out the staff member is courteous, quickly processes my payment and bids me farewell. If you wish to consider a poor ‘2 Star’ experience, simply go back over this story and reverse each experience that has been described.
It would not be very difficult to translate this ‘2 Star’ story into a ‘5 Star’ story. The differences in the experience will relate to what we have paid and what we then expect to receive in return. The room may be bigger. The location may be more convenient. The bed may be bigger with higher quality linen. Internet access may be available. The fixtures and fittings may be of higher quality. An on-site restaurant and 24 hour in room service may be available. Laundry services may be available and a concierge service may be available to assist us with any needs or enquiries that we may have regarding the hotel of surrounding area.
Each ‘Moment of Truth’ (MoM) can contribute to our expectations not being met if the experience of the MoM is not up to our expectations. In this way, 2 Star service can be great service and 5 Star service can be poor service. It all depends on the perceived experience of the customer.
“Visits are not limited to the public areas. I head for the heart of the house, too. There’s method to my madness. If I see smiling faces and well-scrubbed surfaces behind the scenes, I know that the rest of the hotel more than likely is doing just fine.” (J.W.Marriott Jr from his book, ‘The Spirit to Serve’)
What are your thoughts on this topic?