What is the best way for the hotelier to ensure that the optimal service levels are being maintained in their hotel? Inspections could be one way, but one can only judge so much and a lot can be missed out. Plus everyone tends to be at their best behaviour during inspections. Surprise inspections again could probably help make sure that housekeeping is up to mark, basic upkeep of the hotel is being maintained, processes are being followed and overall customer satisfaction is there. Customer feedback could be another way to get information on customer service levels. But, are these enough? As customer demands and expectation levels increase, a hotel needs to go the extra mile to deliver the best to the guests.
With more and more guests going online to post their feedback it has become imperative to make sure that the customer service standards are amazing and leave an impression… a positive impression. What is more important is to make an impact with your service, so that the customer goes online and actually praises your hotel on the memorable stay. Now that is what would make a difference, and here enters our “undercover customer” – the mystery shopper.
Mystery shopping has given an interesting twist to the old inspection model. The hotel staff never comes to know who inspected and when did the inspection even happen. Mystery shopping has become an art, with companies specializing in providing these services and with secrecy levels no less than a CIA Agent. Confidentiality is maintained and the hotel’s feedback is not shared with any third party. A mystery shopper poses as a guest, is well versed with the best hotel practices; knows what to look out for from housekeeping standards, hotel restaurant and other services. A mystery shopper could even enact the role of an unruly guest to judge how best the hotel staff manages tough situations.
Mystery Shopping Companies
Mystery shopping works and it has become a sought after profession with more than 30,000 mystery shoppers working for hotels in US. There are professional companies that specialize in providing mystery shopping for hotels. It is very important to hire a mystery shopper that works towards the goal of ensuring that the hotel provides the best quality service. A mystery shopper should not be influenced by a bad day or get influenced by personal biases. Also mystery shopping should be done regularly and in a strategic manner to ensure a sample size with optimum length and breadth.
The only disadvantage with mystery shopping could be the cost factor. But it would be worthwhile for the hotelier to invest in an undercover customer who can improve customer service in a proactive manner in a market where online reviews have become critical for a hotel.
Like Cloud PMS helps in streamlining the hotel operations, a mystery shopper will help in improving your hotel’s service quality, thus leading to customer satisfaction. Many big brands have started hiring mystery shoppers for improved services. So, what have you decided?