Article: “Hotels putting increased emphasis on customer service” (May 2006)

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excerpt:
"But the mood quickly darkened, if only temporarily, when Joseph Kane, chairman of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, stepped to the podium to deliver a critical message about the state of hospitality in the hospitality industry.

“Service has become a lost art in lodging,” Kane told the crowd. “Research shows that guest satisfaction is lower in hospitality while it is going up in other industries like fast-food restaurants and even financial institutions.”

“Hotels have value-engineered themselves into a no-service environment, and the customers are fed up,” said Rick Swig, president of RSBA Associates and a longtime consultant. “When returning to a standard that should have been status quo in the first place, the industry might as well make some noise and gain some value.”

Swig said the hotel business, “from the upper tiers to the lowest tiers,” offers a level of service that falls below customer expectations. “How often do you see a bellman at a full-service hotel that is not a luxury hotel?” he asked.

“Moderate service has become limited service, and limited service has become no service.”

Bottom line, Sewig says: “Service has gone the way of the horse and buggy, except at the luxury level.”

source: "Hotels putting increased emphasis on customer service" by Harvey Chipkin (Travel Weekly, May 23, 2006) (free registration req.)

WaiterBell Angle: This is a comprehensive article about customer service in the hotel and lodging industry which has relevance to the restaurant industry. There is a developing trend in restaurant technology that veers away from customer interaction with the emergence of quick-service casual dining and other similar concepts that emphasize self-service. Is this because customers have become disillusioned by restaurant customer service and many would prefer to handle everything themselves?

This spells opportunity for restaurants focusing on customer service. WaiterBell helps encourage productive customer interaction between your waitstaff and your guests, as well as builds customer confidence in your restaurant customer service.

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