Are you Selling a Product, Service or an Experience?
Monica Or, columnist and Hospitality Consultant at Star Quality Hospitality Consultancy discusses how hospitality is more that just a service industry with a product to sell.
When working in the hospitality industry in order to exceed our customer expectations we have to go that much further as unlike other industries our customers do not leave with a tangible product that they can take away and keep. When going in to a shop you can usually buy something that you can take home and use. When staying at a hotel or eating in a restaurant– whether that be a night in a hotel bedroom or an evening meal – what you are actually purchasing is an experience.
Imagine you are staying in a hotel. You cannot take away the furniture in the room you stayed in, or take home with you the service you received. The food you ate you have consumed. What you can take away is a great experience which translates in to a lasting memory which will make you want to return. For you as a hotelier or restaurateur to create that memory for your customers you need to ensure that your products and service are congruent with the type of establishment you run, as together this is what will create a great experience for your customers.
If you are running a 5 star establishment with top quality furnishings and great food produce, but your waiting staff are rude, then it is this lack of service that the customer is going to remember. Similarly if you are running a 3 star hotel and you are great hosts although your bedrooms are dated and tired and the television does not work, that’s what your customer will complain about. So there needs to be a match between your product and service offering.
A product is anything that can be offered to a market that might satisfy a want or need. The provision of service to customers happens before, during and after a purchase.
Some quick tips to work out your product and service offering:
Make a list of all the products that you have in your establishment
Now work out how these products are utilised
Think about the customers you are targeting
Look at the service standards you have in place
Now work out how your service standards match your product offering
If you are finding a mismatch then you will need to relook at your product offering or the service levels you have in place.
Product + Service = Experience
Once you have defined the type of experience your customer is getting that’s when you can refine this so that all your customers receive a great customer experience that means they will leave with lasting memories for all the right reasons.
About Monica Or:
As the founder of Star Quality Hospitality Consultancy, Monica specialises in working with the owner/managers of independent hotels and restaurants to produce optimal results which improves their profitability. She is the author of ‘Star Quality Hospitality – The Key to a Successful Hospitality Business’ an Amazon best seller.