Home Away from Home
After a long day out, whether on business or leisure, I look forward to a little pampering, some level of comfort and having a particular standard of convenience, especially when the accommodation charges are relatively expensive in a city like Sydney Australia.
Perhaps for health legislation reasons, Australian commercial abodes are peculiar in not providing toothpaste and tooth brush packs. Cleanliness levels are increasingly observed not acceptable in some hotels. Staff who work at the reception counter are often the first point of contact for hotel guests - and there are varying levels of training for such individuals, who may or may not realise that rightly or not, they echo and project the image, service vibes and manner of the hotel brand and experience.
I believe in utmost personal security for hotel guests, especially in these times of increased risks, dangers and violence in our city and suburban environments. The use of a poorly working access card in hotels not so well run can cause frustrations wanting to enter their room urgently for a well deserved rest. You and I may think the solution is simply to invest in a new and more effective system of door and lift access, but that requires money to be spent by the business.
Australian hotels are well known in inflexibility in accommodating guests for late check outs when compared to their rivals located overseas. At times, staff of poorly run hotel businesses forget their business is one of people, over riding everything else in the picture.
On the other end of the spectrum, I have encountered those on the front line knowledgeable about their locality's transport and logistics, willing to offer alternate suggestions and responsive to effectively help when a guest finds things not working in their recently checked in room or suite. I often first look at the skirting on the walls, the corners of a toilet and the insides of a kitchen or laundry room on first coming into my guest room.
Okay, it is but an unavoidable truth that the ore you pay, perhaps you get better chances of a a better service, but it need not be so and it must not be so. Some hotels are so hung up on their branded environment that they forget about customer service and engagement.
Brands of hotels must be tied back to the core of customer experience. Issues and problems inevitably arise in providing services but what hotels must never forget is how they must have a viable and logical process and system in helping customers resolve any matters that arise. Leaving it to the vagaries of the moods or ineptness of particular individual staff is a No-no - the critical thing in hotel business is revenue, repeat business and the customer.
Consistently good hotels have staff naturally greeting customers. They do not have frightened or lonely looks from housekeeping staff. The hotel guest has and build expectations during the stay. That consistency must be reflected across all service lines - the dining room, the bar, the gym and pool attendant, the lift greeter, the porter, the butler and the administration. There is no point developing expectations in only certain categories of the staff.
At this stage, no tips are required in Australian hotels, but you never know. Tips will not be given by customers if hotel staff do not know how to provide above a certain level of quality of service. Australia is a high cost place to survive through and the stiff upper lip attitudes from its heritage cultures can at times resurface in the hotel service.