Hospitality industry revolves around providing the best service and experience to its guests; hence it is fair to assume that guest centricity is embedded in the core of the hospitality industry. However, when overwhelmed with the challenges, some hoteliers may lose the sight of that. Therefore, it is imperative that hoteliers should remind themselves of the most important tenet of the hospitality industry.
WHAT IS GUEST CENTRICITY
Guest centricity or customer centricity can be best understood by Peter Ducker’s explanation of the concept in his book “ The Practice of Management”, he writes:
“It is the customer who determines what a business is, what it produces, and whether it will prosper”
To apply this concept to the hospitality industry, it is the guest which will determine the kind of services the hotel will provide and whether it will prosper or not.
By its very nature hospitality industry is guest centric, with its prime objective being “guest satisfaction”. Therefore, the direction of business in hospitality industry should be determined by guest expectations more than anything else.
GUEST CENTRICITY VS PRODUCT CENTRICITY
As opposed to customer centricity another mindset that drives businesses is “product centricity”. It can be defined as the focus on creating and presenting the best possible “product”. Although this term is generally associated with businesses that sell a product rather than a service, it can be implemented in hospitality industry with the hotel, its services and overall experience combined together being termed as a “product”.
Some hotels may tend to focus on product centricity unwittingly, it may result from the competition in the industry or the supposed trend in the industry. Some independent or small-scale hotel may feel pressured to make their experience and service like that of big chain hotels, and in result may shift on product centricity.
However, the hospitality industry has always been a guest centric industry, and if hotels aim to improve their properties and services they must focus on guests as hospitality relies on guest experience.
VALUE OF GUEST CENTRICITY
Along with providing the best services, it is of paramount importance that a hotel must provide an amazing experience to the guest, if a guest dies not feel valued and cared then it doesn’t matter if the hotel is providing best services. Guest satisfaction is determined by the overall experience of the hotel, that includes both the services and experience.
The guest centric approach results in guest satisfaction, and guest satisfaction results in a positive reputation for a hotel. In hospitality industry a positive reputation is the most sought-after currency, creating a reputation and maintaining that reputation is the prime objective for any hotel. While creating a reputation is a long and slow process but losing that reputation is a very quick one, hence hotels work very hard to maintain their guest experience to retain their reputation.
Guest Loyalty is also something that is very difficult to attain, especially in this era where guest has so many options available. Guest centric approach to business is the key for guest retention and guest loyalty. When a guest is provided with the best services and best experience in their stay, there is a very high chance that they will chose to return to that hotel. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that the hotels must focus on the guest and their needs when planning their experience.
IMPORTANCE OF GUEST FEEDBACK
Guest feedback is the key for a hotel to improve its guest experience. Hotels should never be afraid of negative feedback from the guests, as it provides invaluable insight into the service of a hotel and provides the hoteliers with information which they can use to enhance their guest experience. Guest centric approach focuses on the guest feedback and places great value to it. Negative and positive feedback both are central to the guest centric approach as it identify for the hotel what they have been doing right or wrong.
The improvement of guest experience through guest centric approach is not something that can be achieved quickly, rather it is a long and continuous process. Hoteliers need to seek for continuous improvement rather than aiming for perfection overnight. The slow and continuous process for enhancing guest experience makes retaining the guest experience easier. Hotels can make sure that their staff, whether they are guest facing or not, incorporate guest centric approaches in their conduct. In this way a hotel can create a team that is focused on guest satisfaction and can ensure top notch experience for their guests.