Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Great Expectations, Met Expectations

Tourism has proven to be extremely profitable in recent years, and is a continually growing industry. Service is the most important aspect of tourism’s long-term success.There’s a quote that states: "Service is the rent that you pay for room in this world". Therefore, one would think that the human race would be extremely giving, caring, and attentive towards one another's needs and comfort. I think it's safe to say, we didn't receive that memo in Puerto Rico.

I have spoken to many people whose insight, criticism and ideas I greatly appreciate. What I have come to enjoy the most is the sharing of their "service experiences". What exactly are service experiences? They’re none other than those word-of-mouth promotions, the “good news” we mentioned in our previous edition.

Unfortunately, most of these stories have been less than stellar. If “good news” has a positive impact in the long-term growth of your business, “bad news” will also have an impact, a very negative one possibly leading to financial loss. Many times it’s easier to focus on the bad things rather than the good things. So I’ll focus on one aspect of service that can negatively affect the productivity of your company, and see how it can be made into “good news”, thus ensuring a positive and more profitable outcome.

a) Price vs. Value (Quality): Am I getting my money's worth? Did I find what I was looking for? Were my expectations met? Did I enjoy myself? These are some of the questions people ask themselves when taking a vacation or while shopping. The personal service you receive isn’t all that matters. Merchandising, accommodations, presentation, location, and variety play a major part in the overall experience. This is why businesses should provide something extra. It can be something as simple as giving your guests a free copy of the newspaper every morning for the duration of their stay, including a free cup of coffee in their meal or maybe a discount to use next time they visit. Something special that makes your company different from the rest, assuring a return visit from your guest.

Tourism on the island is expensive. Spending hard-earned money and not having your expectations met can leave a sour taste in the mouth. When expectations are met and exceeded, sales and profits improve. When expectations are not met, sales and profits drop. If what you have to offer your customers is the same as everybody else, then you must guarantee that your customer service exceeds the guest’s expectations. Anything less and they will choose one of your competitors.

So you see, service isn't just about being nice to your guest and selling. There are many elements, some more obvious than others in providing excellent service. You may own a business or work in one, but you are also clients and guests, and there is always room for improvement. Next time you’re out and about, take note of the things that made your time enjoyable and worthwhile, and apply them to yourself and your business.

Great Service + Met Expectations = $$$ PROFITS $$$. Remember: "Knowledge without action is like snow on a hot stove," (taken from the book P.S. I Love You by H. Jackson Brown).

By Diana Figueroa


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home