Hospitality VIP & Corporate success is notoriously difficult to achieve. You only have to watch through your fingers at the BBC Apprentice hopefuls when they got it oh-so wrong at Wembley in the latest series. Expectations are set extremely high which means that standards within the business must be even higher. The success is judged by the people within corporations or VIP’s who often have a large budget to seek pleasure from, therefore they can be very unforgiving of even the slightest of mistakes. With this in mind how can you achieve the ultimate and most challenging of successes?
Here is our insight to the top 5 stages to achieving VIP & Corporate Success:
Creating an outstanding customer experience is the driver to hospitality success. First and full most, the customer is always right. A cliché but an unforgettable one as it makes your customers happy and ensures it applies to every aspect of their experience. Professionalism goes a long way too, keeping the events standards high and accepting nothing than the best from staff will ensure that standards delivered do not drop or fall beneath customer expectations.
Aim to impress, by setting expectations higher than what the customer will be expecting, it will help to blow them away and give them an experience they’ll remember. Customers are at the heart of the business therefore the service, employees and quality of the food and products delivered are all value-added aspects into achieving the best possible experience.
So, crossing your t’s and dotting your i’s – makes details a must. Get the simplest things right first-time round. Hospitality businesses often get the smallest of things wrong and that includes not having enough of the right equipment for staff. Employees often complain about missing equipment – so get organised. It seems simple but having enough equipment for the day or night ahead like drinks trays for severs is a must. Often these can disappear, be misplaced or other departments swipe them when there is a shortage, therefore ensuring that the smallest of details are checked and catered for can turn an event from chaos and unhappy customers into a success.
The industry is customer-oriented and fast-paced therefore the first step is to hire good people. It’s vital to employ dedicated and honest employees. Hospitality is customer facing, these are the people who will be portraying the businesses brand image so ensure you have the right staff first time round to meet the customer expectations. Polite and friendly staff are key factors adding to the overall customer experience.
Train and develop your employees. Being clear and concise about job expectations and the service that is to be provided should always be transparent from the business to the employees. Ensure there aren’t any knowledge gaps, training staff to meet the standards of the business is a great way to retain and develop employees to provide the best customer service possible.
Empower your employees through trust and autonomy to act on fixing issues as soon as they arise and allow them to grow as a valid team member within your dream team. People grow when they’re empowered and help to form team players who will work effectively together to give the best quality of service expected by customers and management.
Team dynamic is a fundamental aspect in achieving success. Treat your employees well and create a good ‘vibe’ for employees to receive and share respect for one another. Praising team and individual performance consistently by acknowledging their part in the success of an event will encourage a positive attitude back towards the customers next time round.
Communicate effectively. Mistakes can arise due to lack of communication within a team, effective communication can act as a stopper for anything detrimental that may alter the customers experience. That also goes for hospitality management, communication often gets lost through the chain down to the front of line staff which can be a big mistake. Front of line staff are the employees who will be interacting with the paying customers, therefore ensuring the communication chain from top to bottom is clear makes everyone involved in creating a customer experience on the same page.
Listening to your customers and employees is key to creating success. Look at feedback as a way to critique aspects and areas that may need room for improvement. Turning complaints into opportunities equally allows for new improvement strategies to be identified and can in-turn make for a continuous improvement culture throughout the business. This will allow future successes by growing, learning and alerting experiences – a suggestion box for customers and employees is a great way to receive honest feedback. Take a look at TripAdvisor for frank customer feedback, review effectively and act on it – as ultimately the customers are the ones that decide on the success of an event.
Think forward and long-term, it’s important to be as consistent and relentless as possible. In order to be a leader in the hospitality industry you’ve got to start acting like the leader. Keep an eye out on the newest trends and changes in the market. Stay up to date by becoming knowledgeable and current in what’s happening now over ‘this is what we’ve always done’. Be an innovator and make your hospitality current and an experience that is the first class – read, network and research every day to make for the ultimate VIP & Corporate Hospitality success.