Striving for excellence

At the approach of the new and optimistic winter tourism season, quality standards and good service delivery are paramount.

Mamodou Bah, director of Quality Control and Licensing – GTBoard, has noted that quality is a primary concern in the hospitality industry due to the way businesses are managed in corporate cultures. To reverse this, the GTBoard has embarked on series of efforts to strive for excellence in all spheres of the tourism sector.

The delivery of high quality tourism products is shown to be increasingly important in influencing travel behaviour. The adoption of quality service standards would improve the quality of tourism products and customer satisfaction. Meanwhile, hospitality involves the consistent delivery of a product or service according to the expected standards.

In hospitality industry, standard, quality and good service goes together hence standard is another critical area in people and product management. According to the Director of Quality Control and Licensing, the first important thing is setting the standard which is the initial setup because if you have the initial setup right then it will be easy to maintain, but if it is wrong then that could have a serious impact on your clientele.

“In the hospitality industry, the more the clientele are responding and increasing demand for service, the more their expectations and demand for quality and good standards grow. A particular case is the choice of hotel, restaurant, or excursion package. Therefore, improving standards of facilities and service for the customers is not a luxury but necessary investment with huge benefits,” the director argued.

Another important point that needs key focus is sustainability of products. Since it is a competitive industry those that operate in it need to constantly improve, as they ought to know that there is continuous change of dynamics to meet standards and deliver quality service. The upcountry tourism facilities continue to pose challenges to attaining high standards of quality. Mostly there are structural issues, lack of appropriate equipment, poor marketing, and the absence of required knowledge, skills and competencies of the staff and management of these establishments.

“In GTBoard strive for excellence, the GTBoard has put in place the right policies and strategies and has created the enabling environment for growth and development of all tourism establishments and investments. Capacity development is important for everyone in this industry,” the director of QCL stated.

If you have good products and facilities without competent people to run them, it will not sustain itself. This takes us back to the importance of training. With the right training, one will have good systems and procedures of running those facilities and as well get strong management. These two are rock and foundation of good quality and consistent customer service. To ensure top service one has to offer memorable guest experiences and to continuously evaluate their policies and procedures to ensure they are doing all they can to comfort and make things convenient for their guests. This will keep them coming back and keep the establishment in lucrative business.

Striving for excellence also mean that one has to get absolute value for money. Beside the customer expectations, there is also the customer budget. Tailoring (customise) your service to meet the customer budget without compromising the quality of the service is best management practice. There are always challenges from visitors using your facilities as you cannot satisfy everyone but there is need to be dynamic in responding to individual challenges and needs.

Frequent evaluation of facilities and services through spot check inspections is important because it will help maintain and improve delivery. This is another good way to avoid customer service lapses because it will help you to maintain requisite standards and quality. This is done in different ways such as inspection reports, guest questionnaires and online guest reviews. In this competitive market; customer feedback is necessary and can be obtained quickly without stress through social networks. Offering great customer services today also means ensuring on-site staff are monitoring and responding to social networks.