I remember this massive disappointment when staying in one of the 4 star hotels in Munich. The price was a bit high as it was the time of BAU Trade Show. We are arriving at the hotel front door and right in front I see the receptionist impassively smoking his 10 am cigarette. We walked in and we had to wait until he takes last 3 hits. Can you imagine my baffled face? Needless to say, the rooms weren’t even in ⅓ of what I’ve seen in Shanghai as a 4 star hotels at all! Service-wise? Oh truly 7 stars, haha – the service was so discreet that you haven’t even seen/felt/experienced it – just did not exist.
The star categorization in every country is based on individual terms and regulations. In some countries it is government related organ granting the stars according to certain standards, in some countries it is totally up to the owner and in some – there are other ways. Summing up: if you ever want to base your expectations on the stars and not be disillusioned, you can only trust the Forbes awarded ones. Yes I did learn that lesson myself and it did hurt.
The hotel star categorization seems quite clear, generally speaking we all say “Oh, 5 stars equals luxury” and “4 stars is still good enough” yet 3 and below star-rated hotels quite often seem to be unappreciated and rejected. Managers in 5 star hotels walk as proudly as peacocks and those who work in 3 stars prefer not to mention the number near the stars. I assume many of you have observed that and I do not quite really understand that. No matter where you work, you are still a human being and the dignity of a manager/line colleague of a 5 star hotel is exactly the same as the dignity of the personnel of a 2 star/no star property!
A significant question now arises:
Do you realize how it cascades down?
It all starts with YOU my dear Manager. Have you ever thought why your colleagues don`t put 100% effort into their work? I have mentioned it before, that your team is your mirror reflection – who are you as a leader is who they are as colleagues/hosts. Simple as that: you are proud to work in a 3 star hotel – so are they, your haughtiness, because 5 stars makes you sit back and relax – don`t expect them to be meticulously detail oriented bringing the guest satisfaction beyond the delight. You still don’t believe me? Go to this TripAdvisor hated/loved by many and check the comments how diverse they are. Plenty of 3 star rated hotels get a 5 star recommendation crowing how excellent the service was and the same goes the other way, 5 star hotels get squashed within seconds if 5 star service isn`t executed! What does it mean?
Preach & teach your teams that it is purely THEM who add the stars to their property. Empower them to go way beyond the 3/5 star standards – kindness, genuineness, elegance, empathy, tact, helpfulness & anticipation is NOWHERE attached to a certain number of stars! And lack of stars does not exempt from the obligation of serving our guests at our best. Motivate them to feel proud of where they work and if you are in a 5 star property why don`t you inspire them to perform like 7 stars? To make them believe that it is THEM who actually assign the stars by their performance makes a formidable change in their attitude. First, you have to believe that it is you who grant the stars, secondly, go and convince them about their NEW SUPER POWERS!… watch the massive results!
So now… How many stars does your hotel have?