When it comes to the hospitality industry, customer service is everything. If your guests don't feel that they've received the service they should have got from your establishment then they will get straight online and share their opinions with the world. With the growth of review sites on the internet it won't take long before non-plussed guests are sharing their displeasure with the rest of the world. However, there are a number of things that you can do to ensure that guests receive the standard of service they should; one of these is through hotel mystery shopping.
The Beginnings of the Technique
Shop, service and hotel mystery shopping has a long history. The practice was originally devised as a kind of surveillance technique - a way of checking up on sharp practices and theft amongst those working with money day to day. In the United States it was introduced in the early part of the twentieth century, where it was used by private investigators looking into internal theft and fraud at banks and large department stores. In the United Kingdom the practice was introduced over sixty years ago as a way of checking up on financial advisors and ensuring that they were perform their job with honesty and integrity.
The Switch to the Retail Sector
In the 1940s the owners of Wilmark began to utilize the practice to anonymously evaluate their customer service. It's really during the last twenty years that the practice has transferred to the retail and hospitality sectors. The growth of the internet has been a boon for hotel mystery shopping, allowing the assessors to visit a location and judge it based on a set of criteria that they can check after they have left the premises. While the assessors previously needed to fill out a large paper form that then had to be analysed, they can now go home and check boxes on an internet-based form.
Assessing the Hospitality Industry
Rather than being a method of in-house customer service evaluation, hotel mystery shopping is now most often bought from expert firms who have spent years developing their techniques and approaches, and have the methodological expertise to give clients findings that can make a real difference to their business. This wealth of expertise amassed by specialist companies means that they know exactly what they need to look for and assess when it comes to the specific needs and issues that are relevant to the hospitality industry. Operators of hospitality accommodation may well find that they can save a lot of time and money by hiring the assistance of a company that provide bespoke research for their organization.