When We Blow the Expectation of Excellent Service Even Before Our Guests Step Through Our Doors

Daniel Wood Raving NEXT

Are you providing 5-star standards when your phone rings?


“OPERATOR!” I yell into the automated system. I punch ZERO. ZERO. ZERO. “Sorry, I don’t understand,” says the mechanical voice.


One of my biggest pet peeves is calling a hotel property and going directly into an automated system. From an operator’s perspective, you can tell me all the reasons why it makes sense for your organization and how it is more efficient or saves money. From a guest service perspective, it stinks. And what’s even worse, being on a round robin hold when I’m inside a property and just want to make a reservation or schedule a wake-up call … I have better things to do when I’m on-property than be on hold in my hotel room.

I recently visited with a casino executive who was explaining her expectation for her team while guests are on-site. Her comment was this: “You better be on point, all the time.” She isn’t the first casino executive who I have heard make that type of statement. As a result, guests will return to your property because of the service they received above all else. So why not start with 5-star service before they get there and while they are there? Do you know how many customers you lose even before they make a reservation? “Concierge” and 5-star service should be provided by all of our casino resorts, no matter if we’re a small locals joint or a destination casino.

When was the last time a mid-level manager or executive at your property picked up the phone to see how your property compares to 5-star guest service? What about compared to your competitors? Do you consistently check on your performance in order to get a baseline for your property’s performance?

Here is a suggested list of what should be evaluated:

  1. Who is answering the calls? PBX system operator? Host? Security department?
  2. How many calls do you get per hour? Per day?
  3. What is the average wait time per call?
  4. How many calls that come in get transferred to another department?
  5. Was the guest transferred to the correct department?
  6. How many guests hang up satisfied? Dissatisfied because of wait time, number of transfers or poor guest experience?
  7. How would you rate the overall quality of the call? Are there phrases or jargon that shouldn’t be used? Was the call professional? Did the call qualify as a 5-star guest experience?

Check out some industry standards to see how your property compares:

5-star service isn’t always the most economical (e.g., automation). 5-star service takes a commitment from the top down. 5-star service is often ignored in our front-facing systems, just because “it’s the way we do things” or “it’s a system that works.”

Not sure if your property provides a 5-star guest experience? Give us a call at Raving; we’d love to help determine where you are currently, and what it will take to get your property there! And guaranteed, we’ll answer within 24 seconds!

Daniel Wood