How to Customize Standards to Your Brand

Coyle Hospitality Group—a market leader in designing and implementing mystery shopping programs, quality assurance consulting, and market research services exclusively to hospitality companies worldwide—explains how your standards can be customized to reflect your best brand image.

At Coyle, we know that every hotel company is different. That is why we build each of our client’s quality assurance programs, standards, and evaluations from the ground up; nothing pre-packaged here. Because of this, clients get relevant results that will separate them from the competition.

Coyle’s team of hospitality experts can help you develop a tailor-made quality assurance program with customized brand standards that is right for you (and only you). We offer the following six steps as guidelines:

1. Bring in the Experts

As an experienced hotelier, you know what your brand is and what you want it to be. But how do others outside your organization see your brand?  It is imperative to work with an unemotional, unbiased third party that can learn and understand your brand just as well as you, but work with it differently to ensure it is being seen by the guest. Insiders are too close to the process to be objective.

Hotel managers often “know what they know,” and brand objectives can ring falsely or not all. A third-party will  help you avoid the typical pitfalls like aiming too high, too low, or putting forth a brand message that simply is not achievable in the long-term.

2. Understand What Distinguishes You

Know what truly differentiates you in order to set  benchmarks that will reliably and consistently provide results that actually help you progress. Having slightly larger rooms, a really unique lounge, or better southern exposure can and should be things you would leverage. Providing the support to these unique facets is where excellent selection of brand standards can be a game changer. With standards that maximize the efficiency and service-level of your unique factors, you can capitalize on your strengths and continuously improve guest satisfaction.

3. Understand What Does Not Distinguish You

Unless you are lucky enough to lack competitors, your products, services, and brand will be compared to, and be like others. A company like Coyle–which tracks brand measurements for over 200 hospitality companies–will help make sure your standards provide relevant comparisons to the industry and save you from re-creating the wheel. Any mystery shopping company can tell you that you are scoring 90% on your engagement standards–making eye contact, asking meaningful questions, etc.–but it is far more useful to know how that performance compares to others like you. You may be surprised to find that you are only average in the relative world. Perfecting the factors that you don’t necessarily compete on can give you an edge despite the fact that you don’t consider them differentiators.

4. Measure What is Meaningful to Your Guest

Too often, companies submit to the temptation of measuring too many standards. Instead, why not narrow it down to those that really matter? Guests will not care much about the script that is used when a guest services staff member answers the phone, but they will care about how quickly that same phone call is answered and what tone of voice that staff member used. The point is, hotel guests will only talk about what directly affects them: factors such as service, engagement, attention to detail, and service recovery. Piece out the items that are directly related to guest satisfaction, and your quality assurance program will be much more efficient and effective.

5. Develop a Program that Will Grow With You

A third-party like Coyle with a wealth of industry experience will make sure your outcomes are actionable and create a program for you that will evolve as you do. The goal is to be able to assess, correct, and continue raising the bar at all times. This begins with superior data modeling to truly identify the trends that need correcting, and it takes a lot more than bar graphs. Tracking your departmental scores over time can lead to improved operations in your weakest areas. Benchmarking where you are is good, but knowing where to set the next goal–and doing so with credibility–is how organizations truly internalize the brand and grow.

6. Understand the Effects of Your New Program

Branding will bring about change as roles will be altered, and people will have to view their work behaviors differently. Change is often followed by resistance, and resistance can truly hurt a company’s morale. People’s reaction to change is often categorized by eight distinctive phases: stability, immobilization, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, testing, and finally, acceptance. (Conner,1998; Cheng & Petrovic-Lazarevic, 2005b). Make sure your staff sees the bigger picture, and allow input.  The most successful programs we administer are constantly tweaked and modified.  Management input creates ownership, and ownership creates a desire for long-term success.

Coyle helps assure quality and maintain unique brand strategies for over 200 hospitality companies worldwide. If you would like to learn more about Coyle’s services, please visit our website, contact us online, or call us at 212-629-2083 ext. 106.

© 2024 Coyle Hospitality Group. Reproduction of any material without written authorization is strictly prohibited.

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