In Hospitality, Customer Service is Everyone’s Responsibility

Posted by Brian Lee in Marketing, Public relations |


In a survey by American Express, 7 in 10 Americans said they were willing to spend more with companies they believe provide excellent customer service. This is especially important for hotels, B&Bs and resorts. It is the responsibility of every employee–from the front desk to housekeeping–to provide a high-quality, memorable experience for each and every guest.

Following are a few keys to hospitality success.


Creating a customer-first culture starts with training. Make your hospitality standards a key part of new-employee onboarding.

Employees should learn your hotel’s mission and values. Your internal communications–for example, email, Intranet or department meetings–should regularly reinforce these points. A maintenance worker directing a guest to a pool or a bartender providing sightseeing recommendations goes a long way.

Senior staff members need to lead by example, according to HotelRED General Manager Jason Ilstrup, a past Wisconsin Hotel and Lodging Association Innkeeper of the Year whose hotel in Madison, Wis., has earned numerous Trip Advisor Certificates of Excellence.

“I’m out on the floor, working in all departments, and great customer service becomes contagious,” Ilstrup said. “I’m trying to demonstrate that we’re all on the same team and doing this together. Our mentality is that we’re here for the guests.”


Contrary to popular belief, customer loyalty is not built through great customer service, according to a study by the Customer Contact Council. Instead, customer loyalty is built by “reducing (the guest’s) effort—the work they must do to get their problem solved.”

That’s why Ilstrup empowers his staff to solve issues as they arise.

“We train the staff to have the right frame right of mind, and then we never question their decisions,” Ilstrup said.

As a result of great customer service, Ilstrup said the main benefit for his hotel is not only referrals or favorable reviews, but also the “positive attitude the staff has all the time.” And that, in turn, benefits the guests, too.


You also should establish an employee recognition program. Staff members always appreciate being noticed for going above and beyond. This is not an employee-of-the-month award; rather, it’s calling out “wins.” Your program will hopefully lead to increased productivity and high morale.

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