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Quality service makes happy guests and staff

The importance of locating problems before customers find them is something that Lincoln Davis, director of quality management, InterContinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong, tells his staff time and again.

“Quality of service is very important in the hotel business. Customers pay a lot of money to stay at a hotel. They expect everything to work and we have to deliver a service that is up to their expectations,” says Davis.

When Davis was working as a duty manager he received a lot of complaints from customers. He came to believe that many could be avoided if hotel staff themselves had checked things beforehand.

“I supervise a quality team which consists of staff from every department of the hotel. Staff from various departments will check each other’s work. For example, food and beverage will check on whether the housekeeping of the rooms is up to standard before customers come in to stay,” he says.

The introduction of quality management prompted questions from staff at first, but the results show it is worth the effort. “Now we have fewer complaints. Customers are happy. Staff handle fewer complaints so they too feel happy. It’s a win-win situation,” Davis says.

With more than 20 years’ experience in hotel management in various destinations, Davis is familiar with the operation of every department in the hotel, making him the perfect person for the job.

“A huge part of quality management is setting a standard for staff to follow, so I have to know the problems that staff from different departments are facing to teach them how to get the job done. Training is a big part of my job. I work closely with every department in the hotel to advise staff on how to do a better job,” Davis says.

Staff commitment is also a key element in providing quality service. “I treat employees the same way I treat guests. Both are just as important. I believe nobody comes in and wants to do a bad job. Do not criticise staff when things go wrong, focus instead on helping them to improve. Treat them well and they will treat customers well,” he says.

Quality is a road with no end and Davis is always striving to do better. “A lot of patience is required because results don’t come easily and things don’t get better in one day. My goal is to make the hotel better by having happy staff and happy guests.”