The challenge of measuring quality


The challenge of measuring quality

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At HGEM we understand that all our clients are unique, so we don't work on a one-size-fits-all basis. We discuss how we not only measure quality but manage it, through our detailed and personal approach.

Measuring quality is tough. At a basic level, any insight into the quality of guest experience relies on asking guests the right questions. This is trickier than it sounds. Questions need to be open enough to elicit revealing and useful personal responses and examples, but focused enough to give a clear sense of the overall quality and consistency of a hospitality operator’s guest experience. This is more than a tick-box exercise and should take account of the operator’s intent (their brand promise). This means measuring both guests’ emotional responses to the service they experience and the consistent delivery of standards central to the brand promise. Our insight also delves into the tough to pin-down qualities of guest experience: atmosphere, staff behaviour, sense of welcome.

“HGEM’s methodology takes account of the need to manage the guest experience, not just measure it,” says MD Steven Pike. “Instead of a one-size-fits-all solution, HGEM blends results from both guest feedback and detailed mystery guest reports. With every client, our team drills down to the signifiers of quality for each brand’s particular audience. The results highlight patterns and examples that act as a catalyst for conversations, decisions and actions. Working closely with our clients, we support a culture of continuous improvement, regularly reviewing the performance of questionnaires and reports in line with objectives.”

A good recent example of this comes via HGEM Client Support Manager, James Whitehouse: “Polpo moved to a perception-based questionnaire earlier in 2017. They were finding visit scores were consistently high as team members were hitting key steps in the brand guidelines, however the impact of this on the guest experience was not being measured. Since changing their questionnaire style, the Polpo team has received more varied feedback and are gaining insight into how the brand is perceived. This is far more valuable than a narrow focus that measures playbook compliance.”

And what about how ‘quality’ of guest experience measures up to your competitors? At HGEM, we benchmark venues both internally and externally against comparable sites, measuring KPIs including front of house team knowledge, cleanliness, warmth of staff, upselling, value for money and more. This is something we’re uniquely placed to do, with a wide range of clients in hospitality and a bank of knowledge that has built up over several years.

For example, just as trends in hotels show that guests expect a more relaxed, less rigid approach to service than they would have done twenty years ago, our feedback backs this up by highlighting the behaviours that do add real value. A HGEM poll asking guests to relate memorable ‘high quality’ guest experiences revealed that a feeling of authentic care and staff who go out of their way and think outside the box go a long way.

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