Due to the inexorable modern tendency to treat service as a product, it is necessary to abandon the old idea of understanding service as a delegated function. It is necessary to recognize the fact that to maintain high quality, the service must be administered, directed. The concept of Administrator de Servicios delivers the solution to that challenge. It is a systematic and structured method for to plan, organize and control the development and way of providing hotel services. It is also a weapon that can be used to achieve business success.
La Administrator The Service is an extension of Jan Carlzon's concept of Moments of Truth from SAS (Scandinavian Airline Systems). Carlzon used this concept as the basis for training all support and service personnel, to indoctrinate him towards customer orientation and provide friendly service.
In Carlzon's own words: "A moment of truth is every moment in which a client makes contact with the person or system that provides the service." It indicated that each of these moments offered an opportunity either to improve the perception that the client has of the service offered, or to destroy it ”.
Carlzon liked to repeat: “We have 50,000 Moments of Truth every day, and it is the responsibility of each of us at SAS to make those moments of truth work in our favor."
The same applies to any industry or service company.
Every time an organization acts for the customer, the customer makes a conscious or unconscious assessment of the quality of the service. The total of these perceptions and the collective perception of all customers, creates the image of the quality of service provided. The only way to get "high marks" on the customer questionnaire cards is to properly manage the moments of truth.
In the particular case of the Hotel Industry, which is a total service industry, I have always been impressed that managers and employees do not know the amount of "moments of truth" that occur in their hotels.
For example, when I was in Santa Cruz, Bolivia at the Los Taijibos Hotel with 180 rooms, with an average annual occupation of 75%, we reached 2,082 moments of truth per day, or 760,000 moments of truth in twelve months.
In San José, Costa Rica, at the 300-room Hotel Irazú, we found that 3,360 moments of truth were produced per day (1,226,692 per year). At the Hotel Tamarindo on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, with 70 rooms and an occupancy rate of 96%, we found that 2,150 moments of truth were given daily, or 260,150 moments of truth in four months of the high season.
Once the "moments of truth" that occur in the company have been determined, Management cannot afford to ignore them and must take the necessary measures to drive or properly and intelligently manage those encounters between customers y front line employees.
La Administrator of the Service, emanates from the Concept of Moments of Truth. To illustrate what we are saying, we will use Karl Albrecht's Service Triangle that shows the key elements of the Administrator of the Service, and the interrelation of the same.
At the top of the triangle is the Service Strategy, which is determined by the enunciation of Service Standards and the Description of Functions of the Service Personnel. Service standards and job descriptions play a huge role in the employee performance evaluation process.
The right side of the triangle represents the people who provide the services. This includes frontline employees, secondary staff who may or may not have customer contact, and managerial staff, who oversee the entire service operation.
An optimal service organization motivates, trains and helps those service personnel to stay alert and meet customer needs. Effective front-line staff are able to focus their attention on the client, adapting to the client's situation, their frame of reference and their needs. This leads to a level of response and attention that helps the client determine in their mind that the service is of superior quality.
The left part of the triangle graphs the system that allows staff to provide customer service. This system must be customer friendly. This service delivery system that supports staff must be tailored to serve the customer and not the organization. The physical facilities, policies, procedures, methods, service standards, computer system (including points of sale) and the communication system must say loud and clear to the client: "this system is here to fit your needs. "
Finally the triangle shows the most important factor in the model: the client. It is for the client that all other factors exist. All of them constitute the complete customer service experience.
What we really experience here at Administrator of the Service is the flattening of the Pyramid suggested by Carlzon: “Any organization trying to establish a customer orientation and create a climate that achieves customer perception and satisfaction should flatten the pyramid to empower frontline staff.".
This means removing hierarchical lines of responsibility to efficiently respond to customer needs.
Management, in this model, is turned from the Executive Office to the operational level, where each one must be trained to manage their own situation. When the problem arises, each employee should have the necessary authority to determine what is the appropriate action and take responsibility for the action to be taken.
Before this can be successfully executed, the top level of the old pyramid must understand that their roles have changed greatly. They are now leaders doing what is necessary for staff to take strategic operational.
The work must be managed from the top down, with an extensive program aimed at achieving the goals of the company. The Middle Managers must divide these goals into smaller and more specific objectives that can be accomplished by front-line personnel. At this stage the role of the middle management is transformed from administration to support. These managers must convert the overall strategy into practical guides, and mobilize resources so that front-line staff can achieve the goals.
This requires good planning, and a good deal of creativity and administrative resources. This requires well-trained and capable professional personnel who master their functions and tasks. In addition to becoming truly customer-oriented and friendly, employees must be trained to listen to the customer, and to be aware of the customer's needs and expectations.