|How closely do AAA 4 and 5 Diamond service standards match
the expectations of your guests? Are there any inconsistencies?
In my opinion, AAA has done a very creditable job of identifying the
services expected at 4 and 5 Diamond lodgings. While I do not agree
with all of them now, and did not agree with all of them when I helped
create the AAA Diamond Ratings Guidelines, I do believe the service
standards generally represent guests’ expectations. Over time, the
AAA standards have kept pace with a rapidly changing industry. Both
service and physical expectations have risen over time, and will no doubt
continue to do so.
Are there any AAA standards that are of little or no importance to guests? Some hotel employees will tell you that the use of guests’ names is more important to AAA and other rating organizations than it is to guests. I believe this is based on subjective anecdotal information and is sometimes used as an excuse for not using guests’surnames. Guest research data indicates that name usage is important to guests, and has become a hallmark of superior personalized guest service at most world- class hotels.
There may be some AAA service standards that are not of paramount importance to all your guests; there may be some you think are not practical or applicable to your operation. However, the standards used today are generally relevant to most properties.
Often the application of a particular standard will be more important for one type of property than another. For example, in a property catering to the business traveler, the availability of a separate data-port line or even high-speed Internet access in the guest rooms is expected, while in a facility catering to the leisure traveler, separate data-ports are not as important.
As guest expectations grow and evolve in light of the changing personal and cultural preferences of today’s travelers, so too will the AAA Diamond Rating Standards. The key to success, as it has always been, is keeping up with the pace of ever-changing industry standards.
The rapidly growing number of female business travelers has also put new demands on the hotel industry. Is your property living up to their expectations? AAA requirements may not yet reflect these needs, but that does not lessen the degree of guest expectation. Anticipating guest needs, and therefore, future AAA requirements is what distinguishes superior service from merely adequate service.
Harry Nobles Hospitality Consulting
|Also See:||Are Your Guests Better Informed Than Your Staff? / April 2001|
|Are U.S. Hotels Rated Differently From Other North American Hotels? / April 2001|
|The Design Theme - AAA / Mobil Ratings Connection / March 2001|
|Attitude Can Make the Difference / January 2001|
|How Should Casino-Hotels be Rated? / Dec 2000|
|Does AAA Rate Resorts Fairly? / Nov 2000|
|Is Your Property Suffering From Design Deficiency? / Nov 2000|
|The Future of AAA Ratings / September 2000|
|What Is Your Optimum AAA Rating / August 2000|
|If You Disagree With Your AAA Rating…../ June 2000|
|Are AAA Ratings Always Accurate and Objective / May 2000|
|Creating Atmosphere / Jan 2000|
|What is "Atmosphere"? / December 1999|
|Maintaining Your AAA Rating / Nov 1999|
|Earning a AAA Rating vs Maintaining a AAA Rating: Which Is More Difficult? / Oct 1999|
|Can Outstanding Service Offset Hotel Physical Deficiencies in the Rating Systems? / Harry Nobles / June 1999|
|Consistency: The Hallmark of a Fine Hotel / September 1999|
|Who Should Train Your Employees / Aug 2000|
|Mobil Travel Guide Announces 1998 Mobil Four-and Five-Star Award Winners / Jan 1998|
|Key to Success: Training + Follow-Up / June 2000|
|The Legend of the Pineapple / Harry Nobles / Feb 1999|