Big thank you to staff

This week I received many calls from friends and industry colleagues congratulating us at Divi Southwinds the our achievement of our Hospitality Assured Certification. I would like to express my thanks for your kind words and support. I also want to thank the Caribbean Tourism Organisation for its leadership in service and business excellence especially during these challenging times.

To the many readers of this weekly column you may be wondering what is Hospitality Assured, here’s some information. In her address during the presentation of award ceremony on Monday, Bonita Morgan, Director of Regional Human Resources Development for CTO, reiterated that Hospitality Assured was created by the Institute of Hospitality (UK) specifically for the tourism and hospitality sector. CTO owns the licence to operate the programme within the region.

The Hospitality Assured certification for the Caribbean encourages businesses to look at their own operation from the customer’s perspective and to see where improvements should be made to benefit the business. This is done by looking at how businesses score against the criteria in the 10-step standards.

When we started this process just over a year ago, we had our questions, doubts and fears. After all, there are so many recommendations for success that making the decision as to which one to choose could be confusing. In response to our many questions, we were happy with the explanation that The Hospitality Assured certification can help to:

* Improve quality standards on a continuous basis

* Increase customer satisfaction and loyalty

* Improve staff morale

* Reduce staff turnover

* Increase market share

* Enhance your marketability and generate great public relations

* Develop service ideals, values and principles that support a culture of excellence.

The Quality Map includes: service recovery, customer promise, operational planning customer satisfaction improvement, customer research, standard of performance, service delivery, service recovery, business planning resources and training & development. These key steps focus on customers, the organisation and its employees. Within these 10 steps are 49 key indicators, which represent the minimum standards for service and business excellence. The steps and indicators help an organisation to measure the effectiveness of its internal processes in meeting and satisfying its internal and external customers’ needs.

Achieving the certification would never have been possible without the efforts of every member of staff and today I say thanks to them once again, with the reminder that getting the certification is not the end but a new beginning. Succeeding in business in this highly competitive age means it is no longer enough to be good, you have to be excellent.

* Tourism is our business, let’s play our part.

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