Hilton Customer Service Case Study

The ‘Understanding Travel and Tourism’ case study provides useful background information about Hilton Hotels. The first three sections of this case study are based on two presentations on the theme of ‘Reach Beyond’ given to employees of Hilton Hotels UK and Ireland as part of a major staff training programme. Benefits of Good Customer Service Guests tend to leave or defect from Hilton because:

they become dissatisfied or

a competitor is thought to be better or because a guest simply doesn’t care (in every market there are people who just don’t care about brand choice) or
the guest has no choice e. g. the location is not right for the traveller or, for business travellers, because company policy is to use another hotel chain.

What satisfies guests? Every guest is different, however research by Hilton Hotels has identified some ‘drivers’ that influence whether a guest is satisfied with the stay or not. Drivers of Guest Satisfaction – UK Relative Impact on Overall Satisfaction [pic] The Importance of Loyalty

Guest survey research by Hilton suggests that in a typical year only 5% of existing customers remain loyal, however loyal customers tend to spend more and they account for 10% of revenue. Loyalty is important because satisfied and loyal guests:

will make an effort to do business with Hilton
give 80% or more of their business to Hilton
ignore competitive offers, advertising and discounts
tend to be willing to accept higher pricing structures
remain with Hilton 8-10 times longer than unloyal guests
are worth 100 times more than unloyal guests, in the long term

It is worth noting that the importance of loyal guests is recognised by most travel and tourism organisations, and many often carry out promotions aimed directly at repeat customers. One way Hilton Hotels rewards loyalty and encourages repeat bookings is through the Hilton HHonors membership scheme, through which customers can receive points and other benefits. The more a customer uses Hilton Hotels, the bigger the rewards. Handling Complaints If no action is taken following a complaint, 52% of guests making a complaint are likely NOT to return.

Once a complaint has been handled satisfactorily, 94% of customers making a complaint will return. This is almost the same percentage of customers likely to return when there is no problem and no complaint. This slide gives more detail about Hilton Hotels’ findings from research into the handling of problems and complaints. How may I help you? [pic]Source: VisualMedia Online ICT and Customer Service Hilton Hotels uses ICT in many ways. Just a few examples are: Hilton Hotels’ e-learning training programme that can be accessed by all staff members

the use of powerful software programmes for analysing the results of research into customer satisfaction levels
providing excellent ICT amenities for business travellers
making it easier to book the Hilton brand by improvements to websites and computerised reservations systems, and ‘fair deal’ agreements with external booking agencies.

In 2002/3 Hilton developed a local language website for Hilton International in the UK – www. hilton.co.uk.

The re-designed site featured lots more information. It was localised to make sure the offers were relevant and attractive for UK customers. The details on each hotel are updated at the hotel, rather than centrally, as is common practice. This ensures that the customer is getting all the most up-to-date and relevant details about the hotel and its offers as soon as possible. As part of the successful launch, the website www. hiltongroup. com promoted the new-look website www. hilton. co. uk. This included some examples of different types of potential customer and how they would use the new website.

Below is the example of a customer travelling for leisure. Quality Here is a summary of the message to staff taking part in the Hilton ‘Reach Beyond’ training scheme: Importance of complaint handling No complaintComplaint (64%) (36%) Not reported Reported (8%) (28%) No actionAction Taken (8%) Not satisfied Satisfied (9%) (11%) Why is satisfaction important? Guest stays at HiltonNot satisfiedDefects to the competition Guest stays at HiltonSatisfiedVisits againBecomes loyal For further information about Hilton Hotels see: www. iltongroup. com or www. hilton. co. uk The Leisure Traveller “Whenever I go away I always stay in a Hilton,” says Rachel Martin “I love the fact that I always get the same high service standards no matter where I go in the world. ” Rachel, a public relations consultant and a keen traveller, has been visiting Hilton hotels for over 10 years, and has been to hotels all over the world, from the Middle East to Japan. “I’ve always wanted to book on the web, but I never felt comfortable with the old hilton. com site – it always felt too American, and a little impersonal. The new www. hilton. co. uk site, however, suits Rachel down to the ground. “All the special offers on the front page are priced in UK pounds, so I can directly see that I’m getting the best value I can from Hilton. I’ve also become aware of holiday packages I didn’t know about before. ” Rachel has just booked her 2003 summer holiday using the website “I’m looking forward to my next holiday – in the Hilton in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt – where I’m going to learn to dive, something I’ve always wanted to try, but didn’t even know Hilton offered until I used www. ilton. co. uk. ” 95%77%52%62% 94% Likelihood to return How can YOU influence satisfaction?

Top 5 factors that influence guest satisfaction:

Have a positive ‘can do’ attitude
Overall quality of room
Staff efficiency
Staff friendliness
Comfort of room Hilton Reach Beyond Consistent, Quality Customer Service delivers the Brand Promise and recruits and keeps LOYAL Guests

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