Your CSI Part 1

Nancy Anderson
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We know the drill from the TV shows. Something has happened – usually bad – and the crime scene investigation unit swings into action. If you’re in Vegas, its Grisom, Katherine and Company; down in Miami its Horatio and his team. They arrive and analyze all the evidence and, by the end of the show, have discovered the culprit, taken them into custody and restored justice for all.

In the hospitality industry, CSI stands for “customer service index”. You may not have the CSI exactly by that name, but odds are there is something similar in play going on in your hotel. Like the criminal CSI, the hotel’s CSI gathers data, analyzes it, and seeks to restore order, not for justice, but for profit.

The CSI breaks down into three basic areas, sometimes four. They are:

The Front Desk – Did everything go smoothly when the guest checked-in and –out? When there was a guest need, did the representatives respond quickly and professionally to make things right?

Housekeeping – What was the condition of the room? Was everything clean; were there enough towels?

Maintenance/Facilities – Did everything from TV to toilet, air conditioner to bathtub drain work as it was suppose? Were the building and grounds attractive and inviting?

Restaurant (if you have one) – How was the food … the service … the ambiance?

The guest is given a survey or comment card and is asked to rank each of these areas. The results are tabulated and a score is given for each area. From this, an overall score is generated. Some CSI are kept in-house for a chain or management group so that individual hotels can compare themselves to others in the specified group. The CSI can also be handled by a company servicing other hotels/restaurants in the area. This allows one hotel to compare itself to those around it.

And what if you do not subscribe or have a CSI service? You had better believe that someone is rating the service given. Look in on the internet; Google your hotel/restaurant and read the reviews and comments that have been posted (you should do this, even if you do have a CSI system in place). Interestingly, impromptu postings are sometimes more helpful. Whereas a guest might be content to simply circle a “5” on a survey, online they will get more specific: “The eggs were cold and runny and the waitress wouldn’t crack a smile if her life depended on it!”

So, the CSI has gathered the evidence. What will you do with it? Tune in next week for the conclusion.

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(Note: We apologize for publishing part 2 of this series prior to part 1. If you missed it:

By: Joe Fairchild

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