If a man drives a Caterpillar on a beach in front of a Caribbean resort and no one is around, does anyone hear it? The answer is quite likely a “yes.” Even if no one is on the beach, people in their rooms notice the sound and sight of a big machine not typically captured in Caribbean vacation advertisements.
On our second day at Morritt’s in the Grand Cayman, my husband and I witnessed a Caterpillar dodge through tourists on the beach on a beautiful Sunday. The driver clearly had some business to do on the property, but seemed more concerned about his construction assignment than the people on the beach. And when he finished his work, much to the surprise of the tourists, he rumbled out down the beach instead of the parking lot.
The Caterpillar scattered sand a few feet away from people soaking up the sun, interrupting their peaceful afternoon, and causing some of them to flee their chaise lounges for safer ground.
If Morritt’s Resort were ISO 9001 certified, something like this shouldn’t have happened. Managers committed to customer satisfaction have provisions in place to monitor customer experiences taking place on their property. They also have established processes to help ensure customers concerns are taken care of promptly and appropriately.
Not only did the hotel have a disconnect between management and the maintenance crew, they also had a disconnect between the front desk and housekeeping staff. My husband and I discovered this through our pillow request. The first few days of our stay at Morritt’s, we made numerous calls to the front desk requesting more pillows, but never received them.
Finally we decided that we’d try talking directly with someone in housekeeping and we got some extra pillows within the hour. Most travelers expect to call the front desk if they need some toothpaste or extra blankets. It’s an unwritten “standard” in the hotel industry. After we made repeated calls and nothing happened, we began to wonder if they cared about their customers.
When a customer expectation is not met, this is, in ISO language, a “nonconformity.” I don’t believe Morritt’s has a record of the pillow or Caterpillar nonconformities we experienced here. Although there are numerous wonderful things about this resort, I wouldn’t come back a second time, and I wouldn’t go out of my way to refer anyone. From the evidence I witnessed during my stay, they’re not fully committed to continuous improvement or customer satisfaction and this is a deal-breaker in my book.
Ibis, an ISO 9001 certified hotel, is serious about customer satisfaction. Check out their 15 minute problem resolution policy. This type of policy fosters employee commitment to excellence which is key to building customer loyalty. It also provides a means for sharing common issues and documented best practices among their hotels throughout the world.
If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of ISO 9001 certification for your hotel, contact Dr Lorraine. Once you establish a culture of continuous improvement, your hotel will flourish in unexpected ways.