Service Design – 5 Star Resorts and Hotels

swimming pool near ocean photo

What makes an experience 5-star? Whether a product, service, or experience you must know your end clients – and not just hear what they are saying but understand how they want to feel. 5-star hotels and resorts have this down. We can learn from them and apply some of the same methods/principles to many different industries and organizations.

For hotels and resorts, it usually starts with the quantity and quality (or type) of amenities offered. In today’s world, service is important but understanding the type or level of service people want and how they want it delivered is even more vital. I was at a resort recently and noticed that a positive experience wasn’t necessarily defined by only the speed of service, but also by how friendly staff were, the guest to employee ratio, and the amount of space available for guests. There are many other factors that also play into creating a 5-star experience, but these ones are a great start and can be applied across industries.

Internal Culture Factors
How friendly employees were

A certain tone is set when employees are friendly and look like they’re in good spirits. It puts clients in a good mood or maintains their already positive mood. Employee attitude is part of the culture of an organization. In this resort example, the culture and having happy, engaged employees directly impacted how guests viewed the business and the quality of the service that they were receiving from the time they arrived. Simple things that are combined to showcase a culture of happiness impact customer experience and perception.

The number of employees per guest
The employee to guest ratio was high. If you need something, folks are around to help. They all have their own tasks but are willing to help fellow staff. There was a lot of collaboration and a general feeling of pride for the resort across the staff that I encountered. It was interesting to see a lifeguard throwing away garbage he had noticed on the ground in an area away from the pool or beach. This is part of the employee culture, but also set the tone for happiness all around.

External Factors
The amount of space available for guests
The final factor that positively impacted my resort experience was the amount of space available at the resort and in the rooms. I was amazed at how much space was available for guests – from the number of tables at restaurant areas to the number and spacing of beach chairs. It felt really comfortable and relaxed and that is exactly why people go away on vacation – to relax. When compared to other resorts where there is a lot more closeness of proximity this resort felt open and free. The rooms were rather spacious as well – not that much time was spent in them – we were only half-joking when we said we hoped it rained while we were there so we could spend more time in the rooms which is unheard of for me to say.

Think about what the types of services your clients want/value and what the feelings they want to feel are, as they work with you or your organization. What type of service are they willing to pay for? For us, it was the ability to have a quiet peaceful time in a relaxed atmosphere with strong service levels.

Tying it All Together
The distinguishing factors for the type of service you want to create changes based on your clientele and the level of service you want to provide. Think about applying the same thing to your business, decide what types and level of service you want to provide, ask yourself what would make the ideal environment for the type of clientele you’re going after and build your products or services from there.