How Host Marriott Prides Them on Customer Service Essay

Pages: 5 (1415 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Business

HMS Host

Customer Service

Human Resources

When Host Marriott was acquired by the Italian hospitality company Autogrill, it was renamed HMS Host. The company's core business, however, remains in the provision of airport concessions in the United States and internationally. The firm competes with other institutional-level food providers such as Aramark in this industry. HMS Host currently operates in the food & beverage segment as well as the retail segment. They have operations in both airports and on motorways. The firm has contracts with most major airports in the United States. They offer some proprietary branded outlets and they also operate chain outlets such as Burger King and Starbucks in the airport facilities.

Customer Service. At the core of HMS Host's business is the ability to provide a range of food and beverage options to travelers. The company only needs to focus on logistics and cost reductions, but also on the provision of a high level of customer service. The market for airport contracts is competitive, and if HMS Host does not deliver a consistently high level of both food quality and customer service satisfaction, then it may lose critical contracts. The contracts are typically long-term in nature, so each one contributes to the long-term financial stability of the company. This paper will examine the customer service philosophy at HMS Host and will evaluate the tactics the company employs to deliver this level of service consistently.

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HMS Host has revenues of $2.7 billion and is home to 34,000 employees, dubbed associates by the firm. The firm's strategies for enhancing customer service are encapsulated in their Human Resources practices, their extensive experience in the industry and in their commitment to corporate social responsibility.

Essay on How Host Marriott Prides Them on Customer Service Assignment

The firm's extensive experience derives from its 112-year history. HMS Host began as part of the Marriott family of companies before it was spun off and eventually purchased by Autogrill. Autogrill itself is in the same industry, with a focus on Europe and modes of transportation relevant to that market, such as train stations. The combined experience of the two firms provides insight to management about the importance of customer service to success in the industry, and it provides insight into the practices and tactics that can help to deliver a high level of customer service.

According to HMS Host CEO Elie Maalouf, the customer experience is most significantly related to the interactions that customers have with the company's 34,000 associates (HMS Host website, 2010). The customer base is broad, and has specialized needs owing to its position as travelers, many of whom have strict time restrictions and specific service needs.

Human Resources. Some of this experience is reflected in the company's human resources practices. Job openings for HMS Host highlight the role of the associate as a customer service function. Listed under "essential functions" are "welcome all guests with a smile" and "follow HMSHost customer service standards" (Simply Hired, 2010). The company has codified all of its customer service standards. These codes are used as one basis for employee evaluation. This means that employees must adhere to the standards. The standards dictate forms of customer behavior, dispute resolution and outline the exact expectations with regards to customer service both in terms of inputs and outcomes.

All associates are subject to customer service standards as HMSHost. Enforcement of the standards has been formalized, and is conducted through direct managers. This creates a process whereby employees are subject to evaluation and feedback. The employees also have access to the standards to which they are expected to adhere, which allow them to reference issues that may be of concern. There is also direct oversight on the part of managers and shift managers, such that any concerns can be addressed and alleviated immediately.

HMSHost complements and reinforces its customer service standards by creating a culture that promotes strong customer service as a core organizational value. From the CEO down to the front-line employees, customer service is given a special place of emphasis in organizational communications and dialogue. Commitment to service therefore becomes a reinforcing feedback loop, where all employees hold each other accountable for upholding high standards of customer service. If such a culture did not exist, poor service could linger; in the presence of a strong customer… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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