Service quality in hotels: United Kingdom comes last in Europe but Sheffield redeems some of the loss

    150 150 Daniel Fountain
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    British politeness is renowned and recognised throughout the world. However even in the hotels the staff do not score highly in comparison with their European colleagues in respect of friendliness and willingness to be of help. This is demonstrated by an analysis conducted by the international booking portal HOTEL INFO of the reviews given by their more than six million customers. Some cities however are able to rescue the British reputation.In a Japanese hotel a new feature from July will be a robot who will welcome the guests at reception. It does remain questionable whether this automated concept will be widely accepted. Hoteliers have realised that a friendly smile is more effective than a thousand words – and often means that minor complaints are forgotten by the guests. Thus a friendly and competent staff has become one of the most important criteria in evaluating a hotel.

    Finland is the European version of Japan, Germany and Austria also achieved top evaluations.

    In Europe Finland is the land of smiles – at least in the hospitality industry. The Finnish staff are much appreciated by their hotel guests and came out top with 8.62 points out of a possible 10.0. German and Autrian hotels followed close behind with 8.59 points and 8.57 points respectively. Generally the friendliness and competence of hotel staff throughout Europe is evaluated as good and very good. Ralf Priemer, Managing Director at HOTEL INFO, is not surprised: “For many years now we have observed a considerable increase in positive evaluations in respect of the quality of service.” This satisfying increase is almost certainly due to the current high level of transparency in the tourism market. By using booking portals such as HOTEL INFO travellers can not only evaluate hotels themselves but can make use of the many previous evaluations made by guests.

    At the bottom of the table for Europe are Denmark (7.98), Russia and the United Kingdom, both with a score of 7.92. Despite the fact that these countries are at the bottom of the table their hotels are nonetheless evaluated relatively positively by their guests. However if the traveller is expecting the legendary British politeness the actual result is less than satisfactory.

    In keeping with this, London is in last place amongst the European capital cities with only 7.73 points. The leader by a big margin is Budapest (8.58 points).

    Some cities are able to save the good reputation of British politeness. In a comparison of the largest cities in the United Kingdom particularly the hotel personnel in Sheffield (8.62) score well for friendliness and willingness to assist their guests. Leeds (8.41) was voted into second place by the customers. Up to the 7th place – Glasgow with 8.18 points – all the evaluations are very positive. However the two largest cities do not exactly shine in respect of the quality of their service. Coventry (7.38) was even worse than London (7.73) and Birmingham (7.66) in respect of friendliness. It is possible that some guests here would even welcome the first hotel run by robots.

    Daniel Fountain / 29.03.2015

    Editor, Hotel Designs


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