Hospitality and the Service Industry

The term ‘hospitality’ refers to a broad category of segments or sectors within the service industry pertaining to different commercial aspects like cruise liners, event planning, lodging and hotels, restaurants, theme parks, transportation etc. The economics of the hospitality industry is directly proportionate to people’s ‘disposable incomes’ and available periods of ‘leisure time’.

Units within the industry

A broad hospitality unit has several sub-groups or division units like direct operations management, facility management, human resources, project management, sales & marketing management etc.

The single most important concept that is shared across all segments of the hospitality industry is ‘customer service’. The level of success of a business is determined by how it (the operational staff) is geared to serve others (customers). The focus of a hospitality industry may be any one of many or multiples of service sectors. Although managing the economics i.e. the challenges of income and expenditure is crucial to the success of a business, the accomplishment of rising up to the challenges of ‘customer service’ will dictate how the business can hope to progress.

Elements of hospitality involving customer service

One of the largest elements or the single most important of all elements in the hospitality sector is Food & Beverage (F&B). The F&B trade can function independently in the form of bars, catering establishments, eateries, pubs and restaurants, or as part of other service businesses such as the entertainment segment that includes bowling alleys, casinos, game parlors and movie houses. When the F&B outlet is a part of a larger hotel & lodging outfit, it enhances the chances of offering top-class customer service and providing an overall experience to the customer or guest.

The next segment will be the Accommodations area, either Bed & Breakfast (B&B) places or lodging places that represent a large chunk of the hospitality industry. This area covers any place that provides accommodation from camping sites to wayside motels, high-end hotels & holiday resorts to luxury deluxe properties. The focus of providing lodging integrating attentive customer service along with comfort and efficiency is at the heart of a business service that is customer-oriented. More than the monetary aspect, most travelers value basic amenities that are provided with cleanliness, efficiency and caring and the more satisfied people using hotels, restaurants, bars, etc., the more the business can be successful.

Another prime sector of the hospitality industry is to do with transportation and travel – from airlines to cruises to train travel, domestic to individual countries as well as global. This particular segment, as the others too, requires considerable knowledge and experience in customer service as well as modern trends in travel and transportation that define the services provided to customers in terms of efficiency, safety and enjoyment.

Winning in the Financial Services Industry is a Lot Like Making the Money in the First Place

In turbulent economic times, working in the financial services industry can be quite challenging. Even when recovery is on the way investors are sketchy, fearful and almost hostile towards anyone in the industry. Although it’s not easy to win during such a global economic crisis as a financial services professional, it is possible, let me explain:

You know money is a lot like winning. If you don’t care about it, you’ll never have any. Any money. Or any wins. If you are a financial services consultant or sell financial products you might wish to make a note of it. If the financial company you work is having difficulties in this market, it can become a catch-22 if you do not do it right.

For instance, you need to make money to live well, but if you sell people financial products that are not appropriate you’ll lose your way for violating your integrity. Thus, you have to think of it this way; You must make money, by making other people money, or make money by saving people money.

Therefore you are doing a valuable service for them, and thus, YOU deserve the money you make. And if you are successful in your services to help them make money, you will get referrals and have no trouble asking for referrals, because? Well, because you have earned them and YOU deserve the money you’ve made.

Many financial firms have quotas, and since that type of sales is a numbers game you have to obviously focus on the number of folks you get in front of and talk to. I suppose they already told you that you need to see X amount of people a day, week, month, to meet your goals.

All goals should be broken into sub-goals and you must treat the sub-goals as important as the main-bigger goal. Always remembering “service first” in other words YOU resolve to help people make money or keep more of the money they make.

Maybe to help you in this dilemma, set your goals to how much money you saved or helped grow for other people and set that goal in the millions of dollars per week or month? Whatever number that should correspond to your firms goals.

If you find you cannot make people money, say due to the economic situation, consider how much you saved them from losing now, and as the economic factors shift how much money you grew their portfolio, investment (s), etc. If you find a better way to make them more money on their money or grow their nest egg with a different firm, then quit and work for the better company.

This will give you a strong personal conviction in what you are doing. You must have PURPOSE to win, (participation without purpose is not noble, it’s just busy work) a reason and one which matches your personal character.

If you had a low personal character or integrity value, then you’d need to go take care of that prior to focusing on making money, otherwise you will set yourself adrift towards a dead end. Think of it like Niagara Falls, it’s important to know it’s there, just don’t go over it.

Why The Financial Service Industry’s ‘Arbitration Boom’ Is Here To Stay

Arbitration has been gaining ground as the preferred method of dispute resolution in the financial services sector for years now and there is very little reason to think this trend will change. With the ongoing turmoil with government-funded programs such as Social Security, the continuing abandonment of old-style pensions and the resulting sharper focus on retirement and wealth-building, the financial services industry is itself experiencing a boom. The higher volume of clients and the larger volume of monies being managed inevitably brings a higher number of complaints and conflicts. The Financial Service Industry has found arbitration to be a superior choice to litigation for the same reasons as small business and individuals, and as a result arbitration is set to become even more common in the future.

The Benefits of Arbitration

The Financial Service Industry has found arbitration to be a better choice for three basic reasons:

Arbitration is Faster.

A recent international study has found that the average length of a civil trial is two and half years, while the average length of cases decided via arbitration is just 8.6 months. While there will always be exceptions to the rule, in general arbitration will always be a faster and more efficient solution.

Arbitration is More Affordable.

In part due to the speed of the process and in part due to the streamlined nature of the process – excluding much of the legal sparring that is involved in a lawsuit) – arbitration has less costs associated with the process than litigation. No matter what the actual costs of the arbitration process (the arbitrator’s fee, lawyers’ fees, room rental, etc.) the speed of resolution always results in real savings.

Arbitration is Friendlier.

The key word in ‘Financial Service’ is service. The industry has customers and clients, and as such has a stake in maintaining an amicable environment. Arbitration gives a sense of control to both parties and focuses on mutually satisfactory solutions to conflicts.

These three reasons point to a growing use of arbitration in the financial service industry. A final consideration is the cluttered state of court calendars; the delays between filing a lawsuit and actually getting a court date continue to widen, and even when a proceeding is begun continuances can sometimes interrupt court dates for weeks or months. This can only exacerbate what is already a painfully slow process and drive even reluctant parties to consider the speed and efficiency of the arbitration process.

Break the Mold in the Service Industry – Create a Sense of Mission Which Drives the Company

The service industry is one where competition is high and fierce. Start-ups are fairly low in part because the majority of work is dependent upon the entrepreneur selling his or her skills. One major problem is that companies offering very similar or the exact same services often times are weakly differentiated when it comes to what they offer. They may state that their service is superior over their competition. What does this really mean? Having that as the separation between you and your competition will only make it harder to win the contract.

Companies that are recognized for their innovation, creativity, and passion are ones that have a sense of mission. It is not enough to just have a mission statement where you state your goal of the business. These days, you have to win people’s trust on a global scale. How do you do that? Find something that you and your company want to fight for. Whether it is to improve the environment, help the orangutans, or end starvation, your company must be driven through that sense of mission. By doing this, you set the company apart from the competition immediately. It is also clear why you are in business- and it is not just for the money.

A great example of this is Tesla Motors. They are a new auto-maker started in Silicon Valley. The company’s mission is to make exotic, super cars that have zero impact on the environment. They are out to prove that electric cars can be just as powerful, if not more powerful than their gasoline cousins. Through this sense of mission, people who want an alternative to gasoline vehicles and believe in helping the environment and understand the company’s stance on environmental issues. This creates a connection between the company and customer. As the company further markets their stance on the environment and how their products help it, people will start to believe more in the company and be more willing to purchase their products.