This paper discusses the Radisson Hotels organization, its strategies to attract customers, and programs to retain their loyalty have also been mentioned. Radisson corporate organization was founded in the year 1938 by Curtis L. Carlson; this company was considered among the largest private companies of America and is known for its tremendous sales of $13.4 billion and $20 billion in the years 1996 and 1997 respectively. This organization acquired several businesses in 1998 including Radisson Hotels Worldwide, Friday’s American Bars, TGI Friday’s, Seven Seas Cruises, etc.; hence it was a diversified organizational company. Radisson Hotel was purchased by Carlson in the year 1968 in downtown Minneapolis. In the year 1998, this company was headed by Marilyn Carlson Nelson who was appointed as the CEO and is therefore regarded and considered among the dynamic women executives worldwide.
Sage and O Hanlon strongly believed that they should focus on serving the customers keeping in mind the quality of the services rather than focusing on the growth of the company. In March 1998, they came up with five strategies that would assist them in the growth of the company, increasing the customer flow and tactics to retain them.
To name the five strategies:
- Focus on the customer.
- Provide individualized marketing and services.
- Hotel development in the key locations.
- Leverage the advantage of Carlson Companies.
- Strengthen global brand presence.
To support these strategies some programs were introduced by Stage and O Hanlon. These programs encompassed some of the fundamental principles which would be successful in the operations and analysis of the hotel. They initiated programs to satisfy the customers acquiring their best quality product and services, systems that would keep a record of the customers’ information, programs to measure and evaluate both customers’ and employee satisfaction, acknowledgment of the guests with the provision of rewards and certain incentives and authentic hospitality programs.
Implementation of Radisson’s Service Guarantee
Two programs, namely, “Yes I Can” and “Second Effort Program” were already followed by Radisson Hotel, however Geurs in introduced Service Guarantee Program. She came across this idea after researching the administration of Hampton Inns and Embassy Suites. She realized that the customers who lodged complaints were also the ones who were most loyal. It was quite difficult to decide as to how the Service Guarantee program would affect the hotel’s allowances. The company, therefore, decided to divide the program into two steps; the company would attempt to fix the customers’ problems before they pay for their rooms. Hence the proposed guarantee stated: ‘If you are having a problem, please inform us and we’ll fix it or you would not have to pay for the services.’ After this program had been put into practice, Radisson management decided to survey 30 various Radisson hotels with the variance of their market segmentation and locality. The basic purpose of this study was to analyze the before and after effects that occurred as a result of the Service Guarantee. This was done with the help of the comment cards that were filled by the customers. They would measure if the customer is willing to return to the hotel and avail of its services, the percentage of advocates, defectors, and the problems faced by the customers.
To implement this program the employees should be given proper training so that they can understand its importance. The information related to the service guarantee should be provided to the general managers on daily basis. The hotel management should be fully aware of the concept of the service guarantee. The directors of the different districts should be given proper teaching and training so that they can train their subordinates in return.
Role of Information Technology in Accelerating the Drive to Improve Service Quality
To improve the service quality, information technology was used and with the help of this, the management of Radisson Hotel came up with three strategies, namely:
- Product distribution System
- The Customer KARE System
- Harmony Property Management System
Product distribution System
This system enabled Radisson to provide services to their customers through electronic commerce and a toll-free number that was available in 125 countries. This made it convenient for the customers, staff of the hotel as well as travel agents to make their reservations through a phone call.
The Customer KARE System
The Customer KARE (knowledge and relationship enabling) System had three uses. They are:
It was useful for the marketing department in the way that they used this system to observe and direct the trends of marketing campaigns.
The service profile of the customers could be viewed. This helped the management to cater to their problems in a much better way yet maintaining their privacy.
Through this database, the efficiency of the Reservation Service could be accelerated according to the needs and convenience of the customers.
Harmony Property Management System
This system provided the hotel management with authentic critical and statistical knowledge about the operations of the company in a diversified manner. This assisted the general management in evaluating the productivity of the staff, the pattern in which the sales were carried out, the rate of employee turnover, etc. (Khosrowpour, 1999).
Measures to Improve Customer and Employee Satisfaction
One of the most efficient and instant ways to measure customer satisfaction is through comment cards. Through this method, the management was able to analyze the customer’s willingness to return, the percent of advocates, defectors, and complaints. This method proved to be nonefficient at times therefore it was decided to hire a firm that could randomly collect data from the customer regarding their satisfaction and vice versa. Moreover, to improve the loyalty and satisfaction standard of the customers, flyer programs for several airlines were distributed and Gold Bond Stamps were disseminated in various stores, service guarantee programs were practiced, online reservation system, etc.
There is a very strong link between customer and employee satisfaction. The employees are unable to provide loyal services to eh customers in case their needs are not fulfilled. To ensure employee satisfaction, they are provided with incentives and the company makes sure that a comfortable and stress-free environment is maintained so that the employees enjoy their job.
Commitment to Service Quality through Franchise Organization
The customers can’t reach the Radisson management directly, to deal with this issue, franchises are designed and brought into operation. The customer flow is decreased through this and hence quality is maintained. However, it is very important to invest in the franchises as far as training and financial status are concerned since they are the representative of the organization. The franchisees should be given proper training and education on the operations that they are supposed to perform so that they can perform well and maintain the level of customer satisfaction. A constant check and balance should be practiced so that the quality of the services remains intact. (Bradach, 1998)
Alignment of Goals
A new brand strategy involves a lot of effort and the support of every member of the organization is it the management team, hotel workers, owners, corporate management, and corporate staff. Initially, the management team of the organization is brought into confidence and informed about the brand strategies, and their suggestions are taken into consideration and their queries are answered. The hotel workers are then informed about how their working style would be altered and aligned with the recent strategy. The owners are informed about the discrepancies of the previous brand and they are updated about the improvement and new strategies and operations of the new brand. The corporate management is required to update their systems and data processors according to the new brand strategies. In short everybody from top to low level is informed and proper training is required to make the strategies successful and move forward and enhance the growth.
Radisson Hotels endeavors to provide the best services to their customers and for that, they have outlined some strategies and programs are designed accordingly to support them. Programs such as ‘Yes I Can’ and ‘Second Effort Program’ has been designed to attend to the problems and complaints of the customers and cater to them accordingly. A service guarantee is a program that ensures the customers that the organization will attempt to resolve their issues and in case it is not able to do, the company would pay. With the help of information technology and e-commerce, certain programs such as online reservation, Customer KARE System, harmony system, etc was established so that the customers could be satisfied at the expense of the convenience of the employees. The importance of the alignment of the various sectors with a new brand strategy has also been discussed.
To enhance the operations, efficiency, and growth of the organization, it is vital to maintain a check and balance system on a daily basis to ensure the quality management and working of the philosophies and outlines on which the company relies.
Bradach. L.J. (1998) ‘Franchise Organizations’ Harvard Business Press.
Khosrowpour. M. (1999). ‘Managing Information Technology Resources in Organizations’. Idea Group.