Guest Delight International (GDI) – Measuring Luxury
Does your property deliver on its brand promises? Do your employees engage with guests to deliver a truly sublime experience? Do you know if your hotel or resort delivers those experiences that you aspire to your guests at every moment in their journey?
This is where Guest Delight International (GDI) can step in and help you out. The Singapore based company’s core team of Luxury Hospitality Experience Masters have over 50 years of combined experience with hospitality’s most luxurious brands.
“There are different words for what we do,” says Gaurav Pachauri, President of Global Sales & Client Relations. “But essentially, it’s mystery shopping.” A client’s property is assessed by an unbiased third person who then reports findings to the company.
Armed with their pioneering ICON framework, GDI’s Experience Specialists assess properties, testing for gaps and weaknesses.
ICON acts as the compass for the evaluation of the guest experience. 1) I – Introspect and Innovate: GDI works with the leadership team to review the product and services standards and reframe the evaluation metrics for the guest experience. 2) C – Create and Conceptualize: In understanding the needs and requirements of the guests, GDI helps to evaluate which aspects of the standards are critically relevant to create a brand community. 3) O – Offer and Organize: Next, GDI evaluates the entire experience using the lens of guest perception, red-flagging any situation that requires immediate responses and identifying engaged, empowered employees who help build guest advocacy. 4) N – Navigate and Narrate: Finally, evaluation of the success ratio of the entire hotel / resort team in engaging the customer to create the brand experience. GDI then works with hotel manager to build strengths, address opportunities for improvement and transform the guest experience, enabling guest delight through consistency in standards and curated experiences.The Experience Specialists are GDI’s cornerstone and strength; they are hotel connoisseurs with an expert eye for detail. GDI uses three types. First, in-house experience specialists who are dedicated and extensively trained on their proprietary frameworks. They’re hired following a stringent process assuring that only the best are allowed entry. Next, representatives from the client’s guest demographics. These are freelancing specialists acclimatised to luxury brands, and they ensure greater geographical spread. Lastly, the Experience Masters. They are industry experts with decades of experience who can help overhaul existing benchmarks for clients.
These Experience Specialists don’t just audit a standard; they assess an experience. Thus GDI favours approaching a property from a guest’s perspective, rather than that of an auditor’s.
“What happens typically when there is an audit usually is that you get locked into a checklist mentality,” explains CEO Vida D’Souza. “You see whether things are in place, you check yes or no. But the actual experience of the guest is completely different.
“For example,” D’Souza continues, “when you dial room-service or the reception. under a compliance methodology, your call would be answered in three rings. Or if they’re too busy they’d apologise and put you on hold. And this could last from 30 seconds to two minutes. But that’s not what a guest is experiencing. He wants to get his story across and get some closure before he’s put on hold. Those minutes might well seem like hours to him. That’s where we come in. We’re not looking at things from an audit framework, from a statutory point of view. Rather, we’re evaluating the entire experience of the guest.”
“What we’re offering is an end-to-end assessment,” adds Pachauri. “This is different from social media or TripAdvisor-type reviews where a single bad experience can result in a negative review of the entire stay. We not only point out ‘moment-of-truth’ situations, but we review the entire service journey cycle from the beginning to end.”
The typical ‘mystery shopping’ evaluation begins from the point of reservations but GDI’s approach is different. “The guest is interacting with the brand from the time of the marketing campaign, from reading the promotions and viewing the website,” says D’Souza. “The guest then forms a sort of impression of the brand, what it promises, what its deliverables are and so forth. That’s something we include in our evaluation.”
GDI’s reporting is extensive and offers a high level of customisation for clients. Clients can also choose to get online or offline reports on their preferred devices. But their service does not end with the reporting. GDI partners with hotel General Managers to create action plans and allows the GM to track improvements, maximising time and priorities. They are essentially in the business of helping properties transform and take guest experiences to the next level.
With offices located in strategic hotspots around the world GDI ensures that it is always within reach. This is crucial as the company performs experience audits in over a hundred countries around the world.
Despite being a fresh face GDI has already made a name for itself in the world of hospitality. The company has worked with some of the most reputed brands in the business, including Marriott, Shangri-La, IHG and Radisson. Maldivian resorts, with their emphasis on top tier luxury and service, can also benefit from an alliance with the company. It can help surpass their own standards of excellence and take guest experiences to rarefied heights.