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Mystery Shopper programme finds warmth is critical to customer loyalty

30 June 2010 by
Mystery Shopper programme finds warmth is critical to customer loyalty

Warmth and hospitality is key to customer loyalty, but the UK's hotels and caterers are better at dealing handling processes and systems, claims the National Skills Academy for Hospitality](http://www.excellencefound.co.uk).

Nevertheless, the 1,000-plus hospitality firms that have been surveyed by its new Mystery Shopper [Hospitality Benchmark](http://www.hospitalitybenchmark.com) programme over the past year achieved an average performance of 74 out of 100.

Fifteen businesses scored an impressive 100% in customer satisfaction (see the listing below) while 69 scored 95% or more in the survey, which covered fast-food outlets, Michelin-starred restaurants, hotels and pubs.

- British Hospitality Association awardsthat were announced yesterday.

Hospitality firms that attracted lower scores lost points on warmth and hospitality.

"What the top performers have in common is warmth and personality allied with excellent systems and processes that evidently translates into their customer loyalty and willingness to recommend scores," said David McHattie, chief executive at the academy.

Key findings of the programme included:

•All sectors and regions scored better on skills-based questions than personality-based questions
•Staff failed to take the opportunity to create a positive example in 60% of visits that revealed a problem
•A member of staff did something over and above expectations on 36% of visits
•Restaurants with hosts performed best
•Brands performed no better than other players and faced a challenge of consistency - one brand's scores ranged from 13% to 91%.

The Hospitality Benchmark costs £195 for three visits. More details can be found on the academy's website.

Businesses scoring 100%

Kings Lodge, Kings Langley, Hertfordshire
Hunters restaurant, Kings Langley, Hertfordshire
Baytree Restaurant, Melbourne, Derbyshire
Oriental Gourmet, Carshalton, Surrey
Blostins, Shepton Mallet, Somerset
Waitrose, Marlborough, Wiltshire
Maison Blanc, Farnham, Surrey
Maison Blanc, Guildford, Surrey
Bush Nook Hotel, Gilsland, Cumbria
The Manse, Eastbourne, East Sussex
Travelodge, Leatherhead, Surrey
Toppers, Bury St Edmunds, West Suffolk
Aladdin Balti, Northampton
McDonald's Drive Thru, East Grinstead, East Sussex
Jamie Oliver's Fifteen, Islington, London

[Hospitality guests demand both value and quality, finds research >>](http://www.caterersearch.com/Articles/2010/01/28/331966/hospitality-guests-demand-both-value-and-quality-finds-research.htm)

[Mystery shoppers - the secret service >>](http://www.caterersearch.com/Articles/2010/01/15/331729/mystery-shoppers-the-secret-service.htm)

[Good customer service more important than price in restaurants >>](http://www.caterersearch.com/Articles/2009/03/02/326463/Good-customer-service-more-important-than-price-in-restaurants.htm)

By Angela Frewin

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