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Case Study – Four Seasons Hotel Essay

 Four Seasons Hotel 1. What has made Four Seasons so successful over the last 30 years? What is integral to the Four Seasons experience? The Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts is considered as one of the world’s leading luxury hotels due to its consistent high-quality management and exceptional service. The high-caliber of professionalism and the managerial focus on consumer accommodations provide the assets of a popular resort capable of attaining returning customers while attracting new customers on a regular basis.

In the following essay, an account of how these two elements work together to bring a high-satisfaction ratings from a diverse range of clients. In terms of diversity, the Four Seasons is constantly trying to accommodate all socioeconomic and ethnic factions of potential clientele. Cultural diversity is one of the key competitive advantages that leads Four Seasons to succeed in bringing new clients to its flourishing business. Four Seasons provides excellent customer service through the 24-hour-a-day, 7-days-a-week availability of staff and services.

In an effort to appeal to a variety of cultures, interior design has a multicultural focus. According to David Richey, president of Richey International, “from a design perspective [Four Seasons is] much more clever than other companies. When you sit in the Four Seasons in Bali, you feel that you are in Bali” (Hallowell et al, 2003). It successful business endeavor because it provides the elements that appeal strongly to leisure/luxury travelers. As a result, the cultural diversity that the Four Seasons hotels provide would be a large attractor of clientele from all regions.

In addition to the multiethnic outreach, the Four Seasons enlists a number of unique services to accommodate its clients and ensure customer satisfaction. There are three ways to explore how the services are so special that customers develop loyalty and preference for this hotel chain over any competitor. First and foremost, Four Seasons provides the standard accommodations, such as maid service, message delivery service, and top-quality meals for breakfast and dinner. Beyond this fundamental services, the Four Seasons has also implemented personal, individualized attention to each consumer need.

These effective strategies are the essence behind each satisfied customer. After all, good impressions are brought out and customers are happy to come for the service again. The Four Seasons has its own service standards that help staffs to build a better relationship with customers. In general, there are 270 worldwide operating standards and seven culture standards that employees have to keep in mind in order to meet and often exceed the guests’ expectations. These standards are also allowed local flexibility in the event that staff members must go beyond protocol to meet the needs of the guests.

This administrative allowance for change facilitates the individualized care that derives a high rate of returning clients and attraction to newcomers. The collaborative efforts of the employees is another source of success for the Four Seasons resorts. Corporate and field managers likened the employee relationships to those of family. The employees love their company and engage in their duties passionately. In addition, because a quarter of the employees’ bonuses are based on customer feedback, there is a monetary incentive to quality professionalism.

Together, these aspects of the company generate the success observed for over 30 years. 2. How did the Four Seasons enter the French market? What were the good and bad points of the entry strategy? Explain your answer. Although Four Seasons has been regarded as the world’s famous luxury hotel with great hospitality service, it still faces challenges in its endeavor to branch out into the French market. Therefore, in order to deal with these difficulties and stand out itself from the others, the Four Seasons has proposed three main types of strategies in hopes of being success in French.

First, Four Seasons has designed a specific approach to cultural transformation of the existing staffing. As younger people can more easily get used to the new rules and environment than elderly people, Four Seasons would hire them and train them until each employee develops skills and attitudes that uniquely accommodate the French clientele. Soon, individuals with a better skill and attitude are promoted, forming a new type of working environment. The decision of recruiting Le Calvez to be the Four Seasons hotel’s general manager is the second strategy entering to the French market.

The choice of picking a suitable senior manager is critical because “the hotel’s culture is embodied in the general manager” (Hallowell et al, 2003). Spending 25 years outside France and 11 years at The Pierre in New York, Calvez has much experience that he could successfully handle the heavy workload of the hotel openings (Ibid). Under his influences, not only the Four Seasons’ cohesive strength could be enhanced, but also the employees’ effectiveness could further raised. Additionally, due to his wide range of knowledge about France, he could train the employees to provide the best services to the specification of the guests.

As a result, hiring Le Calvez is the other strategy that leads to success. The third strategy is recruiting the suitable people who match the Four Seasons’ requirements. In the selection process, each applicant has to be interviewed four times before reaching the decision. The reason behind is that Four Seasons wants to know the in-depth personalities of the applicants. Because Four Seasons needs employees to adapt various standards of the company and requests from guests all over the world, the positive and right attitude is needed in order to fulfill its expectations.

Therefore, with a strict recruiting process, Four Seasons could finally hire the suitable people and nurture them to become good service providers, enlarging the guests’ greatest satisfaction. While looking at these three entry strategies to the French market, they are actually pretty convincing because it is all aimed at differentiating their services from the others. For the specific approach to the cultural transformation of Four Seasons, it is a long term investment by means of learning from French culture and applying it to acclimating the guests.

Specifically, it is the way that Four Seasons used to nurture their staffs in order to specialize their product, which is the outstanding personal service, to customers. For the decision of recruiting Le Calvez as the general manager, it actually helps the internal and external part of the hospitality management to become more sensible, enhancing the cohesive strength of the company and employee’s effectiveness. For the strict recruiting process, it also guaranteed the quality of the employees with regard to their attitude towards company policies and willing efforts to meet customers’ expectations.

Therefore, these entry strategies are all helpful to Four Seasons Hotel to position and characterize its brand in France. These benefits that ensure customer satisfaction are costly. In order to offer a high quality of service to the customers, it always takes time and money to recruit and train the employees to be able to strengthen the business’s reputation for high-quality hospitality. Recruiting capable leaders to manage the hotels require even more financing. Therefore, it will be a potential risk to spend such large amount of money on a single project.

As the hospitality service in France is almost saturated, the risk of failure in such a competitive market is much higher than the other countries. For the Four Seasons to succeed in France, more research should be made in order to further understand the current labor needs, customer expectations, and competitor situations. Works Cited Hallowell, Roger, David Bowen, and Carin-Isabel Knoop. “Four Seasons Goes to Paris: ’52 Properties, 24 Countries, 1 Philosophy’. ” Harvard Business School (2003): 1-14. Web. 7 Jun 2010.


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