In the hotel industry there’s what’s called “standardisation” which helps regulate accommodation. Many within the serviced apartment sector want the same thing for their partners. Clarendon Serviced Apartments welcomes the idea as it is a vital step enabling the serviced apartment sector to truly and remodel hospitality for millions of travellers.
Put yourself in the shoes, or fingertips, of your customer for a moment. Choosing accommodation online is difficult and poses a challenge. While providers can offer virtual tours, images and video as well as reviews from previous guests there is little to replace the one on one, face to face experience of staying at an accommodation. Transparency is vital but for much of the serviced accommodation industry their reputation is harmed by a minority of poor performers who offer sub-standard accommodation.
This is why many customers repeat book. They trust in accommodation they have stayed at before or rely on what they see as the impartiality of third party endorsement, be it by “independent” online reviewers or colleagues and friends. Clarendon benefits from a lot of repeat custom amongst our business travellers and this is why we ensure that each guest has an excellent stay and wants to return to one of our serviced apartments for an extended stay in London.
Yet, potentially, there is an easy win the industry is missing. Standardisation, similar to what the hotel industry is governed by would ensure every serviced apartment provider meets a set of standards. Last year The Apartment Service called for the measure saying a standardisation of service levels and industry practice would help to address corporate and agency concerns. Now the call has been backed by leading figures with the industry, and Clarendon Serviced Apartments is one of them.
Serviced apartments have been steadily growing in popularity with a successful 2013 reported by many providers and a positive 2014 on the cards. Yet there is the potential of a ceiling, that some travellers may not trust what they will get with a serviced apartment and will instead opt for a well-known hotel chain instead, confident they know what to expect. Despite the many serviced apartment providers who work hard to offer an excellent, varied and customer-centric service, the fact that there are some who do not could potentially damage the rest of the industry. Standardisation would ensure these providers who fail to meet a minimum standard would not be able to operate and continue damaging the good work done by everyone else.
It would also be a clear and successful way of communicating, as an industry, what travellers can expect from a serviced apartment. Instead of the customer feeling like it is pot luck when they search for accommodation online; instead they can search for an industry standard, a gold badge, which would help them choose the accommodation that is right for them.
With 360 degree apartment virtual tours, transparent customer reviews online as well as pictures and detailed descriptions of apartments and a commitment to excellent customer service, Clarendon is proud to offer a wide selection of extended stay accommodation at our sites across London. Standardisation is intended to celebrate both those doing a great job as well as eliminating providers who don’t. At the end of the day the move would be welcomed by customers, who are at the heart of everything we do.