Hotel Business Review: Week of Mar 30, 2015

David Hogan
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Just Once More: The Evolving World of Customer Loyalty Programs
  • Research shows that loyal customers spend more, serve as ambassadors for their preferred brands and are less likely to be drawn to a competitor’s promotion. Loyalty and rewards programs are ways for both business owners and customers to get what they want while building a connection more intimate than a simple transaction. Successful customer loyalty programs build upon the concept of a dynamic mutually beneficial relationship. And now, as consumers are seeking custom-tailored experiences, technology is empowering business owners to provide robust, personalized loyalty programs that lead to guests coming back. Read on...

Bernard Ellis
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Extending the Value of CRM Investment
  • According to Gartner, the customer relationship management (CRM) market is projected to increase to $36.5 billion by 2017. Businesses across all industries are looking to improve customer interactions through technology, but this is particularly critical for hoteliers who are losing ownership of customer relationships to online travel agencies (OTAs) that are outspending them on CRM technology and marketing. CRM applications have the ability to enable real-time connections between hospitality companies and their customers, and benefits are only compounded when solutions are integrated with advanced platforms for revenue management, mobility and business intelligence. Read on...

Christopher  Bolger
Ken Hutcheson
  • Maintenance
  • Creating a Lively Landscape on a Budget
  • Hotel executives must make tough budget decisions every day. When funds are limited, it’s tempting to limit expenditures on a hotel’s exterior landscape. But this is a mistake—a beautiful landscape can bring more guests (and, consequently, more revenue) through the door. If you’re working with a limited budget, follow these best practices to make sure that you see a positive return on your landscaping investment. Read on...

MARCH: Hotel Human Resources 2015: Recruiting and Retaining the Best Employees

Steve Curtin

Business as usual produces the usual results: average quality delivered by uninspired employees. There are far too many companies known for providing ordinary customer service - or worse. And there are far too many employees who are content to simply execute the mandatory job functions for which they are paid, unaware of the myriad opportunities missed to delight customers. But for those companies that refuse to accept an unremarkable reputation by default and, instead, take steps to define and communicate their purpose and foster a corporate culture that inspires employees to deliver their best work, Read on...

Shayne  Paddock

It's engagement season! How is your hotel or brand driving customer loyalty and striving for that long-lasting relationship? If you want travelers to opt-in and engage with your digital marketing effort, they need to be wooed. Wooing, however, takes time and it takes finesse. More importantly, it takes precision in knowing just the right thing to say and when to say it. In "Engaging with Customers Beyond their Stays," Shayne Paddock, CIO of ZDirect, details the importance of using Hotel Marketing Automation to build customer trust and a desire for two-way communication. Read on...

Joe Stanton

It is estimated that only 48% of travelers write and post travel reviews online. But since a hotel’s online review scores contribute to everything from occupancy to RevPAR (revenue per available room) to profits, encouraging the remaining 52% of casual visitors to become social advocates for the brand is of critical importance. Luring these guests to action requires changes to both a hotel’s operations and its marketing campaigns. While the specific recommendations made in this article may seem time-consuming, the results gained from improved social review scores make the investment well worth it for motivated hotel operators. Read on...

Tom O'Rourke

This article discusses how hotel mobile apps can help create guest loyalty and retention by creating unique experiences and providing great utility that makes the property stand out from the competition. Ultimately, the idea is that a hotel app can be used as a competitive advantage and convince the guest to book at that property the next time they need accommodations. Read on...

Coming Up In The April Online Hotel Business Review


Feature Focus
Guest Service: Customer Service is a Key Business Differentiator
In today's hyper-competitive, hyper-connected global marketplace, customer experience has assumed a major role as a key business differentiator. There is a growing understanding that competition based on products or price alone is no longer a viable strategy. Since feature or function advantages can be quickly duplicated and/or enhanced, product innovation is no longer the differentiator it once was. And competition based on price impairs profitability. On the other hand, research indicates that 86 percent of consumers said they would be willing to pay more for a better customer experience. To protect both market share and margins, hotel companies must provide customers with consistent, compelling experiences - before, during, and after their purchases - across all major channels. There are many things organizations can do to deliver a superior customer experience. Management must align everything a company does with the customer service experience in mind. They must assign high value to anticipation of customers' real needs and desires, and they must incentivize and reward personal initiative in the pursuit of customer satisfaction. They must respond quickly to customer requests. They must ensure that customer interactions are highly personalized, and they must deliver the right information to the right place at the right time. And perhaps most importantly, upper management must create a culture where customer service is valued and esteemed, taught and rewarded. Customer experience leaders who can drive this kind of cultural change will radically affect their companies? competitive position and business performance. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.