Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
Allison Ferguson
Pamela Whitby
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Is Personalization Travel's New Super Power?
  • For successful tech companies building a solid and loyal customer base is far less about trusting your gut than having the right data and testing and learning from it. Flattened company hierarchies are also seen as important in getting the best from teams and, as a result, building more successful customer relationships based on personal preferences. So in a turbulent and highly competitive market, should hotels should start thinking more like tech companies to take back control? Read on...

Benjamin Jost
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • A Platform Approach to Feedback
  • When does a hotel customer become a “guest”? Is it at the point where they book a reservation? The moment they walk through the doors into the lobby? Somewhere in between? Our team at TrustYou set out to identify the guest experience through the lens of guest communications, running a survey and observational study that encompassed nearly 1,000 participants. We identified the likes and dislikes of these guests. Along the way, we found some very interesting numbers relating to how travelers like to communicate with their hotel, and how these communication methods impact satisfaction levels. Read on...

Allison Ferguson
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • How Hotel Brands Can Democratize Loyalty to Win
  • As a frequent business traveler, I get clear value from my hotel loyalty program membership. My room is ready, I have check in and out flexibility, and usually free breakfast and wifi. I get points on the room spend (paid by someone else) that allows me to accumulate points for free nights, which I usually use for leisure. When traveling for a family vacation, however, the impact of my membership is less tangible. When I travel for business, the hotel loyalty program captures my interactions well and rewards me for my loyalty. When I travel for leisure, however, the program often does a poor job of capturing my total spend and delivering a differentiated experience. That’s because hotel loyalty programs are designed to build relationships with road warriors rather than vacationers. Read on...

Ben Jost
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • The Evolution of the Review
  • While it’s unlikely that Joseph and Mary left a scathing TripAdvisor review after being turned away at the Inn in Bethlehem, hotel reviews have been around, in various forms, since the first hotel opened its doors. As with many other human activities (relationships, journalism/information sharing, etc), “reviews” have become digital. And like those other activities, entire ecosystems have sprung up to support this new channel. Read on...

Scott Hale
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Intuitive Guest Service: A Whole New Level of Guest Expectation
  • Home sweet home. Your dog recognizes the sound of your car pulling in the drive and waits anxiously for you at the front door. Your thermostat knows the temperature that you expect the kitchen to be as you prepare dinner. Your stereo knows what playlist works best with tonight’s recipe. Your television has your preferred programming all cued up when you’re done with your meal. The list goes on. Home sweet home. What if you could make your guests’ next experience at your hotel just like home – but better? You can. Read on...

Roberta Nedry
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Take the Service Elevator to the Top Floor
  • United Airlines’ recent ‘episodes’ and other news headlines SHOUT the need for rereading the article below. Customer, Employee and Employer Emotions are all over the place. Leaders need to reassess and reassign priorities, especially on the behaviors essential to delivering respectful as well as exceptional service and experiences. Procedures are important but without proactive personal and perceptual attention, fiascos and unsatisfying results and emotions usually take place. This month Hotel Business Review focused on all aspects of Guest Service and Emerging Growth Markets in this constantly evolving arena. Read on...

Adele Gutman
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • How the Aria Hotel Budapest Became the Number One Hotel in the World
  • Before the first shovel was in the ground, we knew Aria Hotel Budapest would be an extraordinary hotel. For the Library Hotel Collection and our founder, Henry Kallan, creating a hotel that is beyond ordinary is everything. We think about each detail of the design and experience to create wow factors for our guests. These elements generate rave reviews, and rave reviews are the cornerstone of our marketing program. This is how we became the #1 Hotel in the World in the TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards. Read on...

Megan Wenzl
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Creating Customer Engagement in a Customer-Focused Company
  • A personalized guest experience is important in today’s hospitality industry. Guests can voice their opinion about a hotel in seconds because of the Internet, and their feedback is contained in sources like social media sites and online reviews. Potential guests read this information when they are looking for where to stay on their next summer vacation. Guests will post online reviews about their experiences. According to research by ReviewTrackers, 45 percent of hotel guests are likely to leave to a review after a negative experience, while 37.6 percent of hotel guests are likely to leave a review after a positive experience Read on...

Shayne Paddock
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Authentic Personalized Guest Engagement in an Automated World
  • In the past year I’ve traveled to New York City on several business trips usually staying at the same hotel every time. I did that in part to learn how the hotel would interact with me on each repeat stay. Would they treat me differently? Would they recognize me on my fourth stay? Would they remember my name? Each time the reservation staff warmly greeted me but always asked “Have you stayed with us before”. Upon arriving in my room there would always be a hand written letter from the GM welcoming me to the hotel. Read on...

Adrian Kurre
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Promoting the Value of Personal Interaction in the Hotel Digital Age
  • Today’s hotel guests have embraced the convenience of mobile and digital technology that facilitates everything from booking specific rooms online to checking in and using Digital Key on their smartphones. This proliferation of technology combined with excellent hospitality ensures that guests’ needs continue to be met or exceeded. At the end of the day, like we say at Hilton, we are a business of people serving people. The key is to offer guests the technological innovations they want – and some they haven’t even imagined yet – while utilizing these advances to automate basic transactions. This process allows our Team Members to focus more time on delivering exceptional experiences at every hotel to every guest. Read on...

Robert  Habeeb
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Quasi-Service Hotels Carving Out a New Niche
  • There are growing numbers of quasi-service hotels that are carving out a new niche between select-service and full-service properties. Select-service hotels have been a hot hotel industry segment for several years now. From new concepts to new developments, it has established itself as a clear front-runner in the hotel category horse race. That being said, a recent uptick in full service hotel development clearly shows that segment remains vibrant, as well. Read on...

Gary Isenberg
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • TripAdvisor Data: Not Just for Guests Anymore
  • By now, nearly every type of traveler prepping for a journey scans TripAdvisor for reviews of hotels in their destination city prior to securing a reservation. By perusing prior guest comments, consumers receive unfiltered and unbiased perceptions of specific properties. Travelers want to know before they book for instance if: Are the rooms clean? Is the service top-notch? Most importantly, does a hotel deliver value for the price? Read on...

Doug Kennedy
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Use New Technology to Deliver Authentic Hospitality
  • When I started my first hotel training company as a 20 something entrepreneur in 1989, many hoteliers were already anticipating that automation would soon take over most of the frontline jobs in the hotel industry. My original concept was to train the frontline colleagues who worked at the front desk, in reservations or PBX. When I reached to some of the brightest minds in the business for advice on my business plan, most told me these jobs would be the first to go, as even back then airlines were starting to push callers to automated phone systems to “press 1 for flight status,” and to print their boarding pass at a kiosk. Read on...

Mike Benjamin
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Using Technology to Deliver a Personalized Experience
  • Hotel data can be messy and confusing. Traditionally, capturing and utilizing hotel guest data for a personalized experience has been a challenging process for hoteliers. Reservations arrive in the property management system (PMS) from a variety of sources with varying degrees of completeness and quality. This info may not always be reliable which can lead to service liabilities. It is easy for this data to get disorganized, such as duplicate profiles, and often times many hoteliers have more data than they know what to do with. This can be tremendously frustrating, especially in an industry that sees high turnover and long training cycles. Read on...

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AUGUST: Food & Beverage: Multiplicity and Diversity are Key

Larry Steinberg

The foodservice industry is one of the oldest and most important. Consumers from all demographics rely on it virtually every day for sustenance. In fact, in the U.S. alone, it’s a nearly $800 billion industry that’s extremely competitive, with hundreds of new establishments popping up every year, and much of this new business is the result of increased consumer demand. Consumers want more options. For every practiced chef, there is a collective of guests eager to spend their hard-earned dollars on something exotic and different. They want to experience a bit of culture by way of their next meal, and they want to find it using the latest technology. Read on...

Frank Sanchez

About two years ago, I started my career at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile. I came from San Diego, California, the apparent capital of farmer’s markets. When I moved to Chicago in late-October, the number of farmer’s markets had already begun to taper off and all that was left of the hotel’s rooftop garden was the sad remnants of a summer full of bounty. However, I was in for a pleasant surprise. The Chicago Marriott Downtown operates a year-round experience to create food from scratch that gives customers fresh and nutritional options. I was thrilled to join a team that can tell a customer that the very greens on their plate were grown just floors above them. Read on...

Thomas  McKeown

To serve today’s eclectic, socially engaged and sophisticated guests, hotels and chefs need to get creative, change their thinking and push back some walls – sometimes literally. The fun thing about meetings hotels is that they are a different place just about every week. One week we’re hosting a bridge tournament, the next a corporate sales team, or a dentists’ conference, or sci-fi fans in costumes, or cheerleaders jumping for joy. You name the group, and our hotel has probably welcomed them. Read on...

Elizabeth  Blau

Over the past several years, many of us have watched with excitement and interest as the fast-casual restaurant segment has continued to boom. More and more, talented chefs with fine dining pedigrees are bringing their skills, creativity, and experience to concepts built around speed, approachability, and volume. Right now, the ability to offer a gourmet experience at all price points is as compelling to restaurateurs and diners alike. Read on...

Coming Up In The September Online Hotel Business Review




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Feature Focus
Hotel Group Meetings: Blue Skies Ahead
After a decade of sacrifice and struggle, it seems that hotels and meeting planners have every reason to be optimistic about the group meeting business going forward. By every industry benchmark and measure, 2017 is shaping up to be a record year, which means more meetings in more locations for more attendees. And though no one in the industry is complaining about this rosy outlook, the strong demand is increasing competition among meeting planners across the board – for the most desirable locations, for the best hotels, for the most creative experiences, for the most talented chefs, and for the best technology available. Because of this robust demand, hotels are in the driver’s seat and they are flexing their collective muscles. Even though over 100,000 new rooms were added last year, hotel rates are expected to rise by a minimum of 4.0%, and they are also charging fees on amenities that were often gratis in the past. In addition, hotels are offering shorter lead times on booking commitments, forcing planners to sign contracts earlier than in past years. Planners are having to work more quickly and to commit farther in advance to secure key properties. Planners are also having to meet increased attendee expectations. They no longer are content with a trade show and a few dinners; they want an experience. Planners need to find ways to create a meaningful experience to ensure that attendees walk away with an impactful memory. This kind of experiential learning can generate a deeper emotional connection, which can ultimately result in increased brand recognition, client retention, and incremental sales. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group business and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.