Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
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...

Jana Love
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • The Four Levels of Service Awareness
  • If you are in hospitality, you already understand the value of what The Ritz-Carlton calls, “surprise and delight,” and other companies call, “the wow factor.” Countless hours of training have been delivered explaining that “wowing” a customer is about exceeding expectations in small and large ways. But what is often overlooked as companies push harder and harder to get to the “wow” are two fundamentals: hiring and supporting employees who have what I call “optimal service awareness,” and truly understanding their customers collectively and individually. If we focus here first, all our other efforts will more naturally fall into place. Read on...

Naomi Stark
Simon Hudson
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • How do You Improve Hospitality in Your Town?
  • When guest satisfaction scores started to slip in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, the town made an unprecedented move by offering customer service training to every single resident in town. The program, initially involving four four-hour sessions over the space of a month, taught the very latest in customer service culture using many Disney examples of ‘going the extra mile.’ This article takes a closer look at this initiative and focuses on how service providers in Steamboat both benefited from, and built on this initiative to exceed guest expectations. Read on...

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JUNE: Sales & Marketing: Who Owns the Guest?

Emanuel Baudart

Social media opens the doors to conversations about experiences – good or bad. Twitter gives hotel guests the option to air their grievances while Instagram gives them the bragging rights on their best days. Customers are giving out their feedback and it’s up to the industry to take it seriously in how hotels engage with their guests. A guest’s social media is an opportunity for hotels to work better and more efficiently to target and enhance the guest experience. Coupling the data that guests give through social media with the data we have from years of growing AccorHotels, we are focusing on using the right tools to best access the guest. At AccorHotels, we are moving away from the transactional model of hospitality and focusing on building relationships through social engagement and bolstering the benefits of our loyalty program. In order to do both, we’ve invested in building better tools for our hotels to succeed on the promise of hospitality – great service, attention and comfort. Read on...

Wendy Blaney

In a world where almost everything is done digitally, it is important to remember how impactful a two-way conversation can be for consumers interested in booking travel. There is no denying that it has become easier and easier to plan trips online, and purchase products almost instantly – yet there are still many customers who want the personal touch and assurance that they truly understand what it is that they are buying. They want someone to provide direction, answer questions, and give them “insider” information. This is especially true for a dynamic destination like Atlantis where there are an abundance of options. Our guests aren’t just interested in a resort, they are seeking a coveted, catered experience. Read on...

Mustafa Menekse

Though it seems that online travel agencies have been a part of the hotel booking landscape for eons, the reality is that just 25 years ago, brick and mortar travel agencies were the norm. Travelers would visit an agency for trip planning advice, printed brochures, and to speak with actual travel agents to assist in booking airfare, hotel accommodations and rental cars. Travel agencies had the knowledge and information about the destination and, of course, the tools and connections to book hotels and flights to begin with. The support these agencies provided put traveler’s minds at ease, especially for international trips. This was the foundation of why OTAs are in existence. Read on...

Scott Weiler

A guest of a hotel or chain books with an OTA. Terrific for everyone, right? The OTA is grateful for the transaction, and hopes to get a nice share of that customer’s travel bookings for years to come. The hotel is happy to get a (let’s say) first time guest. Sure, they paid a commission for that booking, but the GM and their team is ready to do their stuff. Which is to say – deliver a great stay experience. Now what? Now it’s a battle of the marketers! Read on...

Coming Up In The July Online Hotel Business Review




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Feature Focus
Hotel Spa: Measuring the Results
As the Hotel Spa and Wellness Movement continues to flourish, spa operations are seeking new and innovative ways to expand their menu of services to attract even more people to their facilities, and to and measure the results of spa treatments. Whether it’s spa, fitness, wellness meet guest expectations. Among new developments, there seems to be a growing emphasis on science to define or beauty services, guests are becoming increasingly careful about what they ingest, inhale or put on their skin, and they are requesting scientific data on the treatments they receive. They are open to exploring the benefits of alternative therapies – like brain fitness exercises, electro-magnetic treatments, and chromotherapy – but only if they have been validated scientifically. Similarly, some spas are integrating select medical services and procedures into their operations, continuing the convergence of hotel spas with the medical world. Parents are also increasingly concerned about the health and well-being of their children and are willing to devote time and money to overcome their poor diets, constant stress, and hours spent hunched over computer, tablet and smartphone screens. Parents are investing in wellness-centric family vacations; yoga and massage for kids; mindfulness and meditation classes; and healthy, locally sourced, organic food. For hotel spas, this trend represents a significant area for future growth. Other trends include the proliferation of Wellness Festivals which celebrate health and well-being, and position hotel spas front and center. The July issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these trends and developments and examine how hotel spas are integrating them into their operations.