Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
Simon Hudson
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Hotels Getting Social to Compete With the Sharing Economy
  • The sharing economy is having a disruptive influence on the lodging sector, with evidence that Airbnb’s entry into some markets has had a quantifiable negative impact on local hotel revenues. Can hotels compete with this new phenomenon without compromising on price? I believe they can. Recent research suggests that the sharing economy appeals to consumers not just because of price, flexibility, and ease of use. Consumers are also attracted by social benefits; guests of Airbnb for example, enjoy interacting with their hosts in an ‘authentic’ setting, and even gain local connections with the host’s help. Read on...

Ben Jost
Yvonne Tocguigny
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Bridging the Branding Gap: From Millennials to Boomers
  • Is it possible for your hotel to attract millennials and boomers? Yes. It's a solid strategy. But building a brand, and generating the optimal messages for each group requires nuanced understanding of what each generation cares about and how they make decisions. The writing-duo of Yvonne Tocquigny, and her daughter, Laurel, tell hotel executives what they need to know to bridge the branding gap between generational age groups. Is it possible to build a hotel brand with appeal to both the millennial and the boomer generations? Where are the commonalities and the differences when it comes to brand loyalty in hotels? Theoretically, if you know where the points of intersection and differences lie, you can broaden the relevance of your brand and capture more market share. Read on...

Bonnie Knutson
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • What if Your Guest Had $86,400 Every Day to Spend at Your Hotel?
  • Unlike money, time isn’t fungible; no matter how long or hard we try, we can’t make any more of it. So while we might be able to reallocate our time, we can never increase our supply. That is why time is becoming such a luxury; why we value it so much. In fact, it may be the ultimate luxury. But while it may be a luxury for every one of your guests, different generations view it differently. It is a major differentiator. In this article, you’ll see how the three major consuming generations – Baby Boomers, GenXers, and Millennials – view time in their own way. Read on...

DJ  Vallauri
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Customer Service is the 'New Marketing'
  • As hoteliers, how do we define “customer service” and how does it play into our daily hotel operations? The answer leads us to wonder if customer service can be considered as a competitive advantage for hotel operators. In this article, I share my thoughts on how hospitality customer service can be leveraged to drive new and repeat business into a hotel. When you think customer service in hospitality one brand comes to mind that epitomizes the meaning of great customer service, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. They have successfully used customer service as a marketing differentiator within the hospitality luxury market place. Read on...

Roberta Nedry
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Global Warming: A Weather Proof Strategy for Hospitality and Service Success
  • There’s nothing like warmth, when it comes to hospitality, that blanket of welcome that surrounds a guest or customer when caring and proactive efforts cause greater comfort to happen while making frigid moments forgotten. As guests contemplate their seasonal choices for leisure and business travel in the new year, global warming may be a genuine environmental concern but global warming takes on new meaning when through the eyes of hospitality and a meaningful service emphasis. In this case, warming the hearts of guests and customers is a weather proof strategy for all seasons in the arena of Guest Experience Management. Read on...

Chris Campbell
Judith Jackson
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Extra Sensory Hospitality to Capture and Keep Your Guest
  • The race is on! How can you differentiate your hotel or resort from other attractive, well positioned and advertised properties? All you have to do is bet on the senses of sight, sound, smell, hearing, and touch to keep your property on the inside track. And if your guest offerings include a spa, that could be your sensory triple crown. Science has proven that the human limbic system, located deep in the middle brain, is the seat of memory, learning and emotion. Turn that on and your guest will never forget walking into your lobby and being seduced by the subtle fragrance of sandalwood. Let’s explore ways you can have your lobby, amenities, food and spa “kidnap” guests’ senses from the moment they step into your sensory haven…and, upon checkout, begin planning their return. Read on...

Bonnie Knutson
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • So, Just Who Leads Your Guest's Experience?
  • Today’s guests are more sophisticated, more experienced, and certainly more demanding than ever before. They expect the best overall experience, which is why the American Marketing Association revised its definition to: "Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large." While your promotional strategies make the brand promise, it is how you keep the promise – i.e. how you deliver – that matters most. With the proliferation of all things social media, how you deliver the experience is more important than ever before. No longer is it word-of-mouth, but it is now world-of-mouth. In this article, you will find out who should be the guest experience’s chief cheerleader in your hotel, and four critical metrics that you need to measure, monitor, and manage your hotel’s guest experience. Read on...

Benjamin Jost
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Journeys That Shape Customer Experience
  • As a whole, the travel industry has been clawing its way forward to improve customer experiences. Many hotels have experimented with implementing various digital platforms and adding personalized factors to their communication systems to facilitate these improvements. Taking a step back, however, we need to first understand “customer experience” before we can address challenges therein. Throwing technology at the problem may seem like a simple solution, but instead, it’s only adding complexity and muddying the waters when it comes to creating clear, and obvious paths to improvement. Read on...

Pamela Barnhill
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • How CanTraditional Hotels Compete with Airbnb and Other Rivals?
  • The ability to provide a rich selection of goods and services for potential customers has aided the rapid growth of peer-to-peer platforms. Airbnb, one of the most successful of these, defines itself as “a social website that connects people who have space to share with those who are looking for a place to stay." Because of its rapid growth and popularity since Airbnb’s launch in 2008, hotel industry leaders worldwide have been attempting to answer the Airbnb challenge. Read on...

Judith Jackson
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Hospitality to the Rescue
  • After the first stay, does your guest remember your property as “The Hotel Rescue”? Is your guest more refreshed when leaving than upon arrival? When you planned your guest facilities and services, were they designed to be genuinely unisex? Does everything in the room work – like thermostat, wall plugs and light bulbs? Is the clock set to the correct time? Is the television remote easily located? If the answer is yes, have you checked all of them lately? Read on...

Tema Frank
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • What Your Net Promoter Score Isn't Telling You
  • It’s easy to obsess about your Net Promoter Score (NPS). It’s simple to get and it’s a number your executives can grasp. But focusing too much on your NPS risks sending you off in the wrong directions. It can be misleading, and it doesn’t answer the all-important question of why people have given the score they have. Read on to find out the hidden downsides of the NPS, what it doesn’t tell you that you really need to know, how it can mislead you, and why sometimes it shouldn’t be your top customer experience improvement priority. Read on...

Benjamin Jost
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Building a Culture of Feedback and Turning Reviews into Insights
  • Every hotel manager has a fear that wakes him or her up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat. It isn’t a standard fear that most people have; hotel leaders aren’t in the throes of the dream where they showed up to a presentation naked. This particular fear has to do with the ink that’s being spilled on the internet. It’s the fear of a negative review on a major review site or social network. To put context around the world we live in today, there are more than 3 million hotel reviews written each week. That’s 18,000 reviews per hour. Needless to say, not all of them will be from guests who loved every moment of their stay. Read on...

Steven Ferry
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Emotional Engagement - A Mantra in Search of a Technology
  • Emotional engagement is one of those hot subjects that most have heard of but very few can actually define. What is it exactly? As with any subject, a keen observation of life in action followed by a logical analysis can shine light on the dark corners of our knowledge to bring clarity to our understanding, and, in order to be useful, a workable procedure for action that brings about desirable results. In the case of emotional engagement, it would be guests who are thrilled at the renewal or reinforcement of life and energy they experience when interacting with hotel staff. Of course, that would presuppose and require that the staff be passionate and full-of-life themselves, rather than uninspired and going through the motions. Read on...

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MARCH: Human Resources: Inspiring a Journey of Success

Cara Silletto

Ever wonder what planet your new hires are from? For most, it is called Millennialland. It is my homeland, and it is a whole different world than where Boomers and GenXers were born. So why are your younger workers from this strange land so hard to understand, manage and retain? Why is it that they lack the loyalty of those who came before them? Why do they need so much handholding in the workplace? And where does this tremendous sense of entitlement come from? Allow me to explain. Read on...

Nicole Price

You’re just being politically correct! In America, being politically correct has taken a new meaning and now has a negative connotation. But why? Definitions can help identify the reason. The definition of political correctness is “the avoidance, often considered as taken to extremes, of forms of expression or action that are perceived to exclude, marginalize, or insult groups of people who are socially discriminated against.” In simple terms, political correctness is going to the extreme to avoid insulting socially disadvantaged groups. What could be wrong with that? The issue is not them or the term, it’s us! Read on...

Kimberly Abel-Lanier

Engaging and retaining talented, trained workers is a critical component of success for any business in any sector. When employees are disengaged or turnover is high, organizations face challenges of subpar customer service, high costs, and human resource inefficiencies. Gallup estimates rampant disengagement among employees costs American businesses between $450 billion and $550 billion per year. High turnover also carries exorbitant costs to organizations, averaging approximately 1.5x an employee’s salary for replacement. In the hospitality sector, delivery of impactful customer experiences is strongly connected to employee engagement and satisfaction. Happy, engaged employees can make happy, loyal customers. Currently; however, the hospitality sector suffers higher than average employee turnover. Read on...

Michael Warech

So where will we find the next generation of leaders in the hospitality industry? Like their counterparts in other business sectors, this question remains top-of-mind for those responsible for finding, managing, and developing the talent needed to ensure the vitality of their organizations. While, arguably, not as glamorous as a new guest amenity or as important as a cost-saving innovation, there is nothing more critical than talent to succeed in an increasingly competitive and challenging global business environment. Leveraging the best strategies and tactics related to talent management, succession planning, workforce planning, training and leadership development are, quite possibly, a company’s most critical work. Read on...

Coming Up In The April Online Hotel Business Review




Feature Focus
Guest Service: The Personalized Experience
In the not-too-distant future, when guests arrive at a hotel, they will check themselves in using a kiosk in the lobby, by- passing a stop at the front desk. When they call room service to order food, it will be from a hotel mobile tablet, practically eliminating any contact with friendly service people. Though these inevitable developments will likely result in delivered to their door by a robot. When they visit a restaurant, their orders will be placed and the bill will be paid some staff reduction, there is a silver lining – all the remaining hotel staff can be laser-focused on providing guests with the best possible service available. And for most guests, that means being the beneficiary of a personalized experience from the hotel. According to a recent Yahoo survey, 78 percent of hotel guests expressed a desire for some kind of personalization. They are seeking services that not only make them feel welcomed, but valued, and cause them to feel good about themselves. Hotels must strive to establish an emotional bond with their guests, the kind of bond that creates guest loyalty and brings them back time and again. But providing personalized service is more than knowing your guests by name. It’s leaving a bottle of wine in the room of a couple celebrating their anniversary, or knowing which guest enjoys having a fresh cup of coffee brought to their room as part of a wake-up call. It’s the small, thoughtful, personal gestures that matter most and produce the greatest effect. 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.