Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
Janet  Gerhard
Tony Bridwell
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Creating World-Class Experiences That Lead to World-Class Reviews
  • In a world full of options, real-time media and people connected around the globe like never before, it’s no surprise that people are also sharing experiences and reviews like never before. But let’s not overlook the fact that people have always shared reviews with each other. In fact, if we went back to caveman days, we’re almost certain that they probably were telling each other what cave had the best rocks and why. The question is, how do you make sure people are talking about your rock? Read on...

Peter McAlpine
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Scientific Discoveries Show That Hotel Guest Experience SOPs are Obsolete
  • It is obvious from the proliferation of new brands and the desperation to find new technology to improve the guest experience that there is a growing feeling that the SOP (Standard Operating Procedures) approach to custom satisfaction has become unsatisfactory, and that now the big hotel groups are searching for a solution. Unfortunately the hotel industry as a whole seems to be unaware of how quantum science, religious traditions, ancient cultures, and heart energy research are all showing that their shareholder-oriented, guest experience concept is based on erroneous principles and thinking, and on an obsolete worldview. Ironically, the solution is closer than their life’s vein and implementing it is so simple and almost cost-free. Read on...

Steven Ferry
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • The Drive to Exceed One's Own Expectations
  • Four- and five-star hotels and resorts around the world number in the hundreds, catering to different markets/publics with different needs and wants. The imperative to make the guest experience so memorable that the guests become repeaters and ambassadors, occupancy runs dizzyingly high and word of mouth sizzles, is one that every new (or existing) General Manager/Managing Director faces; each has a vision, a style of management, a stable of successful actions, and erstwhile colleagues they trust to support their standards and whom they quickly bring in to precipitate success for owners, shareholders, management, staff, and guests alike. Read on...

Adrian Kurre
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Strategies to Improve and Enhance Customer Experience
  • When it comes to an exceptional customer experience, it’s not just what you offer, but how, when and why you offer it. Employed thoughtfully and effectively, efforts to drive customer service to new levels become infectious throughout a hotel organization, down to each individual property and team member. Easy to say, harder to execute. To stay on the forefront of providing the ultimate experience for business and leisure travelers takes continuous innovation. Integrating new technology, continuously improving team member training, and striving for targeted and personalized customer interactions remain essential to success now and going forward. Read on...

Sue Garwood
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Key Aspects to Building Excellent Customer Service
  • In the hotel industry, excellent service is vital, as customers’ expectations continue to evolve, raising the bar and setting a higher standard. These days, a smile, “please” and “thank you”, just doesn’t cut it. Customers want to have memorable experiences they can walk away with, which is why hotels are implementing new programs to improve and monitor clients’ satisfaction. A good program today should highlight not only the importance of customer care, but also for each employee. Below are key aspects to keep in mind in order to build an outstanding customer satisfaction program. Read on...

Naomi Stark
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • The Door of Opportunity Opens With a Smile
  • 8,600,000. That is the number of results Google returns in .39 seconds on the search, “how many studies on smiling are there?” Scientists have explored every aspect of smiling. Apparently, it even was used in predicting the life span of baseball players in 1952 – extending the life of those with “beaming smiles” seven years!. Wow. Research studies prove every which way that our brain, our emotions, our body, our children’s development, our stress level, blood pressure - you name it - just about everything is benefited by the all-powerful smile. Read on...

Jim Maguire
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Winning Guests Over with the WOW Factor
  • We know that guests always expect the absolute most from us. I would ask you before reading this article to think back to the last time you had a great customer service experience. I would bet it started with a warm and friendly smile that made you feel good. How we can win guests over with a service smile is quite simple in theory, not as easy to execute. It starts with a culture, a service smile, the positive actions that follow - I call this service the "Wow Factor" The "Wow" is all about how we make a guest feel when he/she is staying at the hotel. The end goal is to make your guests feel as though you went above and beyond to exceed their wants and needs. Read on...

Scott Hale
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Set a New Service Standard and Lose the Standard Operating Procedures
  • Do you really need all of those Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)? Are Standard Operating Procedures throttling your business growth, stifling your team’s development and diminishing your guest experience? We’ll explore these questions in the piece that follows. While this discussion doesn’t mandate that you cease and destroy all SOPs, it will equip you to elevate your business, team and guest experience by thinking twice about the standards that you’ve set. Most important, it will get you thinking that there could be better ones out there. Read on...

Sam Ross
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Happy Employees, Happy Guests From Boutique Properties to Major Resorts
  • Research shows that positive engagement with hotel employees has a major impact on guest satisfaction, creating a distinct set of challenges for properties of all sizes. Carlsbad, California, located along the Pacific Ocean coastline north of San Diego, is home to a range of accommodations, from boutique inns to some of Southern California’s most luxurious resorts. Where a larger hotel may benefit from best practices in training and hiring, an intimate property may be able to offer highly personalized service – how are hotels in Carlsbad responding to these challenges to ensure guest satisfaction? Read on...

R.J. Friedlander
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Using Guest Intelligence to Motivate and Empower Your Team
  • Hoteliers can gather endless amounts of data from analytical tools but the real challenge is knowing what to do with it. Today, savvy hoteliers are using Guest Intelligence to motivate each department and get the most out of individual teams to improve overall guest satisfaction and boost revenue. By creating a guest-centric culture, employees at hotels are empowered to make a difference. At the end of the day, your employees are representatives of your brand and those responsible for offering remarkable guest service. Read on...

Alexandra Sewell
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • High-Tech Meets High-Touch
  • A smiling face behind the check-in desk. Prompt and unobtrusive room service. Eager hands to help with luggage. A friendly greeting. “It’s my pleasure.” “You are quite welcome.” “Please, let me help.” These are just a few of the personal touches that define exceptional guest service. Human interactions are indeed the cornerstone of the guest service mission at most hotels. Get those human interactions right, and you have a satisfied and loyal guest who is likely to sing your praises to others. Get those human interactions wrong, and they can damage your reputation and your business. It’s often the negative voices that ring the loudest and get the most attention. Read on...

Kimberly Abel-Lanier
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Meaningful Work: The Act of Service
  • The American workforce is changing. By 2020, Millennials are predicted to represent 50 percent of the working population. In terms of attracting, retaining and motivating the best and the brightest in this group -- it's simply going to take more than a paycheck, good benefits and a ping pong table. This group (and the upcoming Baby Z's) has lofty goals...they want to impact the world and connect to a higher purpose. This means there are higher expectations for meaningful work coming to the mainstream employer. Read on...

Dennis  Armbruster
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Taking Customer Experience to the Next Level
  • The hotel industry recently experienced some good news with the announcement that overall guest service satisfaction was significantly up in 2015, according to a survey by J.D. Power & Associates. In addition, the number of guests reporting problems declined to its lowest level in almost a decade. Professionals in the hospitality business should be pleased with these indicators – but not too pleased. Hotel operators need to think bigger than mere customer satisfaction, fearlessly applying innovations beyond their niche' Read on...

Kevin Robinson
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Staying the Course of Service
  • Maybe you’ve been there…you look at the clock and the minutes slowly tick by. You’ve fallen into a rut. Often associates feel the same way. It’s vital that managers engage teams to sustain their motivation and passion, both in their day-to-day roles as well as in the service they deliver to guests and customers. According to Gallup's State of the Global Workplace report, a mere 13 percent of employees worldwide are engaged at work, a sobering figure. With engagement at an all-time low, it’s important to motivate your workforce and the impact that it has on engagement. Read on...

JANUARY: Mobile Technology: A Permanent Sense of Immediacy

Alastair Cush

A growing number of properties are implementing mobile access guest room locking systems and the apps that support them. Many chain standards mandate mobile access and independents are joining the trend. What few operators understand is that mobile access implementation has changed not only every aspect of hotel door locks but also many other areas of hospitality operations. More people are actively involved in the decision making process for hotel locks than before. Mobile access has integrated the lock process with numerous property and chain departments from sales to guest loyalty and brand marketing. The original purpose of improving guest door locks was exclusively loss prevention and security. Read on...

Jim Vandevender

Meeting data and technology have evolved considerably since the days of the bulky ,expensive mail ordered meeting planner guides and hotel catalogues. The ways in which hotels find and book groups is far different than the antiquated methods of not so long ago. As better technology surrounding meetings and events becomes available , hotels appetites for group business seems to also increase at a parallel pace making the need to keep the related technology evolving even more paramount. The companies that provide hotels with this meeting intelligence are continually developing new and more advanced methods of gathering this sought after data to keep up pace with the demand. Read on...

Dave Weinstein

As with so many industries, the smartphone has transformed how organizations interact with their customers. Look at the automotive industry, the airline industry, and of course, the hospitality industry. You start your car’s engine and set the climate control to the desired temperature, buy airline tickets and check-in on your flight and do the same with your hotel room, all from your phone. There is a slew of services that traditionally are offered by hotels via the “book” on the desk. The book is still there, but some hotels allow you to order via the television while others offer integrated tablets. Read on...

Kacey Butcher

Can you imagine your bank choosing not to provide a way to check account status and transactions outside of your monthly paper statement? Can you further imagine a popular franchise restaurant only having paper take-out menus? You would be forced to contemplate what other aspects internally within the organization would make doing business with them complicated and archaic. There you find your own personal underlying immediate expectation of baseline service and operational procedures, where a decision is often made instantly to move onto the next provider. A decision to choose another provider that seemingly knows how to service customers with the utmost up-to-date standards. Read on...

Coming Up In The February Online Hotel Business Review




Feature Focus
Social Media: Interacting with the Hotel Customer
Consider these astonishing numbers: 1.49 billion active monthly Facebook users. 1.1 billion active monthly YouTube users. 320 million active monthly Twitter users and nearly 400 million registered users on LinkedIn. 400 million active monthly Instagram users and 200 million active Google+ users. The power and reach of social media is an awesome force and it has transformed how hotels interact with their customers. In the past year, social media advertising spending increased 33.5% to nearly $24 billion dollars. Social networks are being utilized by hotels to reach more visitors, expand brand awareness, enhance brand reputation and to establish more direct and personal communication with their customers. Savvy hotel operators are adopting a comprehensive social media strategy, and there are several emerging trends to note. Video continues to be a powerful and influential element in social media marketing, with 70% of companies saying that it is their most effective marketing tool. Video generates a 62% higher engagement rate than photographs alone, and with new social sites like Meerkat and Periscope which offer live video streaming, those numbers will only increase. Sponsored content is another growing trend. Though advertorials have been around for decades, hotels are finding new ways to maximize the visibility of their content. Some are placing sponsored content on Facebook, or on influencer blogs. Another trend is the integration of a “Buy Now” button into social media websites. Customers will be able to make purchases without ever having to leave their favorite social sites. This development is a major convenience for customers and should also be an additional revenue source for hotels. The February Hotel Business Review will explore these issues and examine how some hotels are successfully integrating social media into their operations.