Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
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...

Pamela Barnhill
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Airbnb and the Shared Economy
  • 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. With each discussion comes a variety of responses and platforms, some accusing Airbnb of unlawful practices and others praising Airbnb for its innovative platform. Read on...

Yvonne Tocguigny
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • How Can Your Hotel Use New Technology to Manage Your Brand?
  • As personalized hotel services are replaced with technology, it’s important to understand and monitor how your brand stacks up in the “blind taste test” of options available to customers. A comparison of the sum of all things customers experience adds up to create your brand’s individual rating. These individual brand scorecards will continue to have profound future implications for your business. It could become even harder to address customers’ problems or in-the-moment frustrations because there may not be a human present to notice them. Read on...

Nancy Wiesenfeld
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Staying Relevant with the Consumer is the Holy Grail of Personalization
  • The hospitality industry is in a constant state of evolution. As new players enter the landscape, from properties to boutique hotels to online peer-to-peer marketplaces, hospitality brands continuously look for creative ways to win guests by competing on price, amenities, loyalty program benefits and other perks. With so many options to consider, it is becoming increasingly important to stay relevant with the consumer at each point of their brand journey in order to promote conversion and foster loyalty. The latest platform for differentiation is in delivering the best customer experience. Read on...

Alexander Shashou
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • The Hotel Concierge: Owning the Guest Experience Through Technology
  • Many concierges we speak with today fear technology is putting them out of a job. The reality is the right technology will actually safeguard their profession and place them at the center of the guest experience, because guests want and will always want convenient, personalized service. The reason the concierge role is undervalued today is because of the gap in technology between what consumers have on their phones and what concierges use at their desks. The right technology, in contrast, lets concierges provide guests with mobile first communication, personalized, curated hospitality and flawless guest itinerary orchestration. Read on...

Melissa Fruend
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Making the Most of Technology and Delivering Experiences
  • Technological innovation is transforming business and our lives. And the travel and hospitality industry is on the front lines, looking for ways to deliver meaningful experiences to guests even as their interactions with staff continue to diminish. According to LoyaltyOne Consulting Partner Melissa Fruend, the key to long-term success for hoteliers is personalization – understanding what make great customer experiences, while leveraging new technologies to adapt services and interactions to guests' changing needs and expectations. In this thought-provoking piece, Melissa explores how some of the world's leading hospitality brands are making the most of technology to drive enduring loyalty and profitability. Read on...

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...

Benjamin 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...

OCTOBER: Revenue Management: Technology and Big Data

Gary Isenberg

Hotel room night inventory is the hotel industry’s most precious commodity. Hotel revenue management has evolved into a complex and fragmented process. Today’s onsite revenue manager is influenced greatly by four competing forces, each armed with their own set of revenue goals and objectives -- as if there are virtually four individual revenue managers, each with its own distinct interests. So many divergent purposes oftentimes leading to conflicts that, if left unchecked, can significantly damper hotel revenues and profits. Read on...

Jon Higbie

For years, hotels have housed their Revenue Management systems on their premises. This was possible because data sets were huge but manageable, and required large but not overwhelming amounts of computing power. However, these on-premise systems are a thing of the past. In the era of Big Data, the cost of building and maintaining an extensive computing infrastructure is incredibly expensive. The solution – cloud computing. The cloud allows hotels to create innovative Revenue Management applications that deliver revenue uplift and customized guest experiences. Without the cloud, hotels risk remaining handcuffed to their current Revenue Management solutions – and falling behind competitors. Read on...

Jenna Smith

You do not have to be a hospitality professional to recognize the influx and impact of new technologies in the hotel industry. Guests are becoming familiar with using virtual room keys on their smartphones to check in, and online resources like review sites and online travel agencies (OTAs) continue to shape the way consumers make decisions and book rooms. Behind the scenes, sales and marketing professionals are using new tools to communicate with guests, enhance operational efficiencies, and improve service by addressing guests’ needs and solving problems quickly and with a minimum of disruption. Read on...

Yatish Nathraj

Technology is becoming an ever more growing part of the hospitality industry and it has helped us increase efficiency for guest check-inn, simplified the night audit process and now has the opportunity to increase our revenue production. These systems need hands on calibration to ensure they are optimized for your operations. As a manager you need to understand how these systems work and what kind of return on investment your business is getting. Although some of these systems maybe mistaken as a “set it and forget it” product, these highly sophisticated tools need local expert like you and your team to analysis the data it gives you and input new data requirements. Read on...

Coming Up In The November Online Hotel Business Review




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Feature Focus
Architecture & Design: Authentic, Interactive and Immersive
If there is one dominant trend in the field of hotel architecture and design, it’s that travelers are demanding authentic, immersive and interactive experiences. This is especially true for Millennials but Baby Boomers are seeking out meaningful experiences as well. As a result, the development of immersive travel experiences - winery resorts, culinary resorts, resorts geared toward specific sports enthusiasts - will continue to expand. Another kind of immersive experience is an urban resort – one that provides all the elements you'd expect in a luxury resort, but urbanized. The urban resort hotel is designed as a staging area where the city itself provides all the amenities, and the hotel functions as a kind of sophisticated concierge service. Another trend is a re-thinking of the hotel lobby, which has evolved into an active social hub with flexible spaces for work and play, featuring cafe?s, bars, libraries, computer stations, game rooms, and more. The goal is to make this area as interactive as possible and to bring people together, making the space less of a traditional hotel lobby and more of a contemporary gathering place. This emphasis on the lobby has also had an associated effect on the size of hotel rooms – they are getting smaller. Since most activities are designed to take place in the lobby, there is less time spent in rooms which justifies their smaller design. Finally, the wellness and ecology movements are also having a major impact on design. The industry is actively adopting standards so that new structures are not only environmentally sustainable, but also promote optimum health and well- being for the travelers who will inhabit them. These are a few of the current trends in the fields of hotel architecture and design that will be examined in the November issue of the Hotel Business Review.