Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
Bonnie Knutson
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Here Come the Kid$
  • YouGov research found that children are “active decision makers in family economies” across a lot of decisions – including travel. They also found that young children can hold as much persuasive power as teens. From a young age, children’s preferences influence where the family goes and where the family stays. The vast majority of parents give their children some say in deciding where they want to go on a trip, whether for a weekend getaway or a more traditional family vacation. Parents view kids’ input as a way to ensure that their children get more out of the family’s travel experiences. And, let’s face it, it is also a way to reduce the nagging quotient too. In this article, you’ll read about the money muscle of kids, how they influence family purchase decisions, and what your hotel can do to capitalize on this important market. Read on...

Michael Barbera
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • You Have Three to Five Seconds to Impress Your Guest
  • The attention span of a goldfish is eight seconds. The attention span of the average American is seven seconds. It’s not surprising that we are easily distracted. There is marketing content everywhere we look. Many businesses are competing with one another to gain the attention of the consumer in order to fight for their dollar. Furthermore, the same applies to the lodging industry. It doesn’t matter if you’re a luxury resort, four star hotel, motel or renter on AirBnB, you’re goal is to get the consumer to return; however, your consumers will make that decision within the first three to five seconds of walking through the front door. Read on...

Simon Hudson
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Ritzy Riads Putting Morocco on the Map
  • I have just completed an incredible round-the-world voyage teaching on Semester at Sea, a floating university campus that visits around a dozen countries, giving students a comparative study-abroad experience that is truly global. One of the countries I visited was Morocco where, seeking to understand why the country is Africa’s most popular tourist destination, I interviewed two successful entrepreneurs – one French and one British – responsible for attracting tourists to this exotic destination. Both have opened up modernized riads in the beachy-chic resort of Essaouira, on the Atlantic Coast. The Moroccan Riad is a traditional house or palace with an interior garden or courtyard. Read on...

Mark  Heymann
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Engaging Millennials with Accessibility and Consistency
  • The millennial generation is the most socially aware and feedback-driven yet. To attract and engage this cohort, hoteliers must rethink their success metrics, tying them to a higher level of social responsibility. They must be willing to share more information, more freely, with their workers than ever before. And, they must provide frequent feedback, inviting employees and guests to do the same. For managers who are accustomed to holding information close to the vest, this will require nothing less than a mindset change. Read on...

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...

FEBRUARY: Social Media: Interacting with the Hotel Customer

Nisha Thakkar

While social media has become a mainstream marketing channel, there are many variables that hoteliers are not taking advantage of to increase their revenue. Unlike other mainstream marketing avenues, social media is not static, as platforms continuously find ways to increase engagement with both users and advertisers. As social platforms have realized their massive marketing opportunities within their user base, they have increasingly capitalized on their clearly defined users by providing advertisers access to them. Today, the popularity of social channels has created a “pay-to-play” model that leaves many business owners and managers perplexed as to which channels to focus on, and the right budget to allocate in order to maximize return on investment (ROI). Read on...

Cass Bailey

These days, a lot goes into choosing the perfect hotel. Hotel choice no longer depends solely on the location, price, and amenities; it depends on experience. Customers have become more interested in experiential features instead of whether or not the hotel has a five-star review. As the phrase goes, many “do it for the gram.” When looking to book their stay, the Instagram generation is interested in things that are eye-catching and worthy of sharing with their followers. Just searching the hashtag “wanderlust” reveals millions of images of different travel experiences from around the world. Read on...

Tim Sullivan

As hoteliers’ key audiences spend less time on the Web and more time on their smartphones’ social apps, it is crucial for hotels to have a digital engagement strategy that creates meaningful interactions on social channels. Desktop still converts higher, but the path to a booking is a journey full of touch points across social. Now that social media platforms are maturing, hotels can go beyond targeting their own guests to discovering new profitable audiences. They can reach and drive sales for all sides of the business: leisure, corporate and group sales. However, before hoteliers think about social engagement, they need to cover the basics of personalization and one-to-one marketing. Read on...

Chris Teso

Social media has traditionally been approached as a marketing tool for top-of-funnel activities. However, the activities associated with generating awareness, like creating viral posts and taking advantage of real-time marketing moments, are difficult to measure and even harder to link to real business value. Yet, marketers innately know that social media has real opportunity as their audience is there—in volume and in frequency. As a result, a new trend is emerging among hotel marketers that takes distinct advantage of the direct follower model of social networks: the marriage of the loyalty program with social media marketing. Read on...

Coming Up In The March Online Hotel Business Review




Feature Focus
Human Resources: Inspiring a Journey of Success
In an increasingly competitive environment where hotels are competing to attract, and more importantly, to keep top talent, Human Resource managers are realizing the need to focus on improving their Employee Experience. Smart managers are embracing the idea of Employee Wellness which translates into a system of physical, mental, emotional, and purposeful well-being. Some organizations are even providing free counseling for their employees and their dependents. The goal is to nurture, support and engage with their employees in a way that increases productivity, improves customer service, enhances loyalty, and creates a more harmonious work environment for all. Along with this development is the need for more effective, ongoing training. Many HR managers rely on external training firms for this, but there is a growing trend which taps the experience and expertise that already exists within the organization. For example, younger employees likely have greater knowledge of social media which an older generation might struggle with. Harnessing this peer-to-peer learning can be an efficient and cost effective way of increasing skills, and as a result, the knowledge transferred is likely to be more acceptable and relevant. Finally, HR managers need to foster an environment that empowers people and taps into their full potential, inspiring a personal journey of success. The March Hotel Business Review will take a look at some of the strategies and techniques that human resource directors are currently developing in order to achieve success.