Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
Richard D. Hanks
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • How Employee Satisfaction Can Improve Customer Service
  • All businesses depend on employees to deliver quality service. For most businesses, improving customer service levels is more important than providing a good product. It is wise to remember Sam Walton's famous adage, "There is only one boss, the customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else." Research clearly shows a link between employee performance and customer satisfaction. Put in the reverse, your customer satisfaction level accurately reflects your employees' performance. Thus, who better than your customers to let you know how effective your internal processes are at providing the appropriate levels of customer service? Read on...

David Benton
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • The International Traveler: Their Special Needs
  • The global travel market is one of the fastest and dynamic growth businesses on the planet. Not only are business travelers jetting around the globe attending to, and managing the globalization of commerce, but leisure travel is just as robust as the so-called 'tourists' look for more adventure and uniqueness in their limited free time. How has the travel and hospitality industry adjusted to meet this insatiable demand for both business and leisure travel? Read on...

Brenda Fields
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Putting the 'Hospitality' back in the Hospitality Industry
  • What other industry is so directly involved with serving its customers in many significant areas to their well being? Food, drink, and sleep are three of the most important needs of an individual. But just meeting these needs does not ensure a successful operation or client loyalty. Nor does it ensure that the customer's needs were met with good service in a hospitable manner. This article will address the opportunity and benefit for the hospitality industry to be the leader in providing hospitality and setting standards for other industries to emulate. Read on...

Connie Rheams
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Winning Strategies for Personalizing your Guest Experience
  • There is a lot of movement and focus towards personalizing your guest's experience in our industry today. What exactly is "personalization of the guest experience"? You could think of personalization as the next wave in product differentiation and creating and reinforcing guest loyalty. At the highest level, it has to do with delivering to all of our guests a more intimate stay, and on an individual level, delivering a unique service or product to each guest according to their preferences. Read on...

John Ely
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • How to Convey Your Brand Promise and Close Leads in the Internet Age
  • This article provides just a few ways to help promote your hotel's brand by utilizing the reservations staff - there are many more. The Internet has changed the way we shop and research services and products. It represents a better opportunity to promote your brand than the old days when mass advertising was all that existed. Remember, even with online booking services, many potential guests still make a call into the property to learn more. Either way, by personalizing the experience you can raise your chances of landing that prospect. Read on...

Steven Ferry
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Guest Service: What To Do If There's Nobody at Home
  • If being in the moment is so important, why can't or don't more of us do it more often? How come our minds keep wandering, we become impatient or angry with the person in front of us, or bored, or any other attitude? These are all a departure from being there comfortably in front of another person and really tracking with what he or she is saying, doing, and needing. Well, 20th Century pill-pushers have most of us convinced that these modern potions and elixirs will fix our wandering attention. Yet every single person I have seen on these legalized drugs or trying to shake their addiction is a mass of random thoughts and introversion that make it very difficult indeed to be in the moment, observing calmly, computing and acting rationally. With 80% of the US population on these drugs and the rest of us beginning to enjoy them in our water supply, I'd say we had one reason people's attention is not always in the moment. Read on...

Bonnie Knutson
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Love Makes the Profits Come In
  • Chances are you have rarely - if ever - heard love associated with any business, let alone the hotel business. The "L" word is too warm, too fuzzy, and too mushy. Business has to be hard-nosed, bottom line oriented. Right? Well, maybe that has been true in the past. But all that is beginning to change because consumers have changed. They are far more sophisticated and more demanding; they are no longer content just be satisfied. Your guests want to be WOW-ed. They want a great hotel experience. They want a relationship with the hotel brand to who they give their business. They want to love you. Read on...

Steven Ferry
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Muzzling the Guest From Hell
  • Without wanting to undermine application of the dictum, "The customer is always right"-invaluable in gracefully resolving genuine customer complaints from guests who are merely poorly served, cantankerous, or difficult...even if they do often embellish their complaints with hyperbole for effect-I feel the time is ripe for a counterattack on those whose intent is not to right a wrong but who make a habit of trying to obtain something for nothing. For such is the definition of a criminal, whether bopping one on the head and running off with one's wallet; "making" vast fortunes through hedge funds and other manipulations of virtual money at the expense of the actual, physical economy; or hopping from one hotel to another without exchanging the valuables required to pay the wages and bills. Read on...

Edward Donaldson
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Personalized Service and Perceived Value: Are Your Guests Getting the Best?
  • As hotel guests in every sector of the industry, whether it is middle market or luxury, become more and more educated and discerning, there are two key elements that guests look for and will make a property stand out: personalized service and perceived value. Not only do guests want to feel special but they want to think they are getting value. In this case it is not necessarily about financial savings but about an experience worthy of those hard earned dollars. With the hotel industry beginning to show signs of an overall recovery and travel options abound, guest service and satisfaction will be critical elements in not only maintaining current guests, but attracting new ones. Read on...

Joshua Miller
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Hotel Parking Asset Management: Maximize the Value of Your Real Estate
  • While hotels spend tremendous time and energy looking for strategic ways to make the most of their operation, they often fail to look at the fact that the property sits in the middle of a large parking facility. This facility often takes up as much real estate as the hotel itself, but because parking is outside of the core focus of the industry, hotel parking facilities are rarely strategically managed. Utilizing an asset management approach for parking is equally as effective as it is for rooms income, and can often make a significant improvement to an asset's overall value. Read on...

Roberta Nedry
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • The Weight of the Wait... Time is Money!
  • How many times does the guest feel like they are the one waiting versus the wait staff waiting on them? What are the timing issues that make or break a service encounter? How does timing impact the overall guest experience as a service factor? Consider making time to analyze 'time' with employees who have "time" with guests. The 'weight' of the wait in the world of service delivery should not be underweight or overweight! Read on...

Holly Stiel
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Two Secrets to Creating Customer Experiences from the Inside Out
  • The big buzz these days is to talk all about the customer Experience. It is pass'e to use the term customer service and all the rage to sing the praises of the customer's experience. I am all for delivering memorable and pleasurable experiences, especially in the hospitality industry. I have been advocating being a "Memory Maker" for many years. It is just that no matter what you call it, the route to the customer's experience comes through the employee. If we only focus on the customers and do not give equal focus to the employees, we do not have a prayer of delivering the experience we are striving for or promising in our branding and advertising. Read on...

Joshua Miller
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Parking Considerations in the Hotel Real Estate Life Cycle
  • Because parking is not a core focus in the hospitality industry, the strategic planning and analysis often found in other areas of hotel management are rarely found in parking operations. There is a tremendous opportunity to improve overall effectiveness and financial performance in every phase of the hotel life cycle. In this article we explain some of the mechanisms for improving your operation through strategic management of your asset. With the industry facing such challenging times, hotel parking is an unexplored area ripe for the financial gains desperately needed by most properties. Read on...

Roberta Nedry
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • 'Have a Nice Day' ...or Not!
  • There are certain catchy phrases that seem to be automatic in service delivery. The problem is that they are automatic. How do the words we choose and the phrases we say impact the service experience? Are these expressions mundane collections of words provided to or thought of by employees as simple solutions to common situations? Or could they be opportunities to capture the attention and favor of guests who want to be surprised and delighted? Words and expressions can make a powerful difference in how guests perceive messages and communication. Read on...

Roberta Nedry
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • The Smells and Swells of Service
  • What happens when seafood smells fishy? Or when the smell of French fries shows up where French fries are not being served? Why do guest or even employee noses curl up or curl down when certain smells are encountered? The smells that surround us affect our well-being throughout our lives and hospitality leaders have a "scent-sational" opportunity to guide the impact of smell in guest service delivery and impact. 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.