Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
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...

Dawn Walzak
Steven Ferry
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Thin Red Line Or Red Ink?: Deterring Terrorism
  • The likelihood that any single hotel will be the target of a terrorist act is very small indeed, given the number of hotels in the world. The risks increase with the size of the hotel, its location, it being a trophy building or the destination of guests whose views are antipathetic to those of any of a variety of terrorist groups. Or perhaps the fact that it is an easy, soft target and offers a way of doing what terrorists do best: destroy buildings and lives, undermine the peace of mind and economies of whole nations. So how safe does that make any hotel? 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.