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...

MARCH: Human Resources: Inspiring a Journey of Success

Cara Silletto

Ever wonder what planet your new hires are from? For most, it is called Millennialland. It is my homeland, and it is a whole different world than where Boomers and GenXers were born. So why are your younger workers from this strange land so hard to understand, manage and retain? Why is it that they lack the loyalty of those who came before them? Why do they need so much handholding in the workplace? And where does this tremendous sense of entitlement come from? Allow me to explain. Read on...

Nicole Price

You’re just being politically correct! In America, being politically correct has taken a new meaning and now has a negative connotation. But why? Definitions can help identify the reason. The definition of political correctness is “the avoidance, often considered as taken to extremes, of forms of expression or action that are perceived to exclude, marginalize, or insult groups of people who are socially discriminated against.” In simple terms, political correctness is going to the extreme to avoid insulting socially disadvantaged groups. What could be wrong with that? The issue is not them or the term, it’s us! Read on...

Kimberly Abel-Lanier

Engaging and retaining talented, trained workers is a critical component of success for any business in any sector. When employees are disengaged or turnover is high, organizations face challenges of subpar customer service, high costs, and human resource inefficiencies. Gallup estimates rampant disengagement among employees costs American businesses between $450 billion and $550 billion per year. High turnover also carries exorbitant costs to organizations, averaging approximately 1.5x an employee’s salary for replacement. In the hospitality sector, delivery of impactful customer experiences is strongly connected to employee engagement and satisfaction. Happy, engaged employees can make happy, loyal customers. Currently; however, the hospitality sector suffers higher than average employee turnover. Read on...

Michael Warech

So where will we find the next generation of leaders in the hospitality industry? Like their counterparts in other business sectors, this question remains top-of-mind for those responsible for finding, managing, and developing the talent needed to ensure the vitality of their organizations. While, arguably, not as glamorous as a new guest amenity or as important as a cost-saving innovation, there is nothing more critical than talent to succeed in an increasingly competitive and challenging global business environment. Leveraging the best strategies and tactics related to talent management, succession planning, workforce planning, training and leadership development are, quite possibly, a company’s most critical work. Read on...

Coming Up In The April Online Hotel Business Review

Feature Focus
Guest Service: The Personalized Experience
In the not-too-distant future, when guests arrive at a hotel, they will check themselves in using a kiosk in the lobby, by- passing a stop at the front desk. When they call room service to order food, it will be from a hotel mobile tablet, practically eliminating any contact with friendly service people. Though these inevitable developments will likely result in delivered to their door by a robot. When they visit a restaurant, their orders will be placed and the bill will be paid some staff reduction, there is a silver lining – all the remaining hotel staff can be laser-focused on providing guests with the best possible service available. And for most guests, that means being the beneficiary of a personalized experience from the hotel. According to a recent Yahoo survey, 78 percent of hotel guests expressed a desire for some kind of personalization. They are seeking services that not only make them feel welcomed, but valued, and cause them to feel good about themselves. Hotels must strive to establish an emotional bond with their guests, the kind of bond that creates guest loyalty and brings them back time and again. But providing personalized service is more than knowing your guests by name. It’s leaving a bottle of wine in the room of a couple celebrating their anniversary, or knowing which guest enjoys having a fresh cup of coffee brought to their room as part of a wake-up call. It’s the small, thoughtful, personal gestures that matter most and produce the greatest effect. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.