Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
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...

SEPTEMBER: Hotel Group Meetings: Blue Skies Ahead

Jay Spurr

Meeting planners have more than enough to think about when it comes to searching for the perfect venue – and eco-consciousness is increasingly making its way top of mind for many. It is currently estimated that the average hotel guest generates 2.2 pounds of waste each night of their stay. And, with the meetings and event industry recently being deemed as the second most wasteful sector in the United States by the EPA, we at JW Marriott Austin knew we had to go above and beyond to deliver more efficient meetings and events with the lowest possible carbon footprint. Read on...

Del Robinette

Engagement and commitment are at the core of our professional lives in a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week operation. No matter the size or complexity of the box, engagement and our commitments should be a core fundamental that not only surfaces in our every interaction, but guides and directs our proactive decision making and our strategies and executions. Hospitality 101 teaches us as hospitality professionals, to engage with our guests, to make eye contact at 10 feet, to speak within 5, to escort when possible and to use our guests name in conversation. Read on...

Katie  Davis

I had a bit of an “out of body” experience recently. I was attending a corporate meeting, which was held in a hotel meeting room. As usual, I was multi-tasking for most of the meeting. Doing my best to remain engaged with the meeting content, while simultaneously managing an ever-growing email inbox and “To Do” list. During a break, I was pacing outside the meeting room, on the phone with my office, when I noticed some snacks and beverages set-up adjacent to the meeting room entrance. Read on...

Deirdre Martin Yack

Meeting planning in today’s world is more complex than ever. Whether you’re a planner or a supplier, our jobs are now 24/7. We are dealing with shorter lead times than ever, tighter budgets (on both sides), and expectations based on the perfection projected by social media and reality TV. Our job is no longer simply about dates, space, rate – we now need to compete at a world-class level on a daily basis. As a supplier, it takes extreme creativity at the venue level. Starting with the initial design, event space must be as flexible, innovative and as Instagram-worthy as possible. Read on...

Coming Up In The October Online Hotel Business Review




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Feature Focus
Revenue Management: Technology and Big Data
Like most businesses, hotels are relying on technology and data to drive almost every area of their operations, but perhaps this is especially true for hotel Revenue Managers. There has been an explosion of technology tools which generate a mountain of data – all in an effort to generate profitable pricing strategies. It falls to Revenue Managers to determine which tools best support their operations and then to integrate them efficiently into their existing systems. Customer Relationship Management, Enterprise Resource Planning, and Online Reputation Management software are basic tools; others include channel managers, benchmark reports, rate shopping tools and review systems, to name a few. The benefits of technology tools which automate large segments of a Revenue Manager’s business are enormous. Freed from the time-consuming process of manual data entry, and having more accurate data available, allows Revenue Managers to focus on analysis, strategies and longer-term decision-making. Still, for most hotels, the amount of data that these tools generate can be overwhelming and so another challenge is to figure out how to effectively utilize it. Not surprisingly, there are some new tech tools that can help to do exactly that. There are cloud-based analytics tools that provide a comprehensive overview of hotel data on powerful, intuitive dashboards. The goal is to generate a clear picture, at any moment in time, of where your hotel is at in terms of the essentials – from benchmarking to pricing to performance – bringing all the disparate streams of data into one collated dashboard. Another goal is to eliminate any data discrepancies between finance systems, PMS, CRM and forecasting systems. The October issue of the Hotel Business Review will address all these important developments and document how some leading hotels are executing their revenue management strategies.