Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
Judith Jackson
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Extra Sensory Hospitality to Capture and Keep Your Guest
  • The race is on! How can you differentiate your hotel or resort from other attractive, well positioned and advertised properties? All you have to do is bet on the senses of sight, sound, smell, hearing, and touch to keep your property on the inside track. And if your guest offerings include a spa, that could be your sensory triple crown. Science has proven that the human limbic system, located deep in the middle brain, is the seat of memory, learning and emotion. Turn that on and your guest will never forget walking into your lobby and being seduced by the subtle fragrance of sandalwood. Let’s explore ways you can have your lobby, amenities, food and spa “kidnap” guests’ senses from the moment they step into your sensory haven…and, upon checkout, begin planning their return. Read on...

Bonnie Knutson
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • So, Just Who Leads Your Guest's Experience?
  • Today’s guests are more sophisticated, more experienced, and certainly more demanding than ever before. They expect the best overall experience, which is why the American Marketing Association revised its definition to: "Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large." While your promotional strategies make the brand promise, it is how you keep the promise – i.e. how you deliver – that matters most. With the proliferation of all things social media, how you deliver the experience is more important than ever before. No longer is it word-of-mouth, but it is now world-of-mouth. In this article, you will find out who should be the guest experience’s chief cheerleader in your hotel, and four critical metrics that you need to measure, monitor, and manage your hotel’s guest experience. Read on...

Benjamin Jost
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Journeys That Shape Customer Experience
  • As a whole, the travel industry has been clawing its way forward to improve customer experiences. Many hotels have experimented with implementing various digital platforms and adding personalized factors to their communication systems to facilitate these improvements. Taking a step back, however, we need to first understand “customer experience” before we can address challenges therein. Throwing technology at the problem may seem like a simple solution, but instead, it’s only adding complexity and muddying the waters when it comes to creating clear, and obvious paths to improvement. Read on...

Pamela Barnhill
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • How CanTraditional Hotels Compete with Airbnb and Other Rivals?
  • The ability to provide a rich selection of goods and services for potential customers has aided the rapid growth of peer-to-peer platforms. Airbnb, one of the most successful of these, defines itself as “a social website that connects people who have space to share with those who are looking for a place to stay." Because of its rapid growth and popularity since Airbnb’s launch in 2008, hotel industry leaders worldwide have been attempting to answer the Airbnb challenge. Read on...

Judith Jackson
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Hospitality to the Rescue
  • After the first stay, does your guest remember your property as “The Hotel Rescue”? Is your guest more refreshed when leaving than upon arrival? When you planned your guest facilities and services, were they designed to be genuinely unisex? Does everything in the room work – like thermostat, wall plugs and light bulbs? Is the clock set to the correct time? Is the television remote easily located? If the answer is yes, have you checked all of them lately? Read on...

Tema Frank
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • What Your Net Promoter Score Isn't Telling You
  • It’s easy to obsess about your Net Promoter Score (NPS). It’s simple to get and it’s a number your executives can grasp. But focusing too much on your NPS risks sending you off in the wrong directions. It can be misleading, and it doesn’t answer the all-important question of why people have given the score they have. Read on to find out the hidden downsides of the NPS, what it doesn’t tell you that you really need to know, how it can mislead you, and why sometimes it shouldn’t be your top customer experience improvement priority. Read on...

Benjamin Jost
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Building a Culture of Feedback and Turning Reviews into Insights
  • Every hotel manager has a fear that wakes him or her up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat. It isn’t a standard fear that most people have; hotel leaders aren’t in the throes of the dream where they showed up to a presentation naked. This particular fear has to do with the ink that’s being spilled on the internet. It’s the fear of a negative review on a major review site or social network. To put context around the world we live in today, there are more than 3 million hotel reviews written each week. That’s 18,000 reviews per hour. Needless to say, not all of them will be from guests who loved every moment of their stay. Read on...

Steven Ferry
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Emotional Engagement - A Mantra in Search of a Technology
  • Emotional engagement is one of those hot subjects that most have heard of but very few can actually define. What is it exactly? As with any subject, a keen observation of life in action followed by a logical analysis can shine light on the dark corners of our knowledge to bring clarity to our understanding, and, in order to be useful, a workable procedure for action that brings about desirable results. In the case of emotional engagement, it would be guests who are thrilled at the renewal or reinforcement of life and energy they experience when interacting with hotel staff. Of course, that would presuppose and require that the staff be passionate and full-of-life themselves, rather than uninspired and going through the motions. Read on...

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...

AUGUST: Food & Beverage: Multiplicity and Diversity are Key

Larry Steinberg

The foodservice industry is one of the oldest and most important. Consumers from all demographics rely on it virtually every day for sustenance. In fact, in the U.S. alone, it’s a nearly $800 billion industry that’s extremely competitive, with hundreds of new establishments popping up every year, and much of this new business is the result of increased consumer demand. Consumers want more options. For every practiced chef, there is a collective of guests eager to spend their hard-earned dollars on something exotic and different. They want to experience a bit of culture by way of their next meal, and they want to find it using the latest technology. Read on...

Frank Sanchez

About two years ago, I started my career at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile. I came from San Diego, California, the apparent capital of farmer’s markets. When I moved to Chicago in late-October, the number of farmer’s markets had already begun to taper off and all that was left of the hotel’s rooftop garden was the sad remnants of a summer full of bounty. However, I was in for a pleasant surprise. The Chicago Marriott Downtown operates a year-round experience to create food from scratch that gives customers fresh and nutritional options. I was thrilled to join a team that can tell a customer that the very greens on their plate were grown just floors above them. Read on...

Thomas  McKeown

To serve today’s eclectic, socially engaged and sophisticated guests, hotels and chefs need to get creative, change their thinking and push back some walls – sometimes literally. The fun thing about meetings hotels is that they are a different place just about every week. One week we’re hosting a bridge tournament, the next a corporate sales team, or a dentists’ conference, or sci-fi fans in costumes, or cheerleaders jumping for joy. You name the group, and our hotel has probably welcomed them. Read on...

Elizabeth  Blau

Over the past several years, many of us have watched with excitement and interest as the fast-casual restaurant segment has continued to boom. More and more, talented chefs with fine dining pedigrees are bringing their skills, creativity, and experience to concepts built around speed, approachability, and volume. Right now, the ability to offer a gourmet experience at all price points is as compelling to restaurateurs and diners alike. Read on...

Coming Up In The September Online Hotel Business Review




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Feature Focus
Hotel Group Meetings: Blue Skies Ahead
After a decade of sacrifice and struggle, it seems that hotels and meeting planners have every reason to be optimistic about the group meeting business going forward. By every industry benchmark and measure, 2017 is shaping up to be a record year, which means more meetings in more locations for more attendees. And though no one in the industry is complaining about this rosy outlook, the strong demand is increasing competition among meeting planners across the board – for the most desirable locations, for the best hotels, for the most creative experiences, for the most talented chefs, and for the best technology available. Because of this robust demand, hotels are in the driver’s seat and they are flexing their collective muscles. Even though over 100,000 new rooms were added last year, hotel rates are expected to rise by a minimum of 4.0%, and they are also charging fees on amenities that were often gratis in the past. In addition, hotels are offering shorter lead times on booking commitments, forcing planners to sign contracts earlier than in past years. Planners are having to work more quickly and to commit farther in advance to secure key properties. Planners are also having to meet increased attendee expectations. They no longer are content with a trade show and a few dinners; they want an experience. Planners need to find ways to create a meaningful experience to ensure that attendees walk away with an impactful memory. This kind of experiential learning can generate a deeper emotional connection, which can ultimately result in increased brand recognition, client retention, and incremental sales. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group business and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.