Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
Peter McAlpine
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Using Energy to Create Authentic Hospitality and a Smile From the Heart
  • The pervasive hotel industry concept of SOP-Customer Satisfaction does not create authentic hospitality. It creates a largely mechanical and emotionless, but efficient guest experience, which not only makes it difficult for staff to be their true self, but it also does not meet the emotional, spiritual, energetic, and healing needs of human beings. The concept’s inability to meet those needs is its Achilles Heel. Authentic hospitality is provided when the guest experience is rooted in and exudes the essence of hospitality, namely, loving kindness, compassion, and heart-warming care. Read on...

Lester Scott
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Maintaining the Human Touch in Hospitality
  • The hotel industry doesn’t fall far behind in keeping up with the technological advances.. It wouldn’t be favorable for any hotel within a contemporary city to not provide all of the conveniences today’s traveler is accustomed to. Anticipating the needs of discerning guests should be one of the core principles of a successful hotel operator – and this does not exclude technological needs. Keeping up with this evolution of data and capture is not the hard part; the challenge lies in the ability to maintain the most basic standards of what it means to be a hospitality professional. Read on...

Holly Zoba
Edward Reagoso
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Guest Service: Real Issues Demand Real Plans
  • Oh, so you fear terrible reviews by some of your guests, you have had dining guests complain their meal was less than stellar, your market share is below what’s acceptable, and you have some staffing problems to boot? Throwing money at issues like these won’t often result in the fix and if it does it certainly won’t be permanent. Real issues demand real plans and a strategic smile - yes, a smile. A smile can do miracles and affect everyone around you in a very positive way. Read on...

Sapna Mehta  Mangal
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Overhauling an Organization's Interruption Culture
  • The interruption cultural norm makes its way to the workplace and causes a string of adverse issues. It can have a mammoth consequence on the hospitality industry where the human element is status quo and interruptions unavoidable. With the ubiquitous presence of technology, non-job related interruptions have been rampant. On the job task interruptions from within, like wavering of a thought or a preoccupied mind cannot be dismissed either. Bottom line – if one is allowing the undesirable interruption culture to seep through the organization there is an undesirable impact to one’s profits. So why permit such ethos to churn within the enterprise? Read on...

Steve Curtin
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Customer Service as a Contact Sport
  • Twenty years ago, I read a story in a book by Peter Glen titled the story made such an impression on me in 1996 that I can still recall it vividly today: A customer became frustrated when he was unable to locate a salesperson at a hardware store and decided to resolve the situation by, at the top of his lungs, yelling a single word – “HELP!” – just once. Suddenly people appeared from remote corners of the store: salespeople, managers, maintenance workers, and even customers responded. Glen’s story exposes the frustration that we, feel whenever we can’t locate an employee to assist us. Read on...

Shayne  Paddock
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Guest Service in the Digital Era
  • It’s easier to keep a guest smiling if you know a little something about them. Would you buy a gift for somebody without knowing anything about them? Of course not. So why try to service a guest that way if you don’t have to. Collecting guest data is on the minds of many marketing and revenue manager these days. Not a day goes by that the term "Big Data" isn’t mentioned in one of the many hospitality blogs or press releases. But what does it all really mean? But you don’t have to have a data analyst on staff to make these simple things a reality. Read on...

Steven Belmonte
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • How to Establish a Good Franchisor/Franchisee Relationship
  • To establish a good relationship you must first understand the foundation on which the relationship is built. For example, one of the greatest personal debates we face in the franchisor-franchisee relationship centers on character. Do you believe that it's possible for a person to possess both a public and a private character, even if very different? What you do in private is your own business, as long as it doesn't affect your public performance, right? Not necessarily - especially when your individual personal performance impacts your business performance. Those who build a business relationship on character will be those who swim upstream. Read on...

Ashish Modak
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • The Golden Art of Hospitality
  • Hotels and the hospitality world have always intrigued people for centuries. It is the apparent glamour and uniqueness of the hotel world which creates curiosity in the mind of an onlooker regarding the various roles and job descriptions of people working in hotels. Have the principles and practices in managing a hotel changed with time? What is expected of a hotel manager in these continually evolving times? The writer firmly believes that a General Manager shapes the hotel experience for all his guests through his personality traits and approach towards his team and guests. The short essay brings forth the beauty of the golden art called hospitality. Read on...

Tony Bridwell
Roberta Nedry
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Take the Service Elevator to the Top Floor
  • Customer experience management is increasingly critical as a top investment area and skill essential for C-suite executives (some firms even have a CXO). What does that mean exactly and what do leaders need to do to ensure they are ready? How will they proactively acquire these skills and mindset when there is no single or even clear roadmap as to exactly what to do or how to do it? On top of that, the new science of customer emotions is inspiring even more considerations and most CEO’s don’t like to ‘get emotional’ about their business strategies! Some are finding their way in the dark. Yet, more and more evidence shows the direct relationship of emotional intelligence as part of the customer experience strategy. It’s time to figure it out! Read on...

Simon Hudson
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Hotels That Don't Miss a Beat
  • The hotel industry is constantly searching for the perfect formula to provide guests with addictive experiences, and, as such, music-themed hotels are becoming increasingly popular, particularly in big cities. This article focuses on these kinds of upbeat boutique hotels, from the Beatles-themed Hard Days Night Hotel in Liverpool, to the rock-themed Backstage Hotel in central Amsterdam, to Hotel BPM, a music-themed hotel in New York City. The keys to success for these hotels? Authenticity, superior customer service, and staying true to the music theme. Read on...

Marcus  Nicolls
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • How Did That Guest Complaint Happen?
  • Have you ever found yourself asking the question, “How did that (poor service, long wait, missing items, wrong room, discourteous service – fill in your own guest complaint) happen?” Maybe you’ve discovered a scathing 1-star TripAdvisor review that you know will impact occupancy. At that moment you might be asking, “Who’s accountable? What happened here? How do I fix this?” Read on...

Peter  Friedman
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Six Ways to Leverage Your Customers' Natural Storytelling
  • Travelers love to tell stories: the snorkeling trip they took in the Molokini crater in Maui, or the fabulous dinner they had at a hole in the wall in a far-flung city. They regale their friends and family with stories of their adventures, showing them pictures, recommending their best spots, and warning them off bad experiences. Some of them will post on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, sharing their good – and bad – encounters with your company on their journey. Read on...

Bonnie Knutson
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Globalization to Personalization: Your Hotel's ABCs
  • To really appreciate our guests’ requisite for personalization we can go back to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs that we learned in school. Maslow taught us that people are motivated to achieve certain needs; when one is fulfilled, they move on to the next one. By definition, a hotel satisfies the first two levels of physiological and safety needs. It provides shelter, water, in many cases food, and of course a safe place for guests to stay. The third level includes guests having a sense of belonging and acceptance, of being part of something special. But it is Maslow’s fourth level where this personalization trend really kicks in. He called it Esteem and loosely defined it as our desire to be valued by others and to be recognized as an individual person. In this article, you’ll find the ABCs of moving your marketing strategy from globalization to personalization. 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.