Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
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...

Steven Ferry
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • The Drive to Exceed One's Own Expectations
  • Four- and five-star hotels and resorts around the world number in the hundreds, catering to different markets/publics with different needs and wants. The imperative to make the guest experience so memorable that the guests become repeaters and ambassadors, occupancy runs dizzyingly high and word of mouth sizzles, is one that every new (or existing) General Manager/Managing Director faces; each has a vision, a style of management, a stable of successful actions, and erstwhile colleagues they trust to support their standards and whom they quickly bring in to precipitate success for owners, shareholders, management, staff, and guests alike. Read on...

Adrian Kurre
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Strategies to Improve and Enhance Customer Experience
  • When it comes to an exceptional customer experience, it’s not just what you offer, but how, when and why you offer it. Employed thoughtfully and effectively, efforts to drive customer service to new levels become infectious throughout a hotel organization, down to each individual property and team member. Easy to say, harder to execute. To stay on the forefront of providing the ultimate experience for business and leisure travelers takes continuous innovation. Integrating new technology, continuously improving team member training, and striving for targeted and personalized customer interactions remain essential to success now and going forward. Read on...

Sue Garwood
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Key Aspects to Building Excellent Customer Service
  • In the hotel industry, excellent service is vital, as customers’ expectations continue to evolve, raising the bar and setting a higher standard. These days, a smile, “please” and “thank you”, just doesn’t cut it. Customers want to have memorable experiences they can walk away with, which is why hotels are implementing new programs to improve and monitor clients’ satisfaction. A good program today should highlight not only the importance of customer care, but also for each employee. Below are key aspects to keep in mind in order to build an outstanding customer satisfaction program. Read on...

Naomi Stark
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • The Door of Opportunity Opens With a Smile
  • 8,600,000. That is the number of results Google returns in .39 seconds on the search, “how many studies on smiling are there?” Scientists have explored every aspect of smiling. Apparently, it even was used in predicting the life span of baseball players in 1952 – extending the life of those with “beaming smiles” seven years!. Wow. Research studies prove every which way that our brain, our emotions, our body, our children’s development, our stress level, blood pressure - you name it - just about everything is benefited by the all-powerful smile. Read on...

MAY: Eco-Friendly Practices: The Value of Sustainability

Eric Ricaurte

In 2011, we visited the 10 hotels contracted in the room block for the Greenbuild conference in Toronto. As part of their award-winning sustainable event program, the conference organizers embedded green practices into the contract language for these hotels, who either had to comply with the requirements, explain their reason why they couldn’t implement them, or pay a $1,000 fine. Part of our consulting work was to gather the data and confirm some of the practices on-site. Read on...

Susan Tinnish

Hotels brands have actively engaged in large-scale efforts to become more environmentally friendly. Individual hotels have made great strides on property. Many significant large-scale eco-initiatives s are most easily built initially into the infrastructure and design of the building and surrounding areas. Given that the adaptation of these large-scale changes into the existing asset base is expensive and disruptive, hotels seek different ways to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and eco-friendly practices. One way to do so is to shift the focus from large-scale change to “small wins.” Small wins can help a hotel create a culture of sustainability. Read on...

Shannon Sentman

Utility costs are the second largest operating expense for most hotels. Successfully reducing these expenses can be a huge value-add strategy for executives. Doing this effectively requires more than just a one-time investment in efficiency upgrades. It requires ongoing visibility into a building’s performance and effectively leveraging this visibility to take action. Too often, efficiency strategies center on a one-time effort to identify opportunities with little consideration for establishing ongoing practices to better manage a building’s performance ongoing. Read on...

Joshua Zinder, AIA

Discussions of sustainability in the hospitality industry have focused mainly on strategies at the level of energy-efficient and eco-friendly adjustments to operations and maintenance. These "tweaks" can include programs to reduce water usage, updating lighting to LEDs, campaigns to increase guest participation in recycling, and similar innovative industry initiatives. Often overlooked—not only by industry experts but even by hotel operators and designers—are possibilities for hotel design and construction that can make a property truly sustainable from the get-go. Read on...

Coming Up In The June Online Hotel Business Review




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Feature Focus
Sales & Marketing: Who Owns the Guest?
Hotels and OTAs are, by necessity, joined at the hip and locked in a symbiotic relationship that is uneasy at best. Hotels require the marketing presence that OTAs offer and of course, OTAs guest’s email when it sends guest information to a hotel, effectively allowing OTAs to maintain “ownership” of the guest. Without ready access to guest need hotel product to offer their online customers. But recently, several OTAs have decided to no longer share a data, hotels are severely constrained from marketing directly to a guest which allows them to capture repeat business – the lowest cost and highest value travelers. Hotels also require this data to effectively market to previous guests, so ownership of this data will be a significant factor as hotels and OTAs move forward. Another issue is the increasing shift to mobile travel bookings. Mobile will account for more than half of all online travel bookings next year, and 78.6% of them will use their smartphone to make those reservations. As a result, hotels must have a robust mobile marketing plan in place, which means responsive design, one-click booking, and location technology. Another important mobile marketing element is a “Click-to-Call” feature. According to a recent Google survey, 68% of hotel guests report that it is extremely/very important to be able to call a hotel during the purchase phase, and 58% are very likely to call a hotel if the capability is available in a smartphone search. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.