Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
Simon Hudson
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Hotels Respond to Blurring of Business and Leisure Travel
  • The lines between business and leisure travel are becoming increasingly blurred. Fueled by the proliferation of mobile devices and the ability to stay connected, over half of business travelers now extend their business trips into leisure trips. This presents new opportunities for hotels, but they need to configure their services to be flexible. Conference and meeting planners also have to be cognizant of these changes, ensuring that they incorporate an element of leisure when they plan their meetings. This article will focus on hotels around the world that are responding to the blurring of business and leisure travel. Read on...

Tema Frank
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Directing Customer Feedback
  • Most hotels now ask for guest feedback through comments cards or surveys, but too many forget to put the follow-up systems in place so they can really benefit from that feedback. Here are some of the things you need to think about to collect the right feedback and deal with it in a way that benefits your hotel as well as its guests. Read on...

Larry  Mogelonsky
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Weddings Done to Perfection at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar
  • Weddings are often viewed as an orphan kid of our industry, and special attention to this stream is only given at a narrow set of dedicated properties. Lest I remind you, however, that weddings are ‘recession proof’ whereby every bride wants her day to be as immaculate as possible. But it takes time and commitment to develop a successful weddings program, and to this end there’s no better place to look for inspiration then a five-star, five-diamond hotel with a stellar reputation in this arena. Read on...

Bernard Perrine
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Outperforming Rivals through Online Feedback
  • Through customer reviews and social media chatter, hotels have online reputations. While many owners and managers view this as a hassle, guest input is actually a gold mine, both for fixing service issues and learning about potential product additions that can provide new revenue streams. Hotels that address problems customers raise in cyberspace also outperform those that don’t. We offer a guide to turning clientele comments into better service.This article will examine how managers should deal with online feedback, both positive and negative, and will look at how they can turn constructive criticism into better guest service. Read on...

Janet  Gerhard
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • The Sharing Economy: How Do I Trust Thee?
  • Would you meet up with a fellow passenger from your flight to New Orleans at Café du Monde? Or leave a couple of women from a cleaning service in your house alone if you only just met then a half an hour before? How do you feel about leaving your cellphone at an airport charging station unattended? Yes, I’ve done all these things plus many more that some may call naïve or downright boneheaded, but I have always had a high level of trust in the strangers I meet every day. It’s served me well for four decades, but how is trust changing in the modern world? Read on...

Tema Frank
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • What is Your Ideal Customer Really Looking For?
  • The best way for a hotel to thrive is by really understanding its customers and what they really want. We make too many assumptions about what our customers want and how they interpret our marketing and services. Kodak, for example, buried its own invention of a digital camera because it thought customers wanted printed pictures. Far too late they realized that what customers really wanted was a convenient way to capture and revisit special moments. It didn’t have to be print. This article shows ways you can use market research and tools like personas to identify, understand and successfully cater to your ideal customers. Read on...

Bonnie Knutson
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Your Hotel's 3Bs: Better Business Blogging
  • A current “hot term” in digital marketing is engagement. Everyone wants to engage their customers through their online content. The trouble is that most businesses, hotels included, are still trying to find their way in making this happen because, engaging customers via electronic media is still more art than science. This article will explore five “best blogging” tips for engaging customers/guests. Read on...

Yvonne Tocguigny
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Bridging the Branding Gap: Millennials to Boomers
  • Is it possible for your hotel to attract millennials and boomers? Yes. It's a solid strategy. But building a brand, and generating the optimal messages for each group requires nuanced understanding of what each generation cares about and how they make decisions. The writing-duo of Yvonne Tocquigny, and her daughter, Laurel, tell hotel executives what they need to know to bridge the branding gap between generational age groups. Is it possible to build a hotel brand with appeal to both the millennial and the boomer generations? Where are the commonalities and the differences when it comes to brand loyalty in hotels? Theoretically, if you know where the points of intersection and differences lie, you can broaden the relevance of your brand and capture more market share. Read on...

Marcus  Nicolls
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • A Wake Up Call for Greater Employee Engagement
  • Too many leaders rush to the idea that just one more perk, one more raise or one more break-room game table would boost employee engagement. This thinking is flawed—that “more” might produce a bump in engagement scores. Reality check, here. These quick-hit, feel-good tactics do not produce long-term, sustainable engagement. With the latest Gallup data revealing that employee engagement scores are currently less than 32%—worse still, nearly 1 in 5 acknowledge that they are “actively disengaged”—there has never been greater urgency and need for leaders everywhere to think and act differently in order to engage their people. As a leader in the hospitality industry, what are your plans to stir up positive employee engagement in your organization? Read on...

Jeff  Catlin
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Text Mining in Hospitality
  • Twenty years ago people chose hotels through travel agencies, word-of-mouth reviews, or simply driving by and stopping at the first clean-looking motel they spotted. Today, the rise of the smartphone and advent of online review websites like TripAdvisor marks a crucial paradigm shift in how average consumers make their travel arrangements. The Internet has given every consumer a voice — a voice that may love or loathe your product. Time and time again in articles, op-eds, and essays published in thought-leading websites and journals, hospitality experts agree: customer satisfaction should be a hotelier’s number one priority, and that this is best achieved through better listening to your guests. Read on...

Lewis Fein
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Creating a Family-Friendly Environment
  • Hotel executives offer guests many things, from the ordinary to the extraordinary, in an effort to showcase a property's locale or a resort’s accommodations. They invest in technology and security, as well as convenience and privacy. But the one thing every hotelier can highlight – the one concept that does not require consultants, engineers, designers and approval from various boards of directors – is family-friendly fun. That commodity is a matter of will, not money, where a hotel appeals to parents and children alike. The rewards can be substantial because there is something for everyone. That is a hotel executive’s ideal scenario. Read on...

Tema Frank
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • 21 Customer Experience Touches that Add Up to Long-Term Loyalty
  • A “hot term” in digital marketing is engagement. Everyone wants to engage their customers through their online content. But most businesses, hotels included, are still trying to find their way in making this happen because engaging customers via electronic media is still more art than science. Engagement is one of those terms that has been absconded by marketers with everyone knowing what it is but no one can define what it means. When I think about engagement, Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart’s legendary phrase pops into my mind: "I know it when I see it," because its meaning is subjective and lacks a clearly defined meaning. This article will explore five “best blogging” tips for engaging customers/guests. Read on...

Simon Hudson
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Accessible Hotels, Nordic Style
  • This article discusses the growing market for accessible tourism and the opportunity it represents for the hotel sector. The article focuses on one hotel chain in particular – Scandic - that has positioned itself as a world leader in accommodating visitors with disabilities. With 230 hotels spread across Europe, Scandic is the Nordic region’s leading hotel chain. In 2003, it drew up an accessibility standard as a platform for all accessibility work at every hotel. Such a proactive approach has given Scandic a competitive advantage in the hotel sector. Read on...

Paul Johns
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • How the Hotel Industry Is Embracing Social Customer Service
  • As social customer service matures to become one of the main customer service channels guests are using today, engaging with customers on social media is a main priority for companies in the hotel industry. As hotels are becoming more and more innovative in terms of technology and mobile access, guests now turn to channels like Facebook and Twitter first when complaining in real time, about a travel and lodging issue. Below outlines how hotels can maximize the benefits of social customer service, as they show guests that customer engagement and guest experience is their number one priority. Read on...

Larry  Mogelonsky
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Guest Service Perfection Through Team Actualization
  • As a pillar of any hotel operation, guest service requires constant attention to ensure that its delivery exceeds current guest expectations. At its core, though, guest service comes down to your staff and the willingness of each team member to deliver his or her very best in all work duties. The proper intrinsic motivations are required to attain his level of perfection. In order to promote a corporate culture with this mentality, hoteliers must appeal to each employee’s sense of actualization and their internal need to derive personal success from helping guests in whichever way is required. 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.