Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
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...

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...

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...

MARCH: Human Resources: Inspiring a Journey of Success

Sandy Asch

Baby boomers, Gen Xers, and especially Millennials, who now make up more than 50 percent of the workforce, want a sense of purpose at work. It’s clear that today’s workforce is increasingly concerned with doing good. People are tired of just showing up every day to perform a job. They want lasting fulfillment at home and at work. In his book, Drive, Daniel H. Pink suggests that we are in a time where individual desire to have a positive impact in the world often ranks higher than pay scale when selecting a job. Millennials, in particular, want to feel like their work has real purpose, and they want to be home for dinner. Read on...

Whitney Martin

As new properties explode on the scene and traveler choices abound, hotels know they have to pull out all the stops to make every guest experience a positive one. Are staff friendly are courteous? Are rooms clean? Are meals excellent? Are bills accurate? We rely on our employees to execute their jobs, not just correctly, but with enthusiasm. And, if they don’t, business suffers. We do our best to hire good people (in a competitive market), we give them a little training, and then we HOPE they create raving fans. Ever heard the expression “hope is not a strategy”? Read on...

Joyce Gioia

Worldwide, the hospitality industry is going through a transformation. In response to workforce shortages, many employers have looked for---and found---ways to reduce staff by using automation. Despite this trend, there are continuing shortages of skilled workers from front line housekeepers to general managers. Hospitality leaders are looking for and finding innovative ways to find the talent. This article will give you an overview of what’s working for general managers and their human resource professionals to find the people they need to staff their properties. Read on...

Paul Feeney

A recent report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, showed that close to 3 million people voluntarily quit their jobs a couple of years ago, a 17% increase from the previous year, proving that opportunities for employees are abundant and we have shifted back to a candidate-driven marketplace. Why is this important? Employee retention should always be of utmost importance, but requires awareness as to why employees leave to begin with. Numerous statistics show that the #1 reason people quit their jobs is a disconnect or poor relationship with their boss or immediate supervisor or manager. This shows that turnover of staff is mostly a manager issue. Read on...

Coming Up In The April Online Hotel Business Review




Feature Focus
Guest Service: The Personalized Experience
In the not-too-distant future, when guests arrive at a hotel, they will check themselves in using a kiosk in the lobby, by- passing a stop at the front desk. When they call room service to order food, it will be from a hotel mobile tablet, practically eliminating any contact with friendly service people. Though these inevitable developments will likely result in delivered to their door by a robot. When they visit a restaurant, their orders will be placed and the bill will be paid some staff reduction, there is a silver lining – all the remaining hotel staff can be laser-focused on providing guests with the best possible service available. And for most guests, that means being the beneficiary of a personalized experience from the hotel. According to a recent Yahoo survey, 78 percent of hotel guests expressed a desire for some kind of personalization. They are seeking services that not only make them feel welcomed, but valued, and cause them to feel good about themselves. Hotels must strive to establish an emotional bond with their guests, the kind of bond that creates guest loyalty and brings them back time and again. But providing personalized service is more than knowing your guests by name. It’s leaving a bottle of wine in the room of a couple celebrating their anniversary, or knowing which guest enjoys having a fresh cup of coffee brought to their room as part of a wake-up call. It’s the small, thoughtful, personal gestures that matter most and produce the greatest effect. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.