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 naďve 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...

FEBRUARY: Social Media: Interacting with the Hotel Customer

Nisha Thakkar

While social media has become a mainstream marketing channel, there are many variables that hoteliers are not taking advantage of to increase their revenue. Unlike other mainstream marketing avenues, social media is not static, as platforms continuously find ways to increase engagement with both users and advertisers. As social platforms have realized their massive marketing opportunities within their user base, they have increasingly capitalized on their clearly defined users by providing advertisers access to them. Today, the popularity of social channels has created a “pay-to-play” model that leaves many business owners and managers perplexed as to which channels to focus on, and the right budget to allocate in order to maximize return on investment (ROI). Read on...

Cass Bailey

These days, a lot goes into choosing the perfect hotel. Hotel choice no longer depends solely on the location, price, and amenities; it depends on experience. Customers have become more interested in experiential features instead of whether or not the hotel has a five-star review. As the phrase goes, many “do it for the gram.” When looking to book their stay, the Instagram generation is interested in things that are eye-catching and worthy of sharing with their followers. Just searching the hashtag “wanderlust” reveals millions of images of different travel experiences from around the world. Read on...

Tim Sullivan

As hoteliers’ key audiences spend less time on the Web and more time on their smartphones’ social apps, it is crucial for hotels to have a digital engagement strategy that creates meaningful interactions on social channels. Desktop still converts higher, but the path to a booking is a journey full of touch points across social. Now that social media platforms are maturing, hotels can go beyond targeting their own guests to discovering new profitable audiences. They can reach and drive sales for all sides of the business: leisure, corporate and group sales. However, before hoteliers think about social engagement, they need to cover the basics of personalization and one-to-one marketing. Read on...

Chris Teso

Social media has traditionally been approached as a marketing tool for top-of-funnel activities. However, the activities associated with generating awareness, like creating viral posts and taking advantage of real-time marketing moments, are difficult to measure and even harder to link to real business value. Yet, marketers innately know that social media has real opportunity as their audience is there—in volume and in frequency. As a result, a new trend is emerging among hotel marketers that takes distinct advantage of the direct follower model of social networks: the marriage of the loyalty program with social media marketing. Read on...

Coming Up In The March Online Hotel Business Review




Feature Focus
Human Resources: Inspiring a Journey of Success
In an increasingly competitive environment where hotels are competing to attract, and more importantly, to keep top talent, Human Resource managers are realizing the need to focus on improving their Employee Experience. Smart managers are embracing the idea of Employee Wellness which translates into a system of physical, mental, emotional, and purposeful well-being. Some organizations are even providing free counseling for their employees and their dependents. The goal is to nurture, support and engage with their employees in a way that increases productivity, improves customer service, enhances loyalty, and creates a more harmonious work environment for all. Along with this development is the need for more effective, ongoing training. Many HR managers rely on external training firms for this, but there is a growing trend which taps the experience and expertise that already exists within the organization. For example, younger employees likely have greater knowledge of social media which an older generation might struggle with. Harnessing this peer-to-peer learning can be an efficient and cost effective way of increasing skills, and as a result, the knowledge transferred is likely to be more acceptable and relevant. Finally, HR managers need to foster an environment that empowers people and taps into their full potential, inspiring a personal journey of success. The March Hotel Business Review will take a look at some of the strategies and techniques that human resource directors are currently developing in order to achieve success.