Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
Jim Maguire
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Winning Guests Over with the WOW Factor
  • We know that guests always expect the absolute most from us. I would ask you before reading this article to think back to the last time you had a great customer service experience. I would bet it started with a warm and friendly smile that made you feel good. How we can win guests over with a service smile is quite simple in theory, not as easy to execute. It starts with a culture, a service smile, the positive actions that follow - I call this service the "Wow Factor" The "Wow" is all about how we make a guest feel when he/she is staying at the hotel. The end goal is to make your guests feel as though you went above and beyond to exceed their wants and needs. Read on...

Scott Hale
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Set a New Service Standard and Lose the Standard Operating Procedures
  • Do you really need all of those Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)? Are Standard Operating Procedures throttling your business growth, stifling your team’s development and diminishing your guest experience? We’ll explore these questions in the piece that follows. While this discussion doesn’t mandate that you cease and destroy all SOPs, it will equip you to elevate your business, team and guest experience by thinking twice about the standards that you’ve set. Most important, it will get you thinking that there could be better ones out there. Read on...

Sam Ross
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Happy Employees, Happy Guests From Boutique Properties to Major Resorts
  • Research shows that positive engagement with hotel employees has a major impact on guest satisfaction, creating a distinct set of challenges for properties of all sizes. Carlsbad, California, located along the Pacific Ocean coastline north of San Diego, is home to a range of accommodations, from boutique inns to some of Southern California’s most luxurious resorts. Where a larger hotel may benefit from best practices in training and hiring, an intimate property may be able to offer highly personalized service – how are hotels in Carlsbad responding to these challenges to ensure guest satisfaction? Read on...

R.J. Friedlander
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Using Guest Intelligence to Motivate and Empower Your Team
  • Hoteliers can gather endless amounts of data from analytical tools but the real challenge is knowing what to do with it. Today, savvy hoteliers are using Guest Intelligence to motivate each department and get the most out of individual teams to improve overall guest satisfaction and boost revenue. By creating a guest-centric culture, employees at hotels are empowered to make a difference. At the end of the day, your employees are representatives of your brand and those responsible for offering remarkable guest service. Read on...

Alexandra Sewell
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • High-Tech Meets High-Touch
  • A smiling face behind the check-in desk. Prompt and unobtrusive room service. Eager hands to help with luggage. A friendly greeting. “It’s my pleasure.” “You are quite welcome.” “Please, let me help.” These are just a few of the personal touches that define exceptional guest service. Human interactions are indeed the cornerstone of the guest service mission at most hotels. Get those human interactions right, and you have a satisfied and loyal guest who is likely to sing your praises to others. Get those human interactions wrong, and they can damage your reputation and your business. It’s often the negative voices that ring the loudest and get the most attention. Read on...

Kimberly Abel-Lanier
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Meaningful Work: The Act of Service
  • The American workforce is changing. By 2020, Millennials are predicted to represent 50 percent of the working population. In terms of attracting, retaining and motivating the best and the brightest in this group -- it's simply going to take more than a paycheck, good benefits and a ping pong table. This group (and the upcoming Baby Z's) has lofty goals...they want to impact the world and connect to a higher purpose. This means there are higher expectations for meaningful work coming to the mainstream employer. Read on...

Dennis  Armbruster
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Taking Customer Experience to the Next Level
  • The hotel industry recently experienced some good news with the announcement that overall guest service satisfaction was significantly up in 2015, according to a survey by J.D. Power & Associates. In addition, the number of guests reporting problems declined to its lowest level in almost a decade. Professionals in the hospitality business should be pleased with these indicators – but not too pleased. Hotel operators need to think bigger than mere customer satisfaction, fearlessly applying innovations beyond their niche' Read on...

Kevin Robinson
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Staying the Course of Service
  • Maybe you’ve been there…you look at the clock and the minutes slowly tick by. You’ve fallen into a rut. Often associates feel the same way. It’s vital that managers engage teams to sustain their motivation and passion, both in their day-to-day roles as well as in the service they deliver to guests and customers. According to Gallup's State of the Global Workplace report, a mere 13 percent of employees worldwide are engaged at work, a sobering figure. With engagement at an all-time low, it’s important to motivate your workforce and the impact that it has on engagement. Read on...

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...

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.