Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
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...

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...

JUNE: Sales & Marketing: Who Owns the Guest?

Emanuel Baudart

Social media opens the doors to conversations about experiences – good or bad. Twitter gives hotel guests the option to air their grievances while Instagram gives them the bragging rights on their best days. Customers are giving out their feedback and it’s up to the industry to take it seriously in how hotels engage with their guests. A guest’s social media is an opportunity for hotels to work better and more efficiently to target and enhance the guest experience. Coupling the data that guests give through social media with the data we have from years of growing AccorHotels, we are focusing on using the right tools to best access the guest. At AccorHotels, we are moving away from the transactional model of hospitality and focusing on building relationships through social engagement and bolstering the benefits of our loyalty program. In order to do both, we’ve invested in building better tools for our hotels to succeed on the promise of hospitality – great service, attention and comfort. Read on...

Wendy Blaney

In a world where almost everything is done digitally, it is important to remember how impactful a two-way conversation can be for consumers interested in booking travel. There is no denying that it has become easier and easier to plan trips online, and purchase products almost instantly – yet there are still many customers who want the personal touch and assurance that they truly understand what it is that they are buying. They want someone to provide direction, answer questions, and give them “insider” information. This is especially true for a dynamic destination like Atlantis where there are an abundance of options. Our guests aren’t just interested in a resort, they are seeking a coveted, catered experience. Read on...

Mustafa Menekse

Though it seems that online travel agencies have been a part of the hotel booking landscape for eons, the reality is that just 25 years ago, brick and mortar travel agencies were the norm. Travelers would visit an agency for trip planning advice, printed brochures, and to speak with actual travel agents to assist in booking airfare, hotel accommodations and rental cars. Travel agencies had the knowledge and information about the destination and, of course, the tools and connections to book hotels and flights to begin with. The support these agencies provided put traveler’s minds at ease, especially for international trips. This was the foundation of why OTAs are in existence. Read on...

Scott Weiler

A guest of a hotel or chain books with an OTA. Terrific for everyone, right? The OTA is grateful for the transaction, and hopes to get a nice share of that customer’s travel bookings for years to come. The hotel is happy to get a (let’s say) first time guest. Sure, they paid a commission for that booking, but the GM and their team is ready to do their stuff. Which is to say – deliver a great stay experience. Now what? Now it’s a battle of the marketers! Read on...

Coming Up In The July Online Hotel Business Review




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Feature Focus
Hotel Spa: Measuring the Results
As the Hotel Spa and Wellness Movement continues to flourish, spa operations are seeking new and innovative ways to expand their menu of services to attract even more people to their facilities, and to and measure the results of spa treatments. Whether it’s spa, fitness, wellness meet guest expectations. Among new developments, there seems to be a growing emphasis on science to define or beauty services, guests are becoming increasingly careful about what they ingest, inhale or put on their skin, and they are requesting scientific data on the treatments they receive. They are open to exploring the benefits of alternative therapies – like brain fitness exercises, electro-magnetic treatments, and chromotherapy – but only if they have been validated scientifically. Similarly, some spas are integrating select medical services and procedures into their operations, continuing the convergence of hotel spas with the medical world. Parents are also increasingly concerned about the health and well-being of their children and are willing to devote time and money to overcome their poor diets, constant stress, and hours spent hunched over computer, tablet and smartphone screens. Parents are investing in wellness-centric family vacations; yoga and massage for kids; mindfulness and meditation classes; and healthy, locally sourced, organic food. For hotel spas, this trend represents a significant area for future growth. Other trends include the proliferation of Wellness Festivals which celebrate health and well-being, and position hotel spas front and center. The July issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these trends and developments and examine how hotel spas are integrating them into their operations.