Meeting and exceeding guest expectations through insightful guest service has always been the name of the game in hospitality and it can only be achieved through meaningful, strategic investments. This article looks at key factors in guest service today and how guests are defining and driving many service expectations, which, in turn, impacts our hiring and training practices, our use of technology and our operating philosophies. READ MORE

Artificial intelligence drives surveillance systems that can issue traffic violations; image recognition programs that can help doctors diagnose diseases and suggest therapies. We now see its steady integration into the world of hospitality. Importantly, artificial intelligence can not only help us better engage guests, but also empower and expand the capabilities of our staff at a time of intense labor pressures as we emerge from the pandemic. READ MORE

The lodging sector has been devastated by the pandemic. Is there light at the end of the tunnel as vaccine rollout continues? Will demand increase by second quarter of this year? Does IRR anticipate a return to pre-pandemic metrics? As the U.S. exits the current pandemic, major mergers and acquisitions activity is anticipated among the "Big 6" hotel companies. Let's take a closer look at the trends and data behind this sector. READ MORE

In pre-COVID times, ask anyone what constituted good hospitality, and chances are they'd recount a thoughtful in-person human interaction. Herein lies the opportunity. Guests want safe, contactless interactions but still expect exceptional service experiences. So how do we marry the two for a differentiated experience? Here we'll share three ways you can win the hearts and minds battle. READ MORE

April FOCUS

Guest Service: Health and Safety First

The COVID-19 pandemic has not only challenged hotels to stay afloat in a year that decimated their businesses but has asked that they begin to think outside the box to provide stellar guest experiences. This blog offers six ways hotels can embrace the paradigm shift that has rocked hospitality by creatively maintaining safety for guests while still providing memorable experiences. READ MORE

A smile, a handshake and even a hug are touchstones of good, old-fashioned hospitality but can these gestures even exist in the hotel industry or can we enact that goodwill in other ways? Alma Resort's general manager Herbert Laubichler-Pichler delves into where guest service is headed and what we can do to 'connect' with our guests as best we can. READ MORE

Hotel operators are investing in unique ways to replace lost pandemic revenue arising from vacant guestrooms and restricted dining areas. Among candidate creative strategies is implementation of a hotel ghost kitchen and/or virtual branding partnership that supports and extends a property's food and beverage offerings. Successful operational relationships, coupled with advances in multi-brand technology, are moving the industry toward enhanced profitability. READ MORE

Covid-19 has caused the hotel industry to make contactless service the New Normal. This article discusses the dire effects this will have on hospitality, and makes the point that the virus has actually provided a golden opportunity for the hotel industry to reset itself in order to move on from the old-style, mechanical guest experience concept of SOP-Customer Satisfaction and embrace energetic and spiritual Heart-Based Hospitality in which unconditional love is the focus. READ MORE

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More from our online Library Archives...

Karyn Buxman

Customer satisfaction is paramount in the hotel industry. Executives must hire, train and empower people who can problem solve to provide the best customer service. But teaching them how to say "Yes" isn't enough. Where does that leave them when the answer really is "No"? Smart executives expand upon the "Culture of Yes" to include the culture of "Yes and..." Empowering employees with the skills of humor and improv provide them the flexibility and creativity to move beyond traditional problem solving skills. The ability to manage customers' perceptions and create positive experiences despite seemingly negative circumstances can provide organizations with a competitive edge. READ MORE

Chris Charbonnet

At a time when technology and social platforms make guest feedback and reviews more accessible and impactful than ever, a hotel management company's ability to consistently create a memorably outstanding guest experiences is more important than ever before. The best way to make that happen is to create a "culture of yes". That means building a team that's more than just being agreeable, but demonstrates both a willingness and an enthusiasm for responding to guest needs with positivity and problem-solving. Understanding the obstacles to getting there-and the best practices that can help you overcome those challenges-is essential for hotel management excellence. READ MORE

Coming up in May 2021...

Eco-Friendly Practices: Now More Than Ever

One theory about the pandemic states that future viruses are more likely to originate and flourish due to global warming. If true, the urgency to accelerate the adoption of eco-friendly practices is greater than ever. Of course, there are many other reasons to create a sustainable operation, including reduced utility costs, savings on operational costs, healthier and happier guests and employees, and positive publicity, marketing and community goodwill. Many hotels are introducing innovative programs into their operations - from recycling bins in guest rooms to starting a roof top garden. Other hotels are using eco-friendly cleaning products, reusing towels and sheets, sourcing locally grown food, supporting the use of electric vehicles, and permitting guests to refill their reusable water bottles with clean, filtered water. Finally, some hotels are encouraging guests to get involved by making it possible for them to participate in local community clean-up projects. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.