Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
Michael  Schubach
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Personalization and the Guest Experience
  • When one thinks about the word “personalization,” many images can be conjured. Perhaps it’s a monogram or engraving to signify ownership of an object. Or maybe it’s home decor: the artwork and memorabilia that make the space your own. Some people might be reminded of their desk at work, loaded with little time-killer toys to amuse oneself during those occasional hiatuses of inactivity. What may not have made your list of highly personalized experiences is a hotel room – or even a hotel stay. Odd, isn’t it? Especially now that the hospitality industry’s newest, most popular mission is to provide not just the bed and the bath but the “beyond” – the unique guest experience. Read on...

Tema Frank
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • A Cure for the Hotel Website Review Blues
  • Answering reviews, whether positive or negative, is one of the best marketing investments you can make. Just remember to keep your cool, even in the face of outrageous complaints. Review sites like Trip Advisor and Booking.com are here to stay. Sadly, many hotels still aren't dealing with them very well. Either they ignore them (or seem to, by never commenting) or, in some cases, they get downright hostile. That’s a no-win situation. Let's take a look at some classic examples followed by solutions on how you can do better... Read on...

Lily Mockerman
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Guest Service and Customer Perception
  • When beginning the search for a room, guests already have certain ideas of the class of hotel they’ll consider, amenities that they expect, and the price they’re willing to pay. They also have an idea of how the room will be used, special considerations they will require, and how they want the experience to play out. Hoteliers need to be able to anticipate these guest expectations, even though the value perception for one guest is totally different than another, to be able to not only meet them but exceed them, and to align prices with the potential guest’s budget. Read on...

Benjamin Jost
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • A Winning Guest Feedback Formula for Your Hotel's Success
  • As we enter into the planning period for 2018, you might be talking about revenue forecasting, occupancy rates prediction, holiday promotions - but have you factored in the winning guest feedback formula to operate a hotel successfully? This “winning formula” is one I’ve written about before, but here, and in my two upcoming articles, I’ll be sharing specific details on how to use this formula in your 2018 planning, in order to see greater success next year. By now, you probably want to know what this formula is. Read on...

Benjamin Jost
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • The Evolution of the Review
  • While it’s unlikely that Mary and Joseph left a scathing TripAdvisor review after being turned away at the Inn in Bethlehem, hotel reviews have been around, in various forms, since the first hotel opened its doors. As with many other human activities (relationships, journalism/information sharing, etc), “reviews” have become digital. And like those other activities, entire ecosystems have sprung up to support this new channel. Read on...

Benjamin Jost
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • How Guest Feedback Aligns with Your Hotel's Top Goals
  • In a recent interview, Airbnb co-founder and chief strategy officer, Nathan Blecharczyk, said their future goals lie in “becoming a platform for the entire trip, so no longer just about accommodations…really trying to reinvent every aspect of travel.” I believe hoteliers need to think along the same lines: how do we reinvent the travel experience – from search to booking to providing a top-notch experience on-site – to not only compete with the likes of Airbnb but also to achieve your hotel’s top goals? Read on...

Allison Ferguson
Pamela Whitby
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Is Personalization Travel's New Super Power?
  • For successful tech companies building a solid and loyal customer base is far less about trusting your gut than having the right data and testing and learning from it. Flattened company hierarchies are also seen as important in getting the best from teams and, as a result, building more successful customer relationships based on personal preferences. So in a turbulent and highly competitive market, should hotels should start thinking more like tech companies to take back control? Read on...

Benjamin Jost
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • A Platform Approach to Feedback
  • When does a hotel customer become a “guest”? Is it at the point where they book a reservation? The moment they walk through the doors into the lobby? Somewhere in between? Our team at TrustYou set out to identify the guest experience through the lens of guest communications, running a survey and observational study that encompassed nearly 1,000 participants. We identified the likes and dislikes of these guests. Along the way, we found some very interesting numbers relating to how travelers like to communicate with their hotel, and how these communication methods impact satisfaction levels. Read on...

Allison Ferguson
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • How Hotel Brands Can Democratize Loyalty to Win
  • As a frequent business traveler, I get clear value from my hotel loyalty program membership. My room is ready, I have check in and out flexibility, and usually free breakfast and wifi. I get points on the room spend (paid by someone else) that allows me to accumulate points for free nights, which I usually use for leisure. When traveling for a family vacation, however, the impact of my membership is less tangible. When I travel for business, the hotel loyalty program captures my interactions well and rewards me for my loyalty. When I travel for leisure, however, the program often does a poor job of capturing my total spend and delivering a differentiated experience. That’s because hotel loyalty programs are designed to build relationships with road warriors rather than vacationers. Read on...

Scott Hale
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Intuitive Guest Service: A Whole New Level of Guest Expectation
  • Home sweet home. Your dog recognizes the sound of your car pulling in the drive and waits anxiously for you at the front door. Your thermostat knows the temperature that you expect the kitchen to be as you prepare dinner. Your stereo knows what playlist works best with tonight’s recipe. Your television has your preferred programming all cued up when you’re done with your meal. The list goes on. Home sweet home. What if you could make your guests’ next experience at your hotel just like home – but better? You can. Read on...

Roberta Nedry
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Take the Service Elevator to the Top Floor
  • United Airlines’ recent ‘episodes’ and other news headlines SHOUT the need for rereading the article below. Customer, Employee and Employer Emotions are all over the place. Leaders need to reassess and reassign priorities, especially on the behaviors essential to delivering respectful as well as exceptional service and experiences. Procedures are important but without proactive personal and perceptual attention, fiascos and unsatisfying results and emotions usually take place. This month Hotel Business Review focused on all aspects of Guest Service and Emerging Growth Markets in this constantly evolving arena. Read on...

Adele Gutman
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • How the Aria Hotel Budapest Became the Number One Hotel in the World
  • Before the first shovel was in the ground, we knew Aria Hotel Budapest would be an extraordinary hotel. For the Library Hotel Collection and our founder, Henry Kallan, creating a hotel that is beyond ordinary is everything. We think about each detail of the design and experience to create wow factors for our guests. These elements generate rave reviews, and rave reviews are the cornerstone of our marketing program. This is how we became the #1 Hotel in the World in the TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards. Read on...

Megan Wenzl
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Creating Customer Engagement in a Customer-Focused Company
  • A personalized guest experience is important in today’s hospitality industry. Guests can voice their opinion about a hotel in seconds because of the Internet, and their feedback is contained in sources like social media sites and online reviews. Potential guests read this information when they are looking for where to stay on their next summer vacation. Guests will post online reviews about their experiences. According to research by ReviewTrackers, 45 percent of hotel guests are likely to leave to a review after a negative experience, while 37.6 percent of hotel guests are likely to leave a review after a positive experience Read on...

Shayne Paddock
  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Authentic Personalized Guest Engagement in an Automated World
  • In the past year I’ve traveled to New York City on several business trips usually staying at the same hotel every time. I did that in part to learn how the hotel would interact with me on each repeat stay. Would they treat me differently? Would they recognize me on my fourth stay? Would they remember my name? Each time the reservation staff warmly greeted me but always asked “Have you stayed with us before”. Upon arriving in my room there would always be a hand written letter from the GM welcoming me to the hotel. Read on...

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NOVEMBER: Architecture & Design: Authentic, Interactive and Immersive

Eric Rahe

The advent of social media brought with it an important shift in the hospitality industry. Any guest’s experience might be amplified to thousands of potential customers, and you want to be sure that your hotel stands out for the right reasons. Furthermore, technology has increased competition. According to Euromonitor International, the travel industry will have the highest online payment percentage of any industry by 2020, often occurring through third-party sites that display your competitors alongside you. As a result, many hoteliers are looking to stand out by engaging customers and the experience has become more interactive than ever. Read on...

Pat Miller

Even the most luxurious hotel has a finite budget when it comes to the design or re-design of hotel spaces. The best designers prioritize expenses that have the biggest impact on guest perceptions, while minimizing or eliminating those that don’t. This story will focus on three blockbuster areas – the entry experience, the guest room, and the public spaces. This article will focus on these three key areas and shed light on how the decision making process and design choices made with care and attention can create memorable, luxe experiences without breaking the bank. Read on...

Patrick Burke

For over 35 years, American architect Patrick Burke, AIA has led Michael Graves Architecture & Design to create unique hospitality experiences for hotel operators and travelers around the globe, in Asia, Europe, the U.S. and the Middle East. As the hospitality industry has shifted from making travelers feel at home while away to providing more dynamic experiences, boutique hotels have evolved to create hyper local, immersive environments. Having witnessed and contributed to the movement, Burke discusses the value of authentic character that draws on physical and social context to create experiences that cannot be had anywhere else in the world. Read on...

Alan Roberts

More than ever before, guests want and expect the design of a hotel to accurately reflect its location, regardless of whether they visit a property in an urban center, a historic neighborhood or a resort destination. They also seek this sense of place without wanting to sacrifice the level and consistency of service they’ve come to expect from a beloved hotel brand. A unique guest experience is now something expected not just desirable from any hotel wishing to compete in the world today. A hotel’s distinctive design and execution goes a long way to attracting todays discerning customer. Read on...

Coming Up In The December Online Hotel Business Review




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Feature Focus
Hotel Law: Issues & Events
There is not a single area of a hotel’s operation that isn’t touched by some aspect of the law. Hotels and management companies employ an army of lawyers to advise and, if necessary, litigate issues which arise in the course of conducting their business. These lawyers typically specialize in specific areas of the law – real estate, construction, development, leasing, liability, franchising, food & beverage, human resources, environmental, insurance, taxes and more. In addition, issues and events can occur within the industry that have a major impact on the whole, and can spur further legal activity. One event which is certain to cause repercussions is Marriott International’s acquisition of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide. This newly combined company is now the largest hotel company in the world, encompassing 30 hotel brands, 5,500 hotels under management, and 1.1 million hotel rooms worldwide. In the hospitality industry, scale is particularly important – the most profitable companies are those with the most rooms in the most locations. As a result, this mega- transaction is likely to provoke an increase in Mergers & Acquisitions industry-wide. Many experts believe other larger hotel companies will now join forces with smaller operators to avoid being outpaced in the market. Companies that had not previously considered consolidation are now more likely to do so. Another legal issue facing the industry is the regulation of alternative lodging companies such as Airbnb and other firms that offer private, short-term rentals. Cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles and Santa Monica are at the forefront of efforts to legalize and control short-term rentals. However, those cities are finding it’s much easier to adopt regulations on short-term rentals than it is to actually enforce them. The December issue of Hotel Business Review will examine these and other critical issues pertaining to hotel law and how some companies are adapting to them.