Are You Getting the Most From Your In-Room Entertainment?

By Michael S. Wasik Chairman, CEO, Interim CFO, Roomlinx Inc. | April 30, 2010

Take Back Control of your TV - Haven't you let others control it long enough?

SCENARIO 1:

You've just arrived in a new city and checked into your hotel. You turn on the TV to be greeted with a woman telling you to select 1 for Hollywood hits, or 2 for hot, steamy action. Not the most welcoming greeting. Its 6:30pm, you're hungry, you have some work to do, and you want to relax. You do not feel like talking to the concierge so you boot-up your laptop to do a Google search, but you need to get an access code to log on to the internet. 15 minutes later you are able to view restaurants in the area.

Once you've calmed your grumbling stomach, you pull the laptop out again to do your work. Then, to take your mind off your travels and long day, you venture to the TV again and begin surfing the channels to find a very limited selection, and only 3 HD channels. You peruse through the movie options that will, on average, set you back the cost of a week's worth of lattes. No HD movies either. You decide to turn in; a bit frustrated and not so relaxed.

SCENARIO 2:

You walk into your room to some relaxing background music and beautiful HD images rotating on a flatscreen LCD TV, which also displays a welcome message. Once you're settled in, you pick up the remote control and have easy access to many local restaurant options listed in an easy-to-read display, complete with map and directions from the hotel, right on the hotel's LCD TV. You can visit the restaurant's website with the click of a button, view their menus and even read customer reviews. You order food from one of the restaurants and, while you wait for your delivery, you explore the 'Business' option on the TV screen and notice all the programs you need are right there. You plug in your flash drive and start editing your documents and spreadsheets with a wireless keyboard.

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Guest Service: A Culture of YES

In a recent global consumers report, 97% of the participants said that customer service is a major factor in their loyalty to a brand, and 76% said they view customer service as the true test of how much a company values them. And since there is no industry more reliant on customer satisfaction than the hotel industry, managers must be unrelenting in their determination to hire, train and empower the very best people, and to create a culture of exceptional customer service within their organization. Of course, this begins with hiring the right people. There are people who are naturally service-oriented; people who are warm, empathetic, enthusiastic, pleasant, thoughtful and optimistic; people who take pride in their ability to solve problems for the hotel guests they are serving. Then, those same employees must be empowered to solve problems using their own judgment, without having to track down a manager to do it. This is how seamless problem solving and conflict resolution are achieved in guest service. This willingness to empower employees is part of creating a Culture of Yes within an organization.  The goal is to create an environment in which everyone is striving to say “Yes”, rather than figuring out ways to say, “No”. It is essential that this attitude be instilled in all frontline, customer-facing, employees. Finally, in order to ensure that the hotel can generate a consistent level of performance across a wide variety of situations, management must also put in place well-defined systems and standards, and then educate their employees about them. Every employee must be aware of and responsible for every standard that applies in their department. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.