The Internet - Mistakes Companies Make In Computer/Internet Crime Prevention

By Peter Goldmann President, FraudAware Hospitality | April 01, 2010

The report also shows that last year, brand Web sites were the source of 66% of the brands' centrally booked Internet reservations.

The resounding message, of course, is that Internet-based business is rapidly becoming the preferred method for booking reservations.

Importantly, this trend is only the latest in a series of transitions of hotel business operations to electronic protocols. Food and beverage transactions...automated check out and electronic room keys have been standard operating procedure for years.

The Security Challenge

Why is this important? Along with the wonderful employee productivity and financial payoffs of electronic operations has come an enormous new challenge for management: Cyber-crime.

Despite the whiz-bang capabilities of high-tech customer data storage, transaction archives, and networked computing, the opportunities for cyber-criminals to steal confidential data...manipulate financial numbers...and embezzle money are more plentiful than any hotel executive would really want to know.

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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.