10 Common Sense Ideas to Create Uncommon Impact at Your Property

By Kalen Willis Senior Interior Designer, Hatchett Hospitality | October 23, 2011

Today's economic environment calls for an FF&E strategy that carefully blends common sense and financial sense. Here are 10 tips to make your property stand out from the competition in practical, yet cost-effective ways.

Capture the Style & Spirit of Your Site

Whether it's for business or for leisure, travelers are away from home and that is always a little disorienting. Your design choices can help create a soothing "sense of belonging" for your guests – which will almost certainly make their trip more productive and more memorable, thereby increasing their chance of returning and of recommending your property to others.

Examples of accenting your location and reflecting local culture include:

  • With architectural design and finishing materials – rough stone and exposed timber for a rugged look in mountain or desert locations; polished marble and dark woods for a "board room" or "country club" look
  • With paintings, wall hangings, and sculpture that bring the character of your community inside
  • With colors – reds and yellows are warm colors, desirable in destinations that are "hot" in temperature or in action such as a gaming resort, while cool colors such as blues and greens are suitable for business locations and sites designed for relaxation
  • With fabrics – light weight and smooth texture for bed coverings, window treatments, and wall coverings typically convey a more relaxing, luxurious atmosphere than fabrics that are heavy in weight and rough in texture

Accessories With Attitude

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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.