How to Deal with Guests Who Use Google Glass

By Brandon Dennis VP of Marketing, | August 11, 2013

Tech bloggers predict that Google Glass, the computer you can wear on your head like glasses, will be available to consumers by as early as Christmas 2013. While we don't know how popular this new product from Google will be, many theorize that Glass will be the dawn of a new age of wearable device technology, reaching similar adoption rates as the tablet and smartphone technologies before it.

If true, then hoteliers will have to adapt to the technology quickly, just as they had to adapt to smartphones and tablets. The following are some ideas to think about for dealing with guests who use Google Glass, and possible opportunities to market your property.

Focus on Customer Service

Google Glass includes a camera that can both shoot pictures and record video, which users activate by saying "Ok Glass, take a video", or by simply winking. Moreover, Glass can instantly upload these photos and videos to the Internet. This means that your guests can record their conversations with your front desk staff and publish them to YouTube in minutes.

Currently, when guests have a problem with your hotel, they tweet about it, and it's basically their word against yours. Scandals usually occur when the hotel responds poorly. But with Glass, guests will have entire recorded conversations, and the poor choices one hot-headed employee makes in the heat of the moment, caught on film forever, could cost you your business.

Make sure your customer-facing staff understands the implications of their daily choices, and train them how to talk with guests who have concerns. This training will be essential when Glass hits.

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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.