Do Your Internal Processes Line up with Your External Promises?

By Tema Frank CEO, Frank Reactions | August 17, 2014

How many hotels do you know of that promise a great guest experience? It's hard to think of any that don't. But how many of them really deliver it?

These days, when the promise and the experience don't match up, guests will not only tell their friends, they'll slash your bookings by trumpeting the bad experience on sites like TripAdvisor, Booking.com. Twitter and Facebook.

There's no question that most hotel managers want to deliver a great guest experience, but wanting and doing it are two very different things. To provide outstanding guest experiences you need a combination of core values, great staff and effective processes to back them up.

One of my first jobs was to open 50 new bank branches for a Quebec-based French language bank, in Ontario, a very Anglo part of Canada. Our strategy was to focus on delivering outstanding customer service. Instead of hiring branch staff for their banking experience we recruited them from places like restaurants and retail stores; anywhere we could find people who were friendly and got the concept of great customer service

Our slogan was "Always Ahead in Personal Service." We even guaranteed that if customers weren't happy with our service in the first 90 days we would refund double their service charges for that period. Pretty revolutionary stuff for a bank, at least in those days.

People flooded in to open accounts.

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Eco-Friendly Practices: Corporate Social Responsibility

The hotel industry has undertaken a long-term effort to build more responsible and socially conscious businesses. What began with small efforts to reduce waste - such as paperless checkouts and refillable soap dispensers - has evolved into an international movement toward implementing sustainable development practices. In addition to establishing themselves as good corporate citizens, adopting eco-friendly practices is sound business for hotels. According to a recent report from Deloitte, 95% of business travelers believe the hotel industry should be undertaking “green” initiatives, and Millennials are twice as likely to support brands with strong management of environmental and social issues. Given these conclusions, hotels are continuing to innovate in the areas of environmental sustainability. For example, one leading hotel chain has designed special elevators that collect kinetic energy from the moving lift and in the process, they have reduced their energy consumption by 50%  over conventional elevators. Also, they installed an advanced air conditioning system which employs a magnetic mechanical system that makes them more energy efficient. Other hotels are installing Intelligent Building Systems which monitor and control temperatures in rooms, common areas and swimming pools, as well as ventilation and cold water systems. Some hotels are installing Electric Vehicle charging stations, planting rooftop gardens, implementing stringent recycling programs, and insisting on the use of biodegradable materials. Another trend is the creation of Green Teams within a hotel's operation that are tasked to implement earth-friendly practices and manage budgets for green projects. Some hotels have even gone so far as to curtail or eliminate room service, believing that keeping the kitchen open 24/7 isn't terribly sustainable. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.