Ownership: Your Guests Tell the Story

By Marcus Nicolls Senior Vice President and Business Unit President, Partners in Leadership (PIL) | May 03, 2015

Want people to say good things about your hotel? The key: create a guest experience like this one from the Hyatt Regency in Chesapeake Bay. A colleague of ours had arrived to give a keynote address to a large global audience. He arrived dog-tired after an intense client schedule the prior few weeks. He was exhausted and thoroughly spent-and it turns out he had contracted the norovirus on his trip. Now in Virginia, it hit him in full force at what couldn't have been a less opportune time. At check in, he mentioned he wasn't feeling well, and after barely making it to his room, he dealt with this violent illness as most of us would-curling up on the floor and wondering how he would make it through the night.

Within a few minutes, there was a knock at the door. He literally crawled to the door and was astonished to see the front desk clerk with a complimentary ginger ale and bottle of Pepto-Bismol. Oh what a relief it was! Clearly, he thought, this is above and beyond the call of duty. Our colleague expressed thanks as well as he could and went to bed. In the morning, he was still sick and in no position to give his speech. He arranged for a colleague to fill in while he continued battling the sickness.

By early afternoon, and still clutching the empty ginger ale bottle, there came another knock. This time it wasn't the front desk clerk, but the property manager with another ginger ale, a bowl of soup, a box of saltine crackers, and a "get well soon" card from the staff.

"Is there anything else I can do?" the manager asked.

"Well, when I was growing up," our colleague responded, "my mother would give me popsicles. Boy, could I use a popsicle right now."

"I'm on it," was the manager's reply.

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Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.