Inspired by Loyalty and Leadership: How Hotel Executives Can Increase Morale and Productivity

By Lewis Fein CEO, Lewis Fein Communications | May 31, 2015

If I were to cite an example of a company that sings the right notes but strikes the wrong chords, a brand that encapsulates this contradiction between authenticity and blatant falsehood, I would point a motley crew of copywriters and art directors, and marketing executives and studio musicians, to the worm coiled within the recesses of my ear; because this commercial, aired during Super Bowl XLVIII, is an unintentional metaphor for business leaders everywhere, including hoteliers who must never convey anything but graciousness and sincerity.

I refer to Bob Dylan's on-camera montage, one part voice-over and three parts walking, talking (and presumably, driving), on behalf of the Chrysler 200.

This nasal-voiced paean to Detroit, which opens with an inane rhetorical question ("Is there anything more American than America?"), and cuts to the addictive melody of "Things Have Changed," interspersed with motion pictures of horses, cheerleaders, a flag-adorned Millennial (later seen holding her son like a prop), a neon-lit diner (in the desert), an amusement park and a duo of dead celebrities (Marilyn Monroe and James Dean), among other things, this mess comes to us from a car manufacturer owned by a Netherlands-based holding company with its global headquarters in London.

The lesson to hotel executives, by way of this two-minute combination of kitsch and pool hall bravado – the ad ends with Dylan, clothed in funereal black with 15 or more men behind him, breaking a rack of balls – is, all promises ("We...will...build...your car.") to the contrary, nonsense.

And people know it!

Again, this roundabout emphasis on sincerity is the result of the repetitious power of a song having the opposite effect on this listener.

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Coming up in April 2019...

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.