The World's Experts in the Palm of Your Hand

Hotel Executives and the Search for Excellence

By Brandon Xavier Founder, OnCall | July 26, 2015

Hotel executives face many challenges, starting with the need – no, the urgency – to provide an experience, to business travelers and vacationers alike, that is consistently excellent. These professionals cannot be right some or most of the time; they must be right, or at least try their best to be right, all the time. They must have a team of experts, from specialists with the most valuable of skills to consultants fluent in the nuances and vernacular of running a major property, hotel or resort.

To mix metaphors, and thereby conflate nautical images with more terrestrial pursuits, think of a hotel as a great ocean liner, which itself is a seafaring resort, with a massive infrastructure of pipes, engines, pressure gauges, propulsion systems and copper, nickel, bronze and aluminum propellers; a feat of mechanical wonder and engineering prowess matched by rooms, theaters and dining halls of equal magnificence, albeit of different design and purpose, where a vast array of chefs, servers, cleaners, greeters, carpenters, craftsmen, entertainers and performers, and administrators – as well as the captain himself – make a guest's experience smooth sailing, so to speak.

Finding those experts should not be difficult. Nor should hotel executives become prisoners of geography, limited by the few specialists who live and work near a particular hotel. Do not, in other words, expect to find an IT executive with 15 years of detailed work history, who also happens to be 40 minutes away (by outrigger canoe) from your intimate destination in Tahiti or the Maldives. That person may exist, but no hotel executive should deprive him- or herself of choices.

Why would any executive forgo the chance to access a global community of experts, when doing so involves nothing more than tapping an icon on your smartphone or tablet? The question is a rhetorical one because, when it is that easy to find, message and video chat with a specialist, it would be foolish to do otherwise. It would be a mistake not to assemble a virtual team of experts, including creators of everything from bespoke travel adventures to technical supervisors and business consultants, who can deliver the services you need – and the insight you require – without making you a hostage of your surroundings.

Think of this statement as an expression of confidence, based on a review of the innovation underway concerning iOS and Android devices that connect users with a global network of experts in a diverse number of categories. Knowing how critical it is to identify and hire the best talent possible is progress in its own right.

No doubt hotel executives share this sentiment, since they pursue perfection for the sake of their ideals and for the satisfaction of their guests. Perfection is a high standard – it is the highest standard – and, while we are an imperfect people on a seemingly futile quest, and though we may never attain the greatest good – it shall always elude us – that does not mean the journey (and the pursuit of the best experts) will not leave us wiser, stronger and smarter.

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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.