Library Archives

 
Bill Caswell

Across industries, loyalty programs are a virtual battlefield where the fight for customers is happening. From airlines to retail chains, credit cards and hotels, companies are competing aggressively for business by offering loyal customers better perks than rivals. The ascendance of loyalty programs represents a unique threat to independent hotels, however. The challenge is redemption. Large hotel chains allow travelers to earn and redeem points at thousands of properties globally. Big hotel brands don't hold all the cards, however. As independent hotels figure out loyalty programs, they are better positioned to implement them effectively and deliver world class service. Read on...

Mark Allvey

Niquesa Travel is dedicated to providing clients with hyper-bespoke travel experiences, aimed less at where they want to go and more at how they want to feel while there. It believes that travel should be transformational, attending to each desire or need of guests. These intensely personal requirements demand an exemplary level of client care; gaining their confidence and intuiting their needs to curate the experience that they are seeking. Mark Allvey, Managing Director and Founder of Niquesa Travel, outlines its approach to guest service which goes above and beyond the expected from the outset. Read on...

Keiko Sutton

The women of today have begun to shift public opinion on who is able to travel alone-studies have shown that accommodations booked by female lone travelers has increased by 45 percent in recent years. As women continue to venture out into the world for solo travel experiences, safety precautions remain a major concern. Throughout Japan, this issue has been remedied by women-centric travel and experiential accommodations. Taking women's comfort into consideration, sleep capsules are being utilized in hotels that exclusively serve women or offer the option of gender specific floors, offering women necessary privacy and safety in their own spaces. Read on...

Steve Cohen

Artificial intelligence will never replace the warmth and welcome of personal interaction; however, in the hospitality industry, it can be an effective tool to enhance the guest experience. AI can help smooth out touchpoints and anticipate guests' needs. While the guest is at the center of any hotel or resort experience, AI can also benefit brands with back-of-house efficiencies like improving supply chain, staffing, scheduling and more. Used correctly, AI has the potential to vastly improve the hotel guest experience. It is a tool that can make hospitality brands more profitable, but only as a complement to the human touch. Read on...

Priyanko Guchait, PhD

This article introduces a new service recovery method called Stealing Thunder - a proactive strategy to handle service failures which can have a significant impact on customer loyalty and trust. Stealing thunder implies the service provider identifies a service failure first and takes the initiative to report the failure to the customer before the customer has identified the service failure. When proactive service recovery strategies such as stealing thunder are used, there may not be a need to offer monetary compensation to customers following a service failure. Recommendations are provided to managers about incorporating "stealing thunder" in employee training. Read on...

Mark Ricketts

The desired outcome for any hotel is maximum occupancy and ADR, smooth operations, productive and motivated staff, and realistic return on investment. However, all this is dependent on having a continuing stream of guests pass through our doors and keeping them satisfied, so that they come back in the future and recommend us to others. But how do we achieve the guest satisfaction needed to achieve those goals? This article considers some basics: what are the imperatives of genuine customer satisfaction and how might we achieve them. Read on...

Rocco Bova

In recent times, loyalty has become more and more difficult to attain. Many hotel companies have been through incredible challenges to retain and create new loyal customers. The birth of new ''brands'', to capture new segments, has never seen this scale before. Even loyalty programs are being re-invented to keep the interest of users and more so, to attract the new and future generation of travellers (here I am not going to talk about only Millennials). Since its inception, in the early 80's, loyalty programs have witnessed many changes. So where is loyalty going? Read on as we discover what is happening in the world of loyalty and my personal insights about it. Read on...

Patrick Connolly

Today's consumers are demanding more personalized services and unique experiences than ever before. This continues to create rapid change and heavy competition across many industries as they struggle to meet these new challenges, and hospitality is no exception. But how do you keep pace with the ever-changing demands of your guests? Although certain technologies can help you plan for and anticipate these needs, it's your people that will make the most difference. Learn how Holiday Inn Club Vacations engages, invests in, and provides its team the skills and knowledge to be one of the fastest-growing timeshare companies in the industry. Read on...

Nancy Obstler

"My pleasure." Though just two words and three syllables, this simple phrase can serve as the cornerstone for a hotel's delivering on a great guest experience. I have found that by training associates to not only say but to also consistently live this creed can make a difference in the success of a property. So, how do we develop quality hotel associates to try to be better every day? How do we make guest service a priority of every hotel associate's job function, regardless of the department in which they are engaged? Read on...

Mark Ricketts

There's clearly a fun side to hospitality, one that we should embrace and celebrate, for our guests, our host communities and ourselves. Keeping hospitality entertaining is a great way to keep staff engaged. It's about teamwork, motivation and a sense of pride in one's work, as well as a way to show appreciation for what our people do to make us look great in a wide range of activities and interactions with others. In this way, fun also has a serious side and can accomplish a great deal for our organizations. Read on...

Roberta Nedry

As Halloween approaches, what parts of your property or organization are scary and even creepy? Where are you paying LESS attention even though your guests spend MORE attention in these often neglected areas? How do you ensure that the guest experience is truly a comprehensive guest experience throughout every spot in your environment? Seamless delivery of service is dependent upon attending to each touchpoint and not frightening guests and even employees with questionable impressions. Consider a closer look at your stairwells, your garages and your elevators. Get in the season for Halloween but don't make it Halloween all year long... Read on...

Justin Laxton

Providing your hotel guests with the essential items they want and need is an important ingredient of overall customer satisfaction. In this article, we'll dive into tactics you could use to identify the essentials your customers need, and discuss how the brands you stock can lead to a delightful customer experience. We'll also discuss the role local trends and sustainability can play in creating a strong customer impression. At the end of the article, you will have a good idea of how to build and maintain a continuous process to create memorable experiences for your customers. Read on...

Steven Ferry

In the first two articles in this series, we looked at how independent Quality Assurance programs have fallen into a conventional wisdom and modus operandi that is out of touch with their clients' and their guests' needs and then examined the challenges and relevance of QA in helping their client's assess their performance in a world increasingly guided by the megaphone of social-media reviews. In this third and last article, we look at what an ideal QA program would look like, in the hope that third-party QA companies, and/or internal QA programs are listening and decide to upgrade their assessments and programs. Read on...

Philia Tounta

Tourism is one of the greatest global industries that improves according to the continuous changes in tourism trends and consumer preferences. That makes the concept of innovation a vital concern for all hotels to stand out from the competition with successful applications and profitable operations. However, the importance of innovation has been long underestimated in guest experiences. Gone are the days that travelers were satisfied with an ordinary bed and breakfast. Travelers now look for improved cost/value relation and new innovative applications which promote the terms, “new tourist” and “new tourism products” to their offerings. Read on...

Gary Isenberg

The lodging business is really about providing guest service. Keeping a loyal client hinges on providing exceptional experiences – ones that people will talk about, share, remember and entice them to return. Today’s consumer is much less forgiving and there are no second chances when it comes to providing a great experience. Fortunately, realizing the negative implications of a bad encounter with a customer, companies in all industries have upped their customer service game. Today, there is no excuse for a hotel not to provide excellent customer service. All it takes is a simple yet powerful technique of managing customer expectations by under-promising and over-delivering on your service commitments. Read on...

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Coming up in February 2020...

Social Media: Social Listening Tools

The reach and influence of social media is staggering. Nearly 3 billion people use social media daily, posting a range of messages, selfies, images, and everything in-between. According to HubSpot, almost 4 million posts are uploaded to the major social networks every single minute! That's an astounding amount of content and it is crucial for hotels to skillfully use social media in order to effectively compete. From establishing a suitable brand identity and voice to creating content across all the major networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.), the goal is to actively engage consumers and to eventually convert them to customers. Some hotels are initiating online contests as a way to attract new customers, while others are rewarding customers with discounts who subscribe to the their email lists or follow their social media pages. Another recent strategy is to employ social media listening tools that track what people are posting online about their businesses. These tools allow hotels to monitor - or listen to - what's being said about a brand across the entire social web, and this can prove to be very valuable, unfiltered information. Social listening permits hotels to be aware of people's opinions about their business, industry or competitors, and some of these tools even listen beyond social media platforms. They also monitor publicly available information on blogs, forums, news outlets and websites. Some listening tools are more focused on gathering and analyzing data, while others offer more engagement-oriented features, which allow hotels to interact with people right from the platform. Often the information that is gleaned from these listening tools ends up being the most authentic, unbiased insights a business can get. The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to successfully integrate social media strategies into their operations.