Library Archives

 
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...

Roberta Nedry

Think about professional tour guides and their role in making an entire experience come alive for everyone on their tour. They know their scripts but also all the in-between moments , stories and connections that will make the tour more memorable. They understand that reacting to their tour participants’ emotions, questions and interests along the way will make the tour more meaningful. Now, apply this concept to everyone in your business, your organization, your hospitality environment. Inspire them to become hospitality tour guides! Make each moment, each transaction, each interaction part of YOUR tour and in turn your strategy to make your hospitality experiences more meaningful and positively memorable. Learn from the best and reach greater destinations in service excellence! Read on...

Steven Ferry

Services that fail to change with the times, fall out of use: Robust, third-party QA programs are, surprisingly, one such otherwise valuable service that we may see disappearing as social media are increasingly used by guests and management alike, to determine the state of affairs and rankings of hotels and resorts. The replacement of professionals by amateurs, who are armed with a little knowledge and the full confidence of their own particular experience, is not necessarily an improvement; but it is certainly a reality. Part II of the three-part series on Quality Assurance looks at the pros and cons of each, and the best way to retain the professionalism of QA audits. Read on...

Roberta Nedry

Please the "F" Word to Inspire Better Service! Don't worry…the "F" stands for FEELINGS and we need to use them as guideposts in all our service actions. Hospitality leaders and their teams should inspire their teams to etch the 'F' word front and center to their actions, reactions and behaviors to get more ups than downs, and more awareness of what causes positive or negative feelings. Gain new perspective on the infamous "F" word and why it can be a powerful strategy in Hospitality leadership and delivery. Read on...

Steven Ferry

We tried unsuccessfully on several occasions over the years to give independent QA providers standards for the butler service being offered by (463) luxury hotels around the world so they could incorporate those standards into their own and help raise butler-service levels in the hospitality industry in a way that our small organization could not, on its own, achieve. All to no avail, but we learned as the years rolled on: Many five-star properties asked us to conduct mystery guest assessments of their butlers, and some even of their whole properties. In doing so, we were asked to assess against internal hotel/chain standards, as well as those of other QA providers. Finding they fell short in various aspects, we were compelled to create our own standards... Read on...

Simon Hudson

It is common knowledge that to develop a strong service culture, organizations in the hospitality sector have to invest in training initiatives. But training for a service-oriented culture requires more than a single program or class - training needs to be ongoing in order to avoid apathy on the part of employees. This article will focus on the training initiatives of three tourism destinations - Telluride and Aspen in Colorado, and Northstar in California. From interviews with management and those involved 'behind the scenes', the article will show that it is the continuous training of employees that differentiates these resorts from the competition. Read on...

Andrew Dyer

With 2018 underway, we know that travelers will increasingly be looking for ways to extend their business trips into personal vacations. Not only does this cut costs for many travelers since they are already there for business, but it enables them to get out and explore more places than they would get to otherwise. With "bleisure" rising in popularity this year, it's imperative that hotels take advantage of this growing trend and put strategies in place that target the appropriate demographic, boost occupancy levels throughout the year and encourage guest loyalty. Let's take a look at how hotels can help convert business travelers into bleisure travelers. Read on...

Justin Effron

Hotels spend a lot of time, money, and resources to ensure the satisfaction of their guests. Commercials insist that a certain hotel knows what their guests want before they themselves do, or that they offer customizable amenities to keep their guests feeling right at home. But are these tactics more lip service than customer service? Is there a better way to build customer loyalty? For a growing number of hotels, the answer is "yes," and surprisingly, their focus isn't on the customer at all. The following article presents three reasons why customer satisfaction shouldn't rely on pleasing guests, where the focus should be, and the most effective way of doing that. Read on...

Andrew Dyer

Business travelers go where their work takes them, but their choice of accommodation, even within a travel policy, is driven by personal preference. Hotels, airlines and other travel suppliers recognize this, and personalization has become a primary focus over the last several years. Look no further than Uber's integrations with Pandora and Spotify, which allow riders to play their favorite music while en route. As a hotel, the key to standing out from the crowd is in understanding the corporate traveler's preferences and responding with a compelling and relevant offering up front in the booking process. Read on...

Michael Schubach

When one thinks about the word "personalization," many images can be conjured. Perhaps it's a monogram or engraving to signify ownership of an object. Or maybe it's home decor: the artwork and memorabilia that make the space your own. Some people might be reminded of their desk at work, loaded with little time-killer toys to amuse oneself during those occasional hiatuses of inactivity. What may not have made your list of highly personalized experiences is a hotel room - or even a hotel stay. Odd, isn't it? Especially now that the hospitality industry's newest, most popular mission is to provide not just the bed and the bath but the "beyond" - the unique guest experience. Read on...

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Coming up in March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.