Library Archives

 
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...

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...

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Coming up in September 2019...

Hotel Group Meetings: Uncommon Destinations

The last few years have been good to the Hotel Group Meetings industry and that trend is expected to continue into 2019. Planners are brimming with confidence due to an expanding economy and increased job creation, which typically results in a boost in corporate meetings. Given this promising outlook, planners are trying to outdo themselves to satisfy the high expectations of their clients. One notable trend is to integrate unusual settings into the meeting experience, hosting groups at local zoos, aquariums, museums, event centers, or other outdoor facilities. The goal is to embrace uncommon destinations, rather than a typical hotel conference room, so that meetings can be memorable, unique and stimulating. This is also part of another trend which is to support all things local - from hosting events at landmark city venues; to catering through local restaurants, food trucks and microbreweries; to hosting off-site excursions like agri-tours, athletic events or scenic 5k routes. However, though the setting might be spectacular, there are still some bedrock components that must be provided to ensure a successful meeting. Free, high-speed Wi-Fi is still one of the most requested services. Planners have to make sure that a comprehensive communication infrastructure is in place so clients can easily connect - and stay connected - to the network throughout the entire meeting experience. Also, technology tools can be used to streamline the booking, registration, and check-in process, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) materials can be utilized to ensure seamless access to conference events. There are also numerous software tools that encourage audience participation, as well as integrating polls, Q&A, surveys and games into speakers' presentations. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group meetings and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.