Library Archives

 
Rahul Razdan

Data and social media are the twin forces of change within the hospitality industry. Maximizing the power of these tools - for the good of workers and guests alike - is (or must be) a hotel executive's principal responsibility. Of equal importance is the democratization of these commodities: The accessibility, and increased affordability, of online marketing and promotions to a diversity of travelers. With the help of the right experts, and with an uncompromising eye toward quality and excellence, hotel executives can benefit from the application of data and social media. Now is the time to seize this opportunity of technological significance and business success. Read on...

Brandon Dennis

There are countless website solutions out there these days. You could go the SaaS route and pay a monthly subscription for your website, or you can hire an agency to make a website for your hotel. Both have their pros and cons. There are some hoteliers, however, who want to make, host, and publish their own websites by hand. And for them, there is no argument--the best tool to use is Wordpress. With this 7-step guide, I will show you how to make a basic but fully functional hotel website with Wordpress. Read on...

Amy Hutchins

Remember when free Wi-Fi was considered cutting-edge? Now, of course, most hotel guests expect it—if not in their room, then certainly in the common areas of the property. Hotel technology is evolving rapidly. Digital solutions are becoming the norm for solving common pain points in accommodation management. In particular, mobile technology and cloud-based software services are revolutionizing both the guest experience and the job of the hotelier. That will continue to be true in 2016. The year ahead promises to bring more developments in mobile and digital solutions for hospitality, as well as continued emphasis on the direct channel. Read on...

Jeff Catlin

This article lists the top mistakes that we've seen people make when attempting to implement and use automated text analytics of consumer reviews. More importantly, this article gives advice as to how to proceed methodically thus avoiding most of the minefield, and getting the most value for dollar out of your automated review analysis. From "starting from the question" to "don't think too small," we'll cover the top nine mistakes and corresponding fixes. Read on...

Steven Ferry

In the 1990's, I interviewed several futurists who, amongst other predictions, anticipated the omnipresence of robots in the workforce. In 2001 (unrelated to Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey), I spoke at a butler convention about a convergence of "hominids" (humans) and robots: the robots becoming more human and the humans becoming more robotic—and warned that this did not augur (signal) well for humans who preferred superior service. Hospitality, basic definition is friendly, which comes from an Indo-European root word meaning love. Met any friendly robots recently, ones who expressed their heartfelt love? Or for that matter, from staff who lack passion for service? Read on...

Karim Meghji

There's a lot more to building a new product than just the technical aspect. Sure, you've got to have excellent design and execution, whether we're talking about blue jeans or cloud-based software solutions. Before you get to that stage, though, there's some important soul-searching that needs to happen. Approaching the planning stages with a healthy dose of critical thinking and honesty leads to the best product possible. And that's what everybody wants, from the business to the consumer. Read on...

Abi Mandelbaum

Virtual reality is on the cusp of significantly transforming the way people interact and engage with brands. It is expected to grow into a $60 billion industry within the next 10 years. But what are hoteliers to do with the emerging tech today? More importantly, what do you need to know about virtual reality to decide whether it's right for your hotel? This primer will get you up to speed with this fast-moving technology, detailing virtual reality's past and present, as well as detailed ways innovative companies—both inside and outside the travel industry—are already using virtual reality to drive results. Read on...

Eric Presworsky

Industry experts agree - networks built with a Passive Optical LAN (POL) are much more secure than those built with traditional copper switching networks. That is because fiber transmits light, not electrical signals like copper, which means hackers cannot listen to signal emissions. Passive Optical LAN technology addresses the hotel industry's primary concerns; security, cost, space savings, low power utilization and equipment. With old and new infrastructures, the technology can be powered through wireless or over existing Ethernet ports. Imagine adding one more room on each floor because you can eliminate a wiring closet by using fiber-optic technology versus copper. Read on...

Tim Unwin

Hotel distribution often creates a confusing technology picture. As solutions proliferate and evolve, opportunities emerge to combine and simplify. Successful integration between previously separate applications and vendors is also becoming more common. This paper examines the background to the 500 shades of complexity and suggests options to help hoteliers equip themselves for more cost-effective and straightforward distribution by combining the strengths of channel management and CRS. Read on...

David Baker

This article addresses how Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) can be used to fill the gap that exists between in-person and over the phone customer service in the hospitality industry. Typically, customer service via the phone lacks the personal touch that comes naturally with in-person service. Implementing a CTI solution into contact centers helps decrease cost per call, improves telephone customer service by integrating caller background information, and increases revenue by building brand loyalty and repeat visitors. Read on...

Saeed Kazmi

Hotel business centers are changing because hotel guests are changing - and the result is that hotels are finding creative new ways for their on-the-go guests to stay plugged in. According to industry trends and surveys, today's guests can be classified into three broad categories - Boomers; Generation Xers; and Generation Y travelers, or millennials. They think differently and they travel differently. For hotels to properly serve these three groups, hoteliers must properly understand who they are and what they want. This column examines the differences between Boomers, Xers, and millennials - their characteristics, their preferences, and especially their technological expectations. Read on...

Ashley Stevens

According to a recent survey by the World Tourism Organization, there were over 940 million international tourist arrivals worldwide in 2011. Almost 60 million of those travelers are coming in to the United States. This presents a huge market that hotels in the US should be sure to target in any online sales strategy. International travelers tend to book early, stay longer, and rarely cancel, all attributes that make international travelers ideal candidates for staying at your hotel. In order to reach these travelers as they start their online planning, your hotel must make a conscious effort to target them in the channels they use the most. Read on...

Craig Ziegler

Ten to fifteen years ago, the need for Wi-Fi connectivity in a hotel was based on the guests' needs for basic data and voice transfer. Today, multiple technologies are converging thus creating a major stress point on bandwidth allocation. Bandwidth that was once more than sufficient is no longer efficient. With the ever- increasing demand for bandwidth via guests' personal devices and desire for video transmission, hotels must analyze the metrics between costs and ROI. The debate now becomes… does the hotel offer it free of charge, thus "eating the cost for the increased demand", or do hotels create incremental revenue through various streams to help cover the cost increase in bandwidth to deliver this content? And, if the hotel wants to increase its revenue streams, in what unique ways can it be supplemented? Read on...

Ashish Gambhir

Understanding what guests are saying about their stay at your hotel and what is influencing their perspective enables your marketing and operational executives to determine what steps need to be taken to ensure the best experience possible. Mining and analyzing online feedback and summarizing massive amounts of raw text via an intuitive dashboard alerts your executives to operational and marketing strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities per every hotel, region and brand. At a glance, these real-time summary views provide a strategic look at where you are now, where you need to be going, and what needs to be done to get there. Read on...

James Filsinger

If hoteliers want growth, they can no longer rest on their laurels and depend on traditional established customer bases. They must look to expand into new markets. Broadening international customer bases is one way to do this, and it can be easier than some think. Harnessing technology is one way to work smarter, not harder, in order to attract a new global customer base and keep them coming back. Read on...

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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.