Take Me Somewhere Real...

By Tiffany Axner Interior Design, 5G Studio Collaborative | June 15, 2014

New Space Created with a Real Grounding in History

As a design firm, 5G is sought by our clients to evoke ideas that surprise and inspire the public with innovation, energy and quality - opening eyes to things not seen before. Our roots are well positioned in history to achieve these goals every day for clients.

Our studio sits in a 110-year-old exposed brick building with original wood floors, century old windows with views to the city on the East, and skies on the West. There is something truly refreshing about the space. As we design and create new spaces, the nostalgia and history of our corporate headquarters are, in a sense, always anew. Working with colleagues in our historic office space, I find myself thinking about trends and how peoples' expectations are changing. Travelers, restaurant clientele, the business leader - they all have different expectations now. But there is always a connection to time and history, because people today want something memorable: a sense of place, similar to the views of the city life and originality you may find in my office. We aren't just designing spaces, but we are designing experiences. Being grounded in history is important to maintaining that connection to our goals.

A couple of recent trends I've encountered speak directly to the idea of authenticity and settings with which the public can identify. The biggest movement came with the integration of more casual community areas and shared spaces; there is a high demand for flexible, multifunctional layouts geared to prompt social activity.

In a more recent hotel lobby, one might find a group of suited men in morning meetings alongside a woman having her coffee and reading the paper. The reality is that the majority of people want to be around other people and in an atmosphere conducive to memorable, natural experiences and unique opportunities.

On the more aesthetic side of design, interiors are becoming more convincing than ever. Originality and credible prior existence are the new standard-if it's not a venue versed in "grandma's" decor, something from the '70s or it can't pass as a vacant warehouse, it may need rethinking!

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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.