Effective Ways Hotels Provide What Connected Travelers Crave

By Renu Hanegreefs-Snehi VP Corp Communications, PR & Reputation Management, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group | February 04, 2018

The average Briton now spends more time online each day than sleeping, or doing anything else in their life, according to Wired magazine. That's an average of nearly nine hours per day on media and digital communication. Yet this trend is not exclusive to the UK.

Across the globe, we are all scrambling to keep up with the latest developments in a 24-hour news cycle that's churning out information non-stop; and that's before we even mention "fake news"– and political debates about fake news – and all of a sudden we have to decipher what's authentic and what's not. We're bombarded with opinions from commentators, influencers, friends, and strangers on the street, all through social media.

The online world is moving a mile a millisecond, but our brains can only handle so much in one day. As more of our work and lives move online, the digital space starts to feel very noisy; and almost everyone is suffering from information overload!

Digital Can be Peaceful

Considering all this, it's perhaps not surprising that there is a relatively new social media trend that Adweek recently uncovered – a trend towards social media users "seeking mindfulness, simplicity and calm as a reaction to our stressful, always-on digital world." That's exactly why YouTube has seen a rise in demand for videos with white noise, relaxing music, or soothing sounds. There are now apps devoted entirely to meditation, mindfulness or achieving calmness. Facebook has recently been advertising an app that produces short videos featuring peaceful images, which play the sounds of rain falling on a tree or waves softly drumming on the beach. All these apps encourage users to meditate or simply "do nothing" for a few minutes.

At first glance, the fact that people are looking for moments of calm in the noisy digital and social media space may seem ironic or paradoxical; but on the other hand, it is completely understandable that social media users are craving calm and snatching brief moments of reprieve whenever they can.

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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.