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Industry insights, leadership stories, and fun facts...

Simple Ways to Exceed Customer Expectations in 2019

A new year is upon us, and with it the expectation to further improve customer experience (CX). A new study from Salesforce shows that 67% of customers’ standard for “good experiences” is now higher than ever, as is their impatience for companies that fail to deliver. In 2019, it’s estimated that 57% will stop buying…

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Are Hotels Tackling What Guests Really Want for Superior CX?

Forty-five percent of guests recently surveyed by Medallia believe hotels do not exceed customer expectations. But wait…hasn’t the industry evolved with advanced technologies and new methodologies for meeting shifting preferences? Guests can now autonomously check-in to properties. In-room amenities can be automatically adjusted to exact likings. In today’s smart, digital world, guests seemingly have everything…

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The New Face of Business Travel: How Hotels Can Keep Up

With corporate travel spending expected to grow 6% by end of year (its highest annual growth rate since 2011), hoteliers should be specifically working to improve this guest experience. But their approach must adapt to meet the needs of a quickly changing market; one in which professional travel bloggers and social media influencers now earn…

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A 5-Week Plan for Improving Hotel Costs and Revenue [FREE WORKSHEET]

Hoteliers today are uniquely challenged to minimize costs while maximizing value. They must keep up with today’s rapid pace of innovation without increasing certain expenses. They’re expected to digitally transform while closely monitoring operating costs. They need to deliver extraordinary guest experiences while protecting the bottom line. Striking this balance is critical: a 2017 “Trends…

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Hospitality Insights from Medallia’s Experience ’18 Conference

I don’t travel often for industry events—with a new promotion and family obligations, I prefer virtual or local conferences—but Medallia’s annual “Experience” event is just too good to miss. After the incredible takeaways from last year’s event (recap here), I was eager to return. This year’s conference, which took place May 15-16 in Long Beach,…

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8 Effective, Low-cost Marketing Tools for Hotels

In a new digital era defined by distinct brand experiences, the bar for hotel marketing has been set incredibly high. It’s critical that properties competitively differentiate with unique branding that effectively engages (research shows engaged guests are 40% more likely to come back and also less price-sensitive). So, what can hotels realistically do? Here are…

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4 Lessons Hotels Can Learn from Brands that Are Absolutely Crushing CX

Businesses that succeed for the next 15, 20 or 50 years will be customer-centric and experience-driven, but how many truly understand what this means? Over 80% of companies recognize customer experience as a differentiator capable of accelerating revenue and reducing costs, yet only one-third rate their own customer experience at a level of eight out…

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Five Stats Hotels Need to Know to Accelerate Profits and Productivity

Hospitality executives, be honest with yourself: do heavy administrative workloads leave you less time for strategizing? Do slow processes lead to delays in work activities? Are you or your teams still using manual tools that affect productivity and increase the probability of making mistakes? If you answered “yes” to any of these, then it’s time…

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Hospitality Leaders: What Kind of ‘Tone’ Are You Setting?

If you’re familiar with my blog, then you know I talk a lot about employee development. Disengagement in the workplace is nothing short of an epidemic, and it’s one that we as leaders must work to correct. I’d like to pivot the conversation though for a moment to discuss something equally important, yet often misconstrued:…

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A Primer for Hotel Marketing in Today’s Digital World

Take a look at this Digital Marketing Battlefield Map from Forbes. Experience targeting, mobile media, social apps, emotion detection…it’s a lot to digest. Truth is, marketing in today’s digital era doesn’t have to be so overwhelming. As with any other business initiative, digital marketing is what we make it. We can choose to go as…

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The Front Desk Isn’t Dead, Just Different

Ah, the front desk. It’s every stock image we see when searching for “hotel” photos, complete with perfectly positioned bells and mannequin-like associates. But is the front desk still relevant? Absolutely. It just doesn’t look like this anymore. Through the years, I’ve heard countless industry experts question the validity of the front desk. I’ve heard…

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Bringing Humanity Back into Hotel Operations

As hospitality leaders, we understand the drastic impact that technology has on hotel operations. For example, we can improve data sharing through system integration or enhance communications to minimize disruptions. These benefits are all well-understood. My question is: how are we using these technologies once they’re implemented? This brings up an interesting point: operations are…

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Five Things Hotels Can Do to Immediately Improve the Guest Experience

We live in a world today of seemingly endless possibilities, one in which companies must relentlessly innovate to meet rapidly changing expectations. This is especially true in hospitality, where the bar is continually being raised for the guest experience. So, why is it that guest satisfaction increased by only 2 percent from 2015 to 2016?…

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20 Statistics to Make You Rethink Your Guest Experience Strategy

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: guests’ needs haven’t changed, expectations have. That means a lot in today’s digitally-driven world where demand for agility, quality and speed are at an all-time high. It also can mean many different things considering today’s wide generational spectrum. In the past, I’ve offered go-to tips on…

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GMs: Six Ways to Go Above and Beyond for your VIP Guests

Every guest is equally important and deserves exceptional service; however, there are those guests that have earned the right to certain privileges and treatment: VIP guests. These may be individuals who are part of your brand’s loyalty program. They may be high-level executives or heads of companies. Their status as VIP may depend on the…

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Hoteliers: Heed These 5 Lessons from Experience-17 to Revolutionize the CX

It’s not a matter of opinion, but fact: the CX paradigm is changing in hospitality. Technology is advancing by the minute, and guest expectations are continually evolving. The word “service” is no longer in any innovative hotelier’s dictionary. Guests today have some pretty wild ideas about what their hotel experience will look like in years…

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Liking vs. Loving Your Job: What Hospitality Leaders Should Know

A disturbing amount of research now points to the fact that people are unhappy with their jobs. A 2013 study from Gallup, for instance, found that only 13 percent of people worldwide actually enjoy going to work. This figure (169 million) represents about half of the U.S. population—a small sum compared to the 1.3 billion…

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Three Things You Need to Know about the Hotel of the Future

I find it fascinating that 20 years ago, this kind of blog could never have been written. As recently as 10 years ago, the scope of possibilities for business, the customer experience—practically everything that competitively differentiates organizations in today’s digital era—was narrower than ever, if not nonexistent. Looking back, it’s clear that the world has…

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Why the Word ‘Service’ Can No Longer Exist in Hospitality

Ask anybody, and they’ll tell you that the customer experience (CX) is the strongest—if not, only—competitive differentiator among companies today. This is why nearly 90 percent now compete solely based on the CX, and why half of this year’s product investment projects are being redirected to CX innovations. The ability to consistently deliver amazing customer…

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Five Questions to Help Hotel Managers Reimagine ROI

Return on investment (ROI): it’s the one thing that businesses across the board seem to have trouble defining, measuring and creatively maximizing. This can especially be seen within the hospitality industry where, for one reason or another, ROI can often feel MIA. If you can relate, here are five questions that can help you reimagine…

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Guest Needs Haven’t Changed, Expectations Have: Here’s How to Exceed Them

As I discussed in my last blog, research clearly shows that customers still value the fundamentals of their hotel stay (i.e. pool, breakfast, clean room, friendly staff). At the same time, however, they demand greater ingenuity among the organizations they do business with. In other words, most guests today still have the same wants and…

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15 Classic Guest Experience Ideas That Still Work

We live in a world today where 90 percent of companies compete solely based on the customer experience. This certainly includes organizations in hospitality, where delivering a memorable guest experience has never been more crucial. In today’s ultra-competitive market, managers are quick to adopt newer technologies and bolder service strategies to create out-of-the-box experiences that…

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Hospitality Leaders: Kickstart 2017 by Reading these Five Blogs

As 2016 comes to an end, one thing remains clear for hospitality leaders: never has the industry been in such a state of evolvement as it is today. Today’s rapid pace of innovation has made it more difficult than ever for supervisors to skillfully manage properties, motivate teams and drive memorable guest experiences. Operating costs…

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The End of the Year Is Here: Hospitality Leaders, Are You Ready?

Driving efficient operations and delivering memorable guest experiences can be difficult under virtually any circumstance, let alone a hectic Q4 and busy holiday season. As comforting as the holidays are, this time of year is an often-stressful one for hospitality leaders. It’s during this “most wonderful time of the year” when managers must tighten budgets…

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Hospitality Leaders: Why You Will Never Regret Paying it Forward

In today’s world full of political, cultural and social divide, the act of paying it forward can go a long way. Doing a good deed for someone (or repaying it to another) is never a bad idea, whether that means paying for someone’s meal without them knowing or returning a wallet you found lying in…

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Skipping the Holidays this Year? Here Are Four Unique Destinations to Consider

Have you ever heard of the movie Christmas with the Kranks? In the movie, Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis play parents who decide to skip out on the holidays and take a Caribbean cruise instead. Due to their neighborhood’s strong holiday spirit, however, their vacation doesn’t go exactly as planned. The fictional Krank family…

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MBWA: What it is, Why it Works and the One Thing to Keep in Mind

In today’s increasingly digital world where nearly four million Americans work remotely, it’s understandable that managers may overlook the importance of being present and engaging onsite to ensure employee satisfaction and improvement. Sophisticated technologies and progressive workplace cultures have led to a new way of thinking, working and collaborating. There’s of course nothing wrong with…

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Easy (but Effective) Ways for Hospitality Leaders to Create a Solid Marketing Strategy

From reviews to mobile advertising to social media engagement, there are countless ways for hotels to market themselves, stay relevant and offer the best possible guest experience. Today, perception is reality when it comes to brand standards; customers largely articulate a brand based on their impressions, which are formed by how they are communicated and…

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cs

Superior Customer Service Shouldn’t be an Exception, it Should be the Norm

We hear about both incredibly good and bad customer service moments all of the time. We see them reported on in the news, for instance, or we overhear them during conversations with friends and family. For example, perhaps you heard the news of how three employees at a Staten Island–based Lowe’s store stayed past closing…

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multichannel-service

The Rise of Multichannel Service: What this Means For Your Brand

No matter the vertical you play in—be it hospitality, retail, finance—by now you have most certainly heard the phrase “multichannel customer service.” In the simplest of terms, multichannel refers to the practice of interacting with customers using a combination of indirect and direct communication channels—e.g. websites, retail stores, mail order catalogs, direct mail, email, mobile,…

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success

Three Ways to Stay On Top of Your Customer Service

If you were to ask a number of brand executives to describe their customer service best practices, they might throw around phrases like “white-glove treatment,” “industry-leading best practices” and “unprecedented standards of excellence.” But if everyone is acing it in the customer service realm, then how come three out of five Americans would try a…

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customer service

The Key Ingredients to a Winning Customer Experience

One of my favorite quotes is: “Trust takes years to build, seconds to break, and forever to repair.” There’s much debate as to the owner of this quote but that’s not what matters. What matters is that this sentiment succinctly sums up the significance of stellar customer service, particularly in today’s competitive, highly saturated market.…

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hired

The Ultimate Guide to Getting Hired in Hospitality

Table of Contents Introduction Why Is Breaking in So Difficult? The One Thing You Should Know Before Applying to Any Hospitality Job The Three Golden Rules for Drafting Your Resume Nailing Your Job Interview in Six Simple Steps Conclusion   INTRODUCTION In my 30+ years spent studying customer loyalty in the hospitality industry, I’ve often…

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leadership

Customer Loyalty Starts with Leadership

Start With Example-Based Leadership Both customers and staff at every level seek a sense of strong leadership at the helm of any business, and our industry is the best example of that. Actionable protocols, training, policies and procedures that keep operations running smoothly and consistently, always with an energetic and positive attitude — these instill…

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guest experience

7 Great Ideas to Improve the Guest Experience

Hotel management and staff can get excited about creating an extraordinary guest experience. Brainstorming should be passionate and full of creativity, without limits. Obviously actual actions should be within the confines of hotel policy, but ideas themselves should never be confined, and a hotel should have a reasonably flexible atmosphere that allows for random acts…

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