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LRA Worldwide Launches the Guest Experience “Emotional Audit” ™
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Tool Allows Luxury, Upscale Hotel Brands to Measure
Emotional Connection to the Guest

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HORSHAM, Pennsylvania; July 7, 2009 – LRA Worldwide, Inc. has introduced its proprietary Emotional Audit™ offering to the lodging industry, providing properties and brands alike with a data-driven view of how the hotel experience makes a guest “feel.”  With the industry as a whole seeking to create and promote branded experiences intended to forge a more personal connection with the guest, the Emotional Audit is a tool specifically designed to measure the effectiveness of those efforts, down to the individual guest interaction.
 
LRA, which has been a leading provider of performance measurement and consulting services to the global hospitality industry for more than 25 years, designed the Emotional Audit as a complement to its more traditional Brand Assurance, Mystery Shopping and Customer Satisfaction survey programs. The Emotional Audit concept was the inspiration of Senior Vice President John Roberto, the leader of LRA’s Quality Assurance & Mystery Shopping practice.  The audit process was developed by a trio of LRA consultants – Rick Reilly, Keith Bliss and James Dunn – with more than 25 years experience in luxury hotel management and operations with brands such as Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis and Four Seasons, among others.
 
“We felt this was an unmet need in the marketplace and a perfect way to leverage the expertise and experience of our full-time, brand-immersed consultants,” explained Reilly, an Account Director with LRA.  “The Emotional Audit complements traditional Quality Assurance, but turns the process on its head.  We’re closing the loop between brand planning and brand execution by quantifying behaviors and how those behaviors make the guest feel.”  
 
Thus far, LRA has conducted Emotional Audits at select properties for Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, Omni Hotels, St. Regis and Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts.  LRA worked with each client’s brand and operations teams to identify the desired attributes – warmth, personalization, passion, etc. – that a hotel associate should be trying to convey at each guest touch point and matched them with the potential range of emotions generated by that associate’s performance.  When each guest interaction is pieced together, the resulting report forms a virtual emotional “heat map” of the entire experience.
 
“We have a wealth of valuable data available to us on the guest experience,” explained Jeff Smith, Vice President, Operations and Loyalty Services for Omni Hotels.  “However, LRA’s Emotional Audit brings another dimension to our assessment which has been difficult to capture.  It delivers a more enriched perspective of the guest encounter, providing us tremendous insight on how to enhance those interactions at a specific property and across the brand.”  
 
In all, LRA works with seven of the 10 largest global hotel companies; LRA’s Quality Assurance & Mystery Shopping practice conducts nearly 13,000 site visits and evaluations each year, either as a stand-alone offering or as an integrated part of an overall Customer Experience Management project.  In addition to its work in the lodging industry, LRA provides QA services to some of the leading companies and brands in Sports, Conference Centers, Timeshare, Gaming, Homebuilding and Travel.
 
“The current economic environment is providing some very real challenges for the luxury and upscale hotel sectors,” observed Rob Rush, LRA’s Chief Executive Officer. “The best way for brands serving this market to weather the storm and preserve their rate structure is to offer more value and strengthen relationships with their core guest.  The Emotional Audit is the right tool at the right time to help.”
  
About LRA Worldwide, Inc:

LRA Worldwide is a leading research and consulting company in the emerging discipline of Customer Experience Management (CEM). We work with our clients to help them design and deliver consistently exceptional customer experiences in order to drive customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy, and company growth and profitability. 
 
In LRA’s 25-year history, we have grown from a provider of customized quality assurance evaluation programs for the hospitality industry, to a leading CEM consulting company offering a variety of client solutions. The evolution has been driven by our clients asking us one question – "How do we get better?" In response, we have built a range of performance measurement, research, training and consulting solutions to help them do so. Today, we are a growing company operating in more than 120 countries throughout the world, helping clients such as Starwood Hotels & Resorts, the National Basketball Association, the PGA TOUR, InterContinental Hotels Group, Hyatt Hotels Corporation and Ritz-Carlton Clubs deliver exceptional customer experiences. Every touch. Every time. For more information, visit us at www.LRAworldwide.com.

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Contact:

Zachary Conen
Vice President of Marketing
+1.215.449.0304
  zach.conen@lraworldwide.com
www.lraworldwide.com
 

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Also See: IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) Expands EMEA Quality Assurance Program; World’s Largest Hotel Company Partners with LRA Worldwide / January 2009
Destination Hotels & Resorts and LRA Worldwide Partner on a Guest Experience Diagnostic Program / September 2008
LRA Worldwide to Conduct Brand Assurance Program for aloft Hotels; Philadelphia Based Consulting Company Expands its Global Quality Assurance Program for Starwood Hotels & Resorts / July 2008
LRA Worldwide and K Hotels Partner on “K Quality” Evaluation Program / April 2008
Shell Vacations Club and LRA Worldwide Develop Partnership to Enhance the Vacation Ownership Prospect Experience / February 2008
Warwick International Hotels and LRA Worldwide Partner on Four Diamond Guest Experience Evaluation Program / January 2008
The Kessler Collection and LRA Worldwide Partner on Quality Assurance Initiative to measure the “WOW” in the Guest Experience / October 2007
LRA Worldwide Senior Consultant Gary Tan to Serve as Panelist at HSMAI's ASIA Connect 2007 Forum in Singapore; Hospitality Expert to discuss Guest Experience and Hotel Standards in Asia Pacific Region / September 2007
Hyatt Hotels Corporation Expands Partnership with LRA Worldwide; Philadelphia-Based Consulting Company to Design Quality Assurance Program for Hyatt Select Group / July 2007
Daniela Piacenza Joins LRA Worldwide as a Senior Research Consultant; Native Venezuelan Will Work with LRA's International Research Clients / May 2007
LRA Worldwide Announces Promotions for International Consultants Regional “Hubs” to Serve Growing Client Base outside the United States / May 2007
LRA Worldwide's John Roberto Speaks at the 2006 Quality Leaders Meeting in Toronto; Quality Assurance Expert Participates in Driving the Guest Loyalty Roadmap Panel / December 2006
Meyer Jabara Hotels and LRA Worldwide Create Themed “Destination Experience” for Guests; Accompanying Quality Assurance Audits Ensure Delivery of “Extraordinary Guest Experiences” / December 2006
LRA Worldwide CEO Rob Rush to Speak at the 2006 ESOMAR Leisure World Research Conference in Rome / October 2006
Le Méridien Partners with LRA Worldwide to Achieve a More Consistent Global Brand Experience / September 2006
Jeffrey Gurtman Joins LRA Worldwide as a Senior Consultant; Customer Experience Management Consulting Firm Hires Host of Popular Television Show Travel Spies for its Quality Assurance Practice / September 2006
LRA Worldwide to Exhibit at The American Marketing Association Marketing Research Conference in Chicago/ September 2006
LRA Worldwide Appoints John Roberto to Lead Quality Assurance Group; Hospitality Industry Veteran to Oversee Multiple Brand Teams and More Than 4,000 Annual Site Visits / June 2006
LRA Worldwide and W Hotels Featured Presenters at 18th Annual Internal Branding Conference / April 2006
LRA Worldwide Is retained by Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos to “Operationalize” the Rock ‘n’ Roll Guest Experience / March 2006
Choice Hotels Canada Employs LRA Worldwide for Mystery Shopping Brand Assurance Program / February 2006
LRA Develops Innovative Quality Assurance/Mystery Shopping Program for Leading Canadian Hotel Company Audit to Measure Functional and Emotional Elements of “The Delta Hotels Guest Experience” / October 2005
The Beverly Hilton and LRA Worldwide Renew Quality Assurance Partnership / August 2005
Grupo Posadas Selects LRA Worldwide to Conduct Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty Research / February 2005
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Partners with LRA Worldwide to Manage and Improve Customer Experience / September 2004
Hyatt Hotels Corp. Selects LRA for Quality Assurance Services / Aug 2004
Dover Downs Gaming & Entertainment, Inc. and Dover Motorsports, Inc. Are Not Leaving Employee Engagement to Chance; Sister Companies Partner with LRA to Measure Employee Engagement / April 2004
Pestana Hotels & Resorts Selects LRA Worldwide to Manage Guest Satisfaction Survey Program / January 2004
Interstate Hotels & Resorts and LRA Worldwide Partner on New Brand and Quality Initiative / October 2003


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