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Want Your Employees to Voice Suggestions When Customers Treat Them Poorly? The Double-Edged Effects of Felt Trust

Linchi Kwok | August 26, 2021

By Linchi Kwok "The customer is not always right, but your job is never to show them how they're wrong. Your job is to be professional, courteous, accommodating … even (and especially) under stress."  — Steve Dorfman, Driven to Excel   When consumers know they are always right, they may breed a sense of superiority or entitlement, expecting the frontline employees to comply with any customer behaviors. A report shows that 98% of service employees had experienced unpleasant customer behaviors; over 50% of employees encountered rude customers at least once a week. In a more recent case, a female customer pulled out a gun an...

Research Reveals Effective Social Media Crisis Communication Strategies During COVID-19 Pandemic

Linchi Kwok  | July 15, 2021

By Linchi Kwok The COVID-19 pandemic is a once-in-a-generation crisis with lasting economic and societal consequences. Crises and disasters often bring unpredictable catastrophic changes to the market. Yet, effective management of a crisis can help businesses reduce the event's negative impacts and shorten the recovery time. As the global economy begins to recover, businesses are making changes to adapt to the post-pandemic world. For example, more companies now let employees work from home permanently. When people work remotely and classes are taught online, social media plays an even more critical role in crisis communicatio...

Research Shows That You Should Let Consumers’ Photos Speak For Your Business

Linchi Kwok | June 16, 2021

By Linchi Kwok The advance of technology and the widespread adoption of smartphones and handheld devices in recent years have enabled us to publish our experience about a product or service through online photo or video sharing and provide a review. Online review websites have also updated their features, making it easier for consumers to attach pictures or videos to their reviews. As both consumers and businesses adapt to the new photo-sharing trend, it becomes crucial to expand our knowledge regarding user-generated photos’ (UGPs’) effect on online reviews.   An empirical study about user-generated photos I work...

Besides Higher Wages, What Else Can Businesses Do to Address Labor Shortages?

Linchi Kwok | May 18, 2021

By. Linchi Kwok Last week, COVID-19 cases in the U.S. hit their lowest rate since September. Deaths were also at the lowest point since April last year. Moreover, close to 60% of adults in the U.S. have already received at least one dose of a vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced on May 13 that: People who are fully vaccinated no longer need to wear face covers or maintain a social distance in any setting unless they are required to do so by laws or specific guidelines. Fully vaccinated people can also refrain from testing following a known exposure (with a few exceptions). Some businesses...

Will the Lodging Industry’s Supply Growth Outpace Demand Growth?

Linchi Kwok | April 22, 2021

By Linchi Kwok The COVID-19 vaccination rate is climbing steadily in the U.S. At its current rate, three in four people, or 75% of eligible residents, will be vaccinated by June. Businesses are reopening. The U.S. economy is now operating at 88% of its pre-pandemic level, with hope for continuous improvement. People want to travel again. In mid-March, Disneyland announced it would reopen on April 30. Now, all reopening day reservations for both single-park and park-hopper tickets are sold out already. On April 2, the Friday before Easter, TSA screened over 1.58 million people at airport checkpoints, the highest number sinc...

Will the Hospitality and Travel Industry Recover in 2021?

Linchi Kwok | February 17, 2021

By Linchi Kwok Spring will soon be here. People are celebrating the Lunar New Year. Do you see a brighter future in 2021? Without a doubt, 2020 was a challenging year for most. Besides lockdowns, many companies let employees work from home permanently. When many business activities were put on a break and supply chains were interrupted, the global economy collapsed. COVID-19’s impact on the hospitality and tourism industry has been devastating and unprecedented. How tough was it in 2020? The aviation industry According to the International Civil Aviation Organization, global air traffic dropped from 4.5 billion in 2019 to 1...

How Job Seekers’ Social Media Profiles Affect Employability: Evidence From a Research Study

Linchi Kwok | January 19, 2021

By Linchi Kwok Social media plays an increasingly important role in recruitment and employee selection. Recruiters are tempted to check on job candidates’ social media profiles (SMPs) because SMPs could reveal more dynamic information about the candidates than their resumes alone. By checking the candidates’ SMPs, recruiters can discover their real personality, which cannot be easily achieved even through job interviews. Meanwhile, hiring managers can also assess job candidates’ social capital based on the size and the composition of their social networks. The study To investigate how social media may affect recruiters’ hiring dec...

How Concerning Is It When Contactless Self-Service Pushes More People Out of Work?

Linchi Kwok | December 16, 2020

By Linchi Kwok COVID-19 has accelerated a few foreseeable changes that the service industry expected for the future. For example, more consumers want delivery service since the pandemic hit in March. Restaurants, hotels, airlines, retailers, and shopping malls have extended their current contactless self-service offerings through mobile apps, kiosks, facial recognition, and palm recognition technologies. To embrace the growing demand for delivery and contactless self-service, many fast-food chains also introduced new restaurant designs, featuring double- or triple-drive-thru lanes, conveyor belt delivery, and food lockers for pick-up orders...

The 2020 Hospitality and Tourism Trends That Will Likely Stay in 2021 and Beyond

Linchi Kwok | December 2, 2020

By Linchi Kwok The COVID-19 pandemic had made an unprecedented impact on the global economy in 2020. The good news is the long-waited COVID-19 vaccines will soon become available. Let’s hope that the coronavirus will disappear soon as we enter the New Year. Looking back before we look forward At year-end 2019, I predicted a few 2020 trends in hospitality, retail, and tourism businesses. For example, I recommended that we should pay special attention to the following areas: A shifting focus on food delivery, sustainable food, and quick-casual restaurants. Using AI and facial recognition in service operations. The threats from...

Can Leisure and Work-From-Home Demand Stimulate Extended-Stay Hotel Growth Beyond Covid-19?

Linchi Kwok | November 4, 2020

By Linchi Kwok The lodging industry is struggling to fill the empty rooms in 2020. For months, U.S. hotels are running at an occupancy of 50% or lower. Not every segment suffers the same impact from the pandemic, however. Demand for home-sharing facilities had already bounced back over the summer. Airbnb reported a higher booking than last year. Marriott’s home-sharing arm is also doing well, seeing a sevenfold increase in booking over last summer. Similar to what a residential rental or home-sharing facility offers, guestrooms in extended-stay hotels also feature a full-size kitchen or a kitchenette. Extended-stay hotels are desi...

As More Companies Let Employees Work From Home Permanently, What Is the Outlook of Business Travel?

Linchi Kwok | October 22, 2020

By Linchi Kwok When the pandemic hit the global economy in March, business travel was estimated to lose $820 billion in revenue. Under the best scenario, businesses were expected to reopen in late spring or early summer. As we entered into the summer, indicators showed travel and hospitality businesses were picking up, but we all knew travel recovery would not occur until people are taking business trips again. “Travel, as we knew it, is over,” concluded by Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky. Now in October, we still have not contained the coronavirus. To make it worse, new COVID-19 cases now surge again across the US and Europe. More co...

Will Amazon’s New Palm Recognition Become the Next Popular Biometric Technology?

Linchi Kwok | October 8, 2020

By Linchi Kwok Amazon recently introduced a new biometric payment device, Amazon One, in two of its Go stores in Seattle. Shoppers can now enter and pay at cashier-free Amazon Go stores by scanning their palms. The company opened its first Amazon Go store in Seattle to the public in January 2018. Currently, Amazon operates 21 Go stores in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, and Seattle, with five temporarily closed. Unlike a typical grocery store, Amazon Go offers grab-and-go, ready-to-eat snacks, breakfast, and lunch options for shoppers. Shopping at Amazon Go can be as easy as walking in and out of the store. After consumers ...

Will More Hotels Get Into the Home-Sharing Business?

Linchi Kwok | September 23, 2020

There is no doubt that COVID-19 has had an unprecedented impact on the travel and tourism industry. With massive layoffs and closures, many hospitality professionals have noted that they had never seen such a detrimental event to the industry in their careers. Nobody knows when the recovery will take place. Yet, there is at least one exception. The home-sharing sector has already rebounded. Airbnb booking is up and ready for an IPO When the pandemic hit, Airbnb reported a 90% drop in booking, or a $400 million adjusted loss in the second quarter. Then, Airbnb laid off 7,500 employees, or 25% of its workforce, and cut its marketi...

Will COVID-19 Be a Catalyst for More Hotel Mergers and Acquisitions?

Linchi Kwok | September 10, 2020

By Linchi Kwok COVID-19 has put many restaurants and hotels out of business. A recent example is the permanent closure of the iconic Hilton Times Square Hotel. Several restaurant chains recently rolled out new store designs to embrace the contactless self-service and delivery trends demanded by customers. Additionally, when more schools and businesses are reopening, the restaurant industry has already shown signs of recovery. There was a 2% increase in spending year-over-year in the week ending August 30. The outlook for hotels, however, is not as optimistic. The hotel industry is still struggling. According to the latest U.S. hot...

Contactless Self-Services Are Here to Stay After COVID-19

Linchi Kwok | August 26, 2020

By Linchi Kwok The new COVID-19 cases finally showed signs of declines across the U.S., but definitely, we should still take cautionary measures to avoid another wave of infections. Now, some people have already claimed that this pandemic would forever change the travel industry. Because the coronavirus is primarily transmitted through direct or indirect close contact with infected people via mouth or nose secretions, social distancing and frequent sanitation are highly recommended. It is not surprising to see consumers demand services with minimum human contact, which in turn promotes contactless self-services. Restaurants Mobile...

Baby Boomers Deserve Big Attention From Businesses Too

Linchi Kwok | August 12, 2020

By Linchi Kwok Jill Filipovic argued in her new book - OK Boomer, Let’s Talk: How My Generation Got Left Behind - that millennials have been going through tougher economic circumstances than any other generations since the Great Depression. I am neither a millennial nor a Boomer, but the media coverage about Jill’s arguments got my attention. The fact is no matter if we are in the position of supporting or challenging Jill’s propositions, we cannot deny that we need Boomers to boost post-pandemic consumption. Besides millennials and Gen Zers, Baby Boomers also deserve big attention from businesses. Boomers have time and money ...

The 7 Ps Marketing Mix of Home-Sharing Services: Insights From Over One Million Airbnb Reviews

Linchi Kwok | July 29, 2020

By Linchi Kwok The 7 Ps marketing mix framework is a widely used managerial tool that helps businesses identify the principal components of a service product. The 7 P elements include Product, Promotion, Price, Place, Participant, Physical Evidence, and Process. The 7 Ps framework can assist marketers in making decisions regarding segmentation, positioning, and differentiation. Even for the same type of products with different brands, marketers can still drive higher sales through the improvement of a product’s marketing mix. The empirical study about 7 Ps of home-sharing services Building upon the 7 Ps marketing mix framework, ...

Recovery Is When Gen Zers and Millennials Travel for Business

Linchi Kwok | July 15, 2020

By Linchi Kwok Gen Z and Millennials are key to travel industry’s recovery That was the headline of a Travel Pulse report, which quoted a GlobalData survey. The survey suggests that younger and wealthier travelers would be the first to resume international leisure travel when the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. Both generations belong to the younger group of travelers, with the oldest Millennials just turning 39 this year. That assumption is probably right, but Gen Zers and the Millennials have their concerns too. For example, Gen Z – “A worried generation” Gen Zers are those who were born after 1996 or 2000, dependi...

“Travel, As We Knew It, Is Over,” But There Are Hopes Still

Linchi Kwok | July 1, 2020

By Linchi Kwok Airbnb co-founder Brian Chesky talked about the future of travel in a CNBC interview last week. He stated: “Travel, as we knew it, is over. It doesn’t mean travel is over, just the travel we knew is over, and it’s never coming back. It’s just not.” His statement made headlines last week, but he also suggested in the same interview:  “… travel is going to come back. It’s just going to take a lot longer than, you know, we would have thought, and it’s going to be different.” What do you think? Will people travel again? The glass is half empty Some places saw a spark of confirmed infected c...

Indicators Show Travel and Hospitality Businesses Are Picking Up

Linchi Kwok | June 18, 2020

By Linchi Kwok Places are easing coronavirus restrictions. Travel companies are reopening their business with enhanced sanitizing measures. People are ready to travel again. Do you see early signs of recovery? Here are some positive updates, although it is still too early to claim it is business as usual. TSA The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) reported that 430,414 people passed the security checkpoints at airports on Monday, June 8. That was about five times the record low traffic day of 87,543 in April and accounted for 16.27% of the air traffic in the same weekday one year ago at 2,644,981. It is worthy to...

Will Home-Sharing and Luxury Hotels Recover Sooner Than Other Lodging Products?

Linchi Kwok | June 5, 2020

By Linchi Kwok As more places are easing coronavirus restrictions, travel companies are getting ready to reopen their business. Yet, do people want to travel again soon? If so, who are the travelers? STR (Smith Travel Research), a leading data analytics provider for the lodging industry, conducted an opinion survey about travelers’ attitudes towards different types of accommodation facilities based on their preference from the past experience. One assumption for such an analysis is that travelers tend to stick to the same kind of accommodation facility for their trips. STR surveyed 2,391 respondents who showed interest in travel fo...

Coronavirus Restrictions Are Easing, but Cautionary Measures Should Not

Linchi Kwok | May 21, 2020

By Linchi Kwok People are eager to get back to their normal routines. Businesses are preparing for post-pandemic travel. Governments begin easing coronavirus restrictions. Do you see the light at the end of the tunnel already? Possibly, but the pandemic is not over yet. So, please remain cautious even though the stay-at-home restrictions are lifted. U.S. states are easing coronavirus restrictions Travel restrictions and stay-at-home order were imposed to fight against the coronavirus outbreak, where non-essential businesses were paused, and residents were urged not to go out. There is a price for such measures, however. The wee...

The Collins College Undergraduate Student Team Takes 2nd Overall in STR Student Market Study Competition in NYC

at Cal Poly Pomona | November 25, 2019

POMONA, CA – A team of undergraduate students from The Collins College of Hospitality Management (CCHM) took 2nd place in the 2019 Smith Travel Research (STR) Student Market Competition from a field of 25 teams. The event took place during the HX: Hotel Experience (Trade) Show in New York City. For the competition, the team of Hospitality Management students Emily Fedorchek ’22, Heather Kingsbury ’20, Devon Lilley ’21, Sean Mayor ’22, Marissa Robledo ’22, and Natalie Thé ’20 spent months researching and analyzing the Seattle hotel market before presenting their insights on the future trends to the event’s judges. The st...

Welcoming Gen Z – To Our Business and the Workplace

Linchi Kwok | October 5, 2018

By Linchi Kwok It was like yesterday when we just discussed the expectations of Millennials and what can be done in responding to their needs. Today's update is about Gen Z, also known as "post-Millennials" or "iGen," the generation that will soon surpass the Millennials in 2019. Who are the Gen Zers? Some define Gen Z as those who were born after 1996 (age 21 or younger as of 2018) while others consider Gen Z are those who were born after 2000 (17 or younger as of 2018). Using the cutoff line of 2000/2001, Gen Zers will comprise 32 percent of the world population, but the Millennials only account for 31.5 percen...

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