Guest Experience

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Guest Experience

Can Seasonal Employees Still Deliver Great Customer Service?

Steve DiGioia | February 20, 2014

by Steve DiGioia Recently I was asked to teach a customer service training class for the new hires of a ski resort. The seasonal resort just completed their job fair and had their newest set of fresh-faced recruits all ready for work; they just needed to know how to deal with their customers. In preparation, I met with the resort's management to find out some information about the new hires, if there were specific topics they want covered and what their expectations were for the class. Here is what I learned: Job Fair attendees: 200 Employees Hired: 180 Positions Hired: ski lift operator, equipment rental associate, retail store cle...

Organic Service: Adapting Experiences to the Experience by Roberta Nedry

Roberta Nedry | February 14, 2014

Organic! That word is everywhere in today's world. Consumers are seeking Organic food for healthier lifestyles. Restaurants are showcasing more Organic menu creations and even growing their own organic gardens. People are choosing more Organic lifestyles and exploring ways to simplify their lives and become healthier. Organic farming means no drugs, synthetic chemicals or hormones are used. Organic business growth means new business that comes from existing business or customers. Organic organizations are known to encourage and respect the teams within and encourage new ideas and teamwork; to encourage employees to perform at their ...

The 5 Best Ways to Deal With an Upset Customer

Steve DiGioia | February 13, 2014

By Steve DiGioia Regardless of your business there will be the inevitable situation where a customer is dissatisfied with your product or service. It is something we never want to deal with but know we must. "There is a lady out front that is unhappy with her ____________" is a phrase that no manager wants to hear from their employee but it does happen. So as any good manager we rush out to greet the upset guest and find out what is the problem. But do you know the simplest and most effective way to address the situation? Are you prepared on the spot to make the situation "right" for the customer? Are you able to alleviate all their fea...

The Key to Consistent Service by Bryan Williams

B.Williams Enterprise | February 12, 2014

Do all customers deserve great service? What about those who always find something to complain about? How about those who never tip...or never say "thank you"...or never seem to smile, ever? Up to this point, most of my writing, consulting, and training have always been based on the premise that all customers deserve the best we have to offer. After a recent encounter, however, my eyes are now open and I understand a very important truth that I never fully grasped before. At some point, we have to realize that our motivation to provide exceptional service cannot be based on the customer or whether he or she deserves it or not. Grocery s...

DIRECTV Drops The Weather Channel: What This Means to the Hotel Industry

Hospitality Upgrade | January 27, 2014

With the announcement on January 15, 2014, and the news of DIRECTV dropping The Weather Channel because of a disagreement on a market-based carriage deal, our Publisher Rich Siegel sought the opportunity to explore how this would affect the hospitality industry. Rich went straight to the source and interviewed the EVP/CIO of The Weather Channel, Bryson Koehler. "The intersection of weather and travel is tremendous," said Koehler. "In the dispute over a penny, DIRECTV has decided to drop us from their lineup. We are simply trying to ensure that there is the right communication and education out there about the impact this has for all DIR...

Customer Service: A Secret to Selling

Katie Scheer | January 27, 2014

by Katie Scheer You have heard it all before - to make a sale, you need to understand needs, have good product knowledge, find the "fit," and so on. All true; however, without delivering memorable customer service by showing that you genuinely care about the customer through treating him with respect and proving that he can trust you, you may still earn the sale, but you won't acquire a bigger sale or loyalty. This past weekend my husband, two young kids (2 and 5), and I dined at The Vineyard Grill at The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes. Typically, since they are so young, we would not bring our children to a restaurant this nice, bu...

5 Phrases That Should Never Be Used in the Customer Service Business

Steve DiGioia | December 16, 2013

by Steve DiGioia "Customer Service" is a term that too frequently is used as a catch-all for the experience received or given in today's business world. But what customer service is to me may be different from what it is to you and what you expect, or tolerate. It's strange that I mention tolerate since that is exactly what most of us have been doing when we are on the receiving-end of many service businesses. We wait in long lines because the business didn't schedule enough staff to work the cash registers. We search down aisle after aisle to find an employee so we can ask where something is or if they have a particular product in stor...

Kennedy Training Network Announces Hotel Reservations QUEST Video and Training Program

Kennedy Training Network | December 4, 2013

A contemporary new approach for today's over-informed, multi-tasking reservations callers who have shopped multiple channels before calling. Hollywood, Florida - December 4, 2013 - KTN announced today the launch of a contemporary new lodging industry reservations training program available in all formats including video (DVD), private webinars, on-site training and train-the-trainer versions. "When it comes to information, the balance of power has shifted to the caller's side of the equation over the last decade or so" says KTN President Doug Kennedy, the instructional designer of Hotel Reservations QUEST. "In the past most had very lit...

Go Hard on Soft Service Skills by Roberta Nedry

Roberta Nedry | November 27, 2013

In today's world, a lot of times we think HARD is better. Work hard! Play hard! Drive a hard bargain! Hard may mean strength such as "hard as a rock" versus soft which may seam weak as in "Don't be a softy." Apples taste better hard and to many peoples' tastes, so does cheese. There may be lots of things that work or seem better when they are hard but when it comes to service, it's the soft skills that will enable the most memorable results, not the hard ones. Don't get me wrong...hard skills are essential and important and will get the job done. But, it's the soft skills that will make the em...

Be Exceptional…Regardless of the work environment by Bryan Williams

B.Williams Enterprise | November 13, 2013

Some people don't like where they work...at all. They may even despise who they report to. And since their work environment is so "toxic", they choose to withhold their best quality of work. "THIS PLACE does not deserve the best I have to offer. I will come to work, only do what is expected of me, collect my paycheck, and go home." Do you know anyone like that? Bare Minimum The problem with that line of thinking is that if you repeatedly choose to give the bare minimum, then eventually you will be comfortable giving the bare minimum. Yes, you would have unknowingly formed not only a habit, but a bad habit. At some point, you may not eve...

Attention! How to Reach and Engage the Hotel Industry’s Newest Prime Audience: the Military

Christian Kuhn | October 23, 2013

By: Christian Kuhn, vice president of marketing, Homewood Suites by Hilton The hotel industry is a constantly evolving sector, with brands always seeking ways to attract new customers and establish loyalty with guests. While broad demographics such as business and family travelers continue to be top targets for hotel marketing programs, there is another large, untapped demographic of leisure travelers that is catching the attention of many hotel brands - active and retired military. There are more than 25 million active and retired members of the military in the U.S., and they are a prime target for hotel brands as they use their own mo...

Lack of Directional Signage In Major US Airports A National Disgrace For Tourism and Hospitality

Doug Kennedy | October 21, 2013

by Doug Kennedy As a conference speaker and hospitality industry trainer, I have often experienced the anxiety of flying into a foreign country with a different language for the first time. Although I (regrettably) have not yet managed to learn any languages beyond my American English, I cannot once remember flying into an airport that I could not easily find my way around. Whether landing in Sao Paulo Brazil, Sophia, Bulgaria, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Kiev, Ukraine, Moscow, Russia, Singapore, and more westernized cities such as Paris, London, Frankfurt and Florence, I have never once had a problem finding my connecting gate and/or findi...

Industry Preview: Customer Engagement Technology World (CETW) 2013

Customer Engagement Technology World (CETW) | October 14, 2013

By Lawrence Dvorchik,General Manager & Chief Content Officer, Customer Engagement Technology World What can you expect at Customer Engagement Technology World (CETW) this year? You'll be interested in hearing from South by Southwest (SXSW) Events' Scott Wilcox, a member of the Board of Directors for SXSW and their Director of Technology, about how they create communities through myriad technologies, including mobile apps, digital signage, social media, kiosks, Wi-Fi, streaming, RFID, QR codes, and a host of custom software. A big theme of the event is Customer Engagement Must Be 360 Degrees, 365 Days a Year, an issue that Dunkin' D...

Stories of Genuine and Authentic Hospitality From The Choice Hotels 2013 Regional Conferences

Doug Kennedy | October 1, 2013

by Doug Kennedy As a conference speaker and hotel industry trainer, I spend a lot of time on the other side of the front desk and know all too well the many situations, circumstances and downright quandaries business travelers can find themselves facing from lost luggage, forgotten items, and challenges en route. As a father of two now teenage children, I also understand the challenges that even leisure travelers can come across when staying at hotel. Over the many years I've worked in the hotel business I have grown to better-understand the "stories" our guests are living out every day on the other side of the front desk, at the other ...

Chestnut Hotel, a Brand-New Boutique Property in Morgantown, WV Celebrates Grand Opening

The Chestnut Boutique Hotel | September 28, 2013

MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA – The Chestnut Hotel, located in the heart of downtown Morgantown, celebrated the official Grand Opening this week. As Morgantown's only boutique hotel, the venue has already received excellent reviews from out-of-town guests and the local community through TripAdvisor and YELP. Located at 345 Chestnut Street, the hotel is just steps away from local shopping, theatre, museums and transportation. The property features 41 oversized guest rooms and suites. Each room is uniquely decorated, and includes luxury bedding with Tivoli Elegance Pillow-Top mattresses, 42-inch LED television with DIRECTV, in-room safe, co...

Three Steps to a Better TripAdvisor Rating By Jean Francois Mourier

REVPAR GURU | September 20, 2013

By Jean Francois Mourier September 20, 2013 Booking a hotel room online requires a strong level of trust on the part of the consumer, because they aren't able to see the property until they arrive on their check-in date. This makes sites like TripAdvisor a very valuable tool for consumers. In fact, 86% of respondents to a recent MSNBC survey said that they rely on the reviews that they find on TripAdvisor (or other similar travel sites) before they make a purchasing decision. According to ehotelier, an increase in your property's TripAdvisor rating can have a drastic impact on your revenues. If a hotel increases its TripAdvisor review s...

The Hotel Employee Curiosity and its Effect on Differentiation of Hotel

| August 21, 2013

by Osvaldo Torres Cruz August 21, 2013 One of the advantages which the Hotel obtains from experiential hospitality is to perceive the guest in a different way, achieving to get to his emotional world where never before anyone had searched and hence, discover what never before anyone had found out: his hopes and aspirations, therefore, the Hotel will be able to offer what no other hotel had never before offered: his emotional balance. The knowledge of the emotional universe of the guest, i.e. their stimuli, sensations, perceptions, emotions and feelings, lead to establish a system of links and relationships where the empathetic factor pl...

Research Into Hotel Technology in the United Kingdom

Guest-tek | August 14, 2013

The standard of in-room technology in the UK is going under the microscope in new research launched by Guest-tek. The world's largest provider of IP-based technology for the hospitality industry is keen to gather the industry's view on hotel technology, and has a survey live and ready to be completed. To thank respondents for taking the time to participate, there will be a draw to give away an iPad Mini. At the end of the survey they will be asked to provide an email address for the chance to win. Here is a link to the quick, multiple choice survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/guest-tek ...

Service Excellence: Find a Way To Make It Happen / Bryan Williams

B.Williams Enterprise | August 6, 2013

"As long as it is legal, ethical, and moral, find a way to make it happen". That was the directive which was programmed into my brain very early in my career. I remember it vividly. It was on my first day of work at new employee orientation at the Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas in 1996. The general manager passionately spoke about the need "to move heaven and earth to delight" our guests and creating memorable experiences everyday. Although I worked in a luxury property before, it was obvious that this was another level of service excellence altogether. I love exceptional service, and I love people who are passionate about giving exceptional ...

What really matters to guests in resort hotels is personal transfer, wi-fi, and property safety

Status Solutions | July 25, 2013

Jennifer Dunphey and Konrad Rzasa, hoteliers, travel connoisseurs, and serial entrepreneurs, have a popular Facebook destination for high end global travel, White Collar Vagabond. From tips to traveling with your dog across borders to how to outfit your Costa Rican cabina on the cheap (get goods in Panama), the site is a treasure trove of how global citizens live the good life. Recently, in conjunction with hotel situational awareness authority Status Solutions, the pair posted a few questions to their 9,000 followers about what really matters in the boutique hotel experience. They asked questions about safety and service that are top o...

Service Excellence 101: The Smile Reserve

B.Williams Enterprise | July 12, 2013

by Bryan Williams Some people believe that they have a limited supply ofkindness. After the first ten people, for example, their "smile reserve" will dry up, and there will be no more smiles for anyone else. Their "anticipate needs" reserve will be empty, and their "learn preferences" reserve will be depleted. They feel like they can't actually be nice to every customer they meet. It's not possible! Or is it? Commuter flight Recently, I was on board a small commuter plane that was staffed with one flight attendant. The first person to board the plane was an elderly lady, and I saw the attendant give her a warm hug and big smile before s...

MJS Hotels Chooses Unifocus to Achieve Superior Levels of Customer Service

MJS Hotels | July 8, 2013

Dallas, July 8th, 2013 - UniFocus is proud to announce the expansion of our partnership with MJS Hotels to include the Majestic Mayfair Hotel, Los Angeles. MJS is dedicated to building lifelong relationships with its team members, guests and owners by creating an environment where each guest is treated with respect and care, built on a foundation of family, extraordinary service, integrity, diversity, and open communication. The GUESTScope system provides the knowledge necessary for executives to be strategic in their continued quest to exceed the brand's promise. "MJS's competitive advantages are our core values and understanding the v...

PAR Springer-Miller Systems Extends the Atrio® Platform with the Addition of Atrio POS

PAR Springer-Miller Systems, Inc. | June 25, 2013

The Industry's First Multi-Tenant Cloud-Based POS System June 26, 2013 - New Hartford, NY - PAR Springer-Miller Systems, Inc. (PSMS), a wholly owned subsidiary of PAR Technology Corporation (NYSE:PAR) and the leading provider of guest-centric hospitality management systems announced today the newest module of the ATRIO Hospitality Technology Platform, ATRIO POS. With ATRIO, PSMS pioneered and delivered a new generation of technology for the industry by moving the hospitality industry to The Cloud, creating a new user experience, and thereby a new way of doing business. ATRIO POS, the next generation point of sale system, reduces the Tot...

Attention Vacation Rental Reservations Agents:  Go Beyond Website Search Support

Doug Kennedy | June 24, 2013

by Doug Kennedy As President of a hospitality industry sales training company for most of my entire career, I have had the opportunity to conduct reservations sales training for just about every niche of the lodging industry. I have trained five star hotels and one-star youth hostels; destination hotels and all- inclusive resorts; city center and airport hotels, conferences centers and ski resorts. But there is one niche of the lodging industry that has by far the biggest need for training such as we at KTN provide: the vacation home rental industry. I recall often hearing reservations agents at my traditional resort clients saying "Dou...

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