Irritated young businessman at the office, feeling his back tired after working at laptop, uncomfortable chair, feeling itching, difficulty sitting, touching his left side with pained face expression

Raising Awareness For RSIs

An important issue affecting many hotels that merits further discussion is repetitive strain injuries (RSIs), especially those with an aging workforce. A combined aggravation of both the nervous and musculoskeletal system, an RSI is typically caused by repetitive tasks or those which put the body in an awkward position. There are many different types of RSIs, but as I am not a doctor, the diagnoses and exact syndromes are not the focus here. Rather, it is vital that all hoteliers recognize how RSIs may develop in a workplace setting so that steps can then be taken to reduce or prevent their occurrence altogether. RSIs can not only hamper an employee’s ability to perform at his or her best but they can also have a toxic effect on those closest to the afflicted individual. Being a true leader means caring for your team and their health, and thus corrective actions must be …

lmaadminRaising Awareness For RSIs
Maslow pyramid with five levels hierarchy of needs in flat colours

Moving Up The Ranks Of The Guest Experience Hierarchy

I’m mystified, or should I say confused. Perhaps you can help me solve this conundrum… In most annual budget processes, hotel managers go into immaculate detail on spreadsheets for such line items as capital for renovations, expense allocations for operations, personnel, and sales and marketing. Yet rarely is there a section, nay more than a single row devoted to training or any of its other more elaborate forms such as ‘service culture development’, ‘associate engagement’, ‘team improvement’ or ‘guest experience enhancement’. If we are truly in the hospitality industry, why do we neglect the fundamental service function that is our namesake? Giving more thought to your internal service R&D also means you are working to substantially distinguish your hotel when more extravagant facility upgrades are far outside of budgetary scope. Through continuous technological installations and judicious procurement, most limited-service properties now have quiet HVAC, comfortable beds and ample bathroom facilities. …

lmaadminMoving Up The Ranks Of The Guest Experience Hierarchy
feedback concept, write review online, rating on internet

Close The Feedback Loop

Does any hotel still offer customer satisfaction surveys? Do you, as a hotelier, rely upon comment cards as a quality control for your operations? A decade ago, the answer would undoubtedly be yes, but now it isn’t so black-and-white. Let’s reflect on what’s happened, specifically related to the advent of internet-born travel websites. With the success of online review sites, including the behemoth that is TripAdvisor, it’s all too easy to surmise that their growth was primarily because of how they aggregated hotels and cross-linked to OTA booking engines. However, we must also stomach the fact that it’s our own fault that these channels proliferated. We gave these watchdogs an abundance of meat to chew on because our properties were rife with unchecked service errors. These sites gave angry customers a place to vent. Eventually we woke up, realized we had created a monstrously powerful beast, then attempted to rein …

lmaadminClose The Feedback Loop
Fountain pen on  antique  letters and empty sheet

Handwritten Notes Will Elevate The Service Bar

On a recent Delta Airlines trip from Boston to Minneapolis, I was surprised by a folded paper napkin handed to me by the flight attendant. Odd, I thought, as I had not made any requests. Handwritten was a simple instruction providing details regarding my connecting flight. Legibly signed, I could not help but be both appreciative and duly impressed. Handwritten notes are an excellent way to build a rapport with guests – this we should all be well-familiar with by now. But they can also be counterproductive if done wrong. Looking back, there was nothing out of the ordinary on that flight. As expected, the business class meal was just above cafeteria-basic while the wine was barely palatable. Yet, this one simple act transformed a seemingly mundane journey into something remarkable. Thus, this note which could have been more easily relayed through a quick chat was successful in elevating the …

lmaadminHandwritten Notes Will Elevate The Service Bar
Plate full of sweet cookie macaroon and mint leaves

VIP Welcome Refreshments

Certain tactics never fail, and here’s one that you should definitely implement at your property if you haven’t already. Offering your guests a little amuse bouche or free beverage upon arrival is an excellent way to get them in a good mood after the stress and exhaustion of travel, helping to set the pace for the rest of their stay. Most hoteliers are aware of this in a general sense, but it is the execution where we often stumble. The expected welcome refreshment is a bottle of wine, a small cheese tray, a fruit place, crackers, cookies or any combination of the five. Nowadays, though, you must look beyond the perfunctory and truly own this aspect of the guest experience if you are to make a lasting impression. While I can’t speak for your specific hotel and what might work for your budget, logistics and locale, the best I can …

lmaadminVIP Welcome Refreshments
Waitress and waiters posing with food at buffet in restaurant

There’s No Such Thing As A Hotel ‘Job’ Anymore

As the gig economy continues to take hold in various industries, it is also changing how we think about our chosen line of work. The 9-to-5 office is eroding while working from home and working when you want behaviors are gaining widespread acceptance. The impacts for hotels are manifold. At its core, this freelancer economy promotes a transient approach to wage earning. That is, you get the exactly what you put into it and not a penny more. The more you work, the more money you make, with a few demand-based algorithms to keep rates attuned to market pressures. Further, there’s little emotional investment in the parent company – largely due to the disconnectedness of employee-employer relationship – nor are there any incentives to rise within the ranks of the corporate hierarchy. While it’s easy to see how this new system plays out for network-based enterprises like Uber, Lyft, TaskRabbit …

lmaadminThere’s No Such Thing As A Hotel ‘Job’ Anymore
Hands of receptionist giving smart card to you

Hot Button Loyalty

An old school sales technique that today is considered somewhat exploitative and sleazy may in fact help you shed some light on how to improve your loyalty program. Hot button selling was a colloquial term to describe first the process of qualifying your leads in order to decipher the emotional motivations underpinning their logic-based decisions, and then second using this information to pressure and coerce these leads into closing the sale on the spot. From a psychology standpoint, the proliferation of this technique makes sense because of how often we humans are slaves to our emotional states of mind. When it comes to purchases, we habitually complete translations based upon our own internal ‘hot buttons’ then back-rationalize these decisions into features and benefits – that is, the logical aspects of traditional sales training. For instance, a woman joins a gym not to be healthier (logic) but because she wants to …

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Guest takes room key card at check-in desk of hotel, close up

Early Birds Are Angry When They Don’t Get Their Worm

A wedding in the family served a worthy excuse for a Saturday night sojourn to a resort hotel in a small city two hours away from my hometown of Toronto. The venue was immaculate, the bride was stunning, the speeches were uproarious, the food was great and the whole shebang went off without a hitch. But an issue arose when I tried to arrange an early breakfast with my sister for the Sunday morning after the festivities. She had to leave relatively early at 9am because she had a grueling seven hours ahead of her for the commute back home. Unfortunately, the main restaurant at our hotel didn’t open until 11am. While not an outright deal-breaker, it was definitely cause for chagrin – a 9am start-time is vastly different than 7am or the crack of dawn when the real ‘early birds’ want their worm. Yet as an active member of …

lmaadminEarly Birds Are Angry When They Don’t Get Their Worm
Man apologizing with flowers

The Power of ‘Sorry’

This is a word you should never have to say, and yet it is one that can have a very powerful effect when used correctly. For most well-run properties, mistakes are a rarity. While this doesn’t preclude them from happening entirely (we are human after all and errors are bound to crop up during transition periods or staff turnover), apologizing is not something we do only when we are at fault. This comes down to a debate between logic and emotions. When a guest comes to you with a grievance or compliant, they are probably not in a purely rational state of mind. Regardless of whether it was an actual error on our part or if the guests have overlooked something, we say that we’re sorry in order to show humility and to empathize with their plight. A good mantra to adhere to in this regard is: “The customer may …

lmaadminThe Power of ‘Sorry’

The Three Axioms Of B2B And B2C Communications

For about five years ago, I’ve encouraged readers to examine their B2B and B2C communications from a Marshall McLuhan-esque standpoint – that is, how the medium impacts the message itself. To help organize my thoughts on the matter, I proposed a heirarchial flowchart outlining 13 different forms of modern communications based on the level of importance conveyed by each. My motivation for tackling this subject was the rise of email and mobile communications, both of which have had sweeping influences on how we behave and socialize. With each passing month, mobile becomes more significant as a channel, thus necessitating a reexamination of the communications hierarchy I first drew up half a decade ago. This updated ranking is based may not be exactly the same for everyone, although the broad strokes will ring true. What remains unchanged, though, is that the more intimate the interaction, the greater the influence. Any opportunity …

lmaadminThe Three Axioms Of B2B And B2C Communications