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The 'NEW' Hotel General Manager.
The position of general manager has never been a static one: When you're checking the financials one minute and tasting new dishes in your restaurant the next, you cannot afford to be a specialist, you need to be generalist, hence the title
Lose the Customer's Confidence and You'll Lose the Customer.
My wife and I were on the phone with our bank, they take care of our checking accounts and credit cards for our entire family, and we were having a problem transferring money from one account to another, the frustration began with fifteen m...
Under-The-Radar Advantages fro Independent Hotels.
The independent hotel market in Europe is a big business, in terms of employment, tourism and contribution to local economies but most importantly for the players in the industry, independent hotels are big in terms of room inventory &ndash...
Snake Oil for Sale: The True Cost of Inaccurate Hotel Photos.
The 19th century was arguably the zenith of con-artistry: A traveling salesman would set up a public demonstration to convince the townspeople that snake oil had miraculous properties, or that certain investment opportunities simply could n...
The Achilles Heel of AirBnb.
AirBnb has been one of the great success stories — perhaps the single greatest — of the hospitality industry in recent years, countless blogs, business journals and news programs have sung its praises whilst many conference hour...
Why Instant Gratification Isnít the Answer for Luxury Brands.
A recent Luxury Daily article entitled 'Is fashion’s love affair with see-now, buy-now over?,' questioned whether this emerging trend in the luxury market may well have hit a wall, Tom Ford has announced that after one year of testing...
How Loyalty Programs Help Your Hotelís Reputation.
Hospitality has always been a highly competitive industry, especially nowadays - with additional options from Airbnb and similar companies, therefore, hoteliers need to step up their game and engage with their customers at a deeper level th...
Ainít Seen Nothin Yet.
Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet was a hit song in 1974 by the Canadian rock band, Bachman-Turner Overdrive in the album titled Not Fragile
Hotels and Home Rentals are Moving Forward Together.
When the likes of Airbnb and HomeAway first made inroads into the travel industry they created two distinct clubs; established hotels on one side and home rentals on the other and now, the lines between the two are blurring as the wider tra...
Mitigating Risks in the Sharing Economy.
The sharing of transportation and accommodation services facilitated through companies such as Lyft, Uber and Airbnb, has massively transformed leisure travel
Donít Put the Onus on the Customer.
One of our faithful Shepard Letter subscribers, Warren Danziger, emailed a great story worth sharing with everyone, the short version of the story is as follows
Social Customer Care Cannot Be Ignored.
Just last week I attended Social Media Marketing World in San Diego, so, what does a social media marketing conference have to do with customer service? Plenty! It’s been said that customer service is the new marketing
Understanding Guest Experience and Loyalty.
Delivering great guest experience leads to loyalty and while rewards systems, points and discounts can help they aren’t the natural way to build guest loyalty
Four Customer Service Lessons†From a Stevie Award Winner.
Congratulations to Squaremouth, who just won a Gold Stevie Award for Customer Service Department of the Year – for the fourth time! (For those that don’t know, the Stevie is an international business awa...
Interview with Airbnb Host Management Platform, GuestReady.
The on-demand economy is taking off thanks to the likes of Uber and Airbnb, the boom in ride and home-sharing also opens new opportunities for new business to emerge and leverage from the new economy
Segmentation vs Personalisation.
Last week’s ITB trade fair in Berlin showed us that one thing is on the minds of hoteliers and OTAs alike - data: Talks from the biggest players in the travel game all centred on the opportunities that ‘big data’ can bring...
Risk on the Road: Are Business Travelers Packing Fear in Their Suitcase?
Business travelers face a variety of risks – from the mundane to the catastrophic, from pickpockets to global terrorism: in today’s world it is important to be prepared no matter the destination
An Analysis of Travel Disruptors.
Explore the latest travel and hospitality industry trends and find out how four catalysts of change could impact travel in 2017
How Online Reviews Can Make Or Brake Your Business.
Online reviews help us decide where/what to eat, to watch, to buy, to sell, they became an integral part of who we are as a consumer and a business owner
Customers Buying Habits Are Changing. Are You Keeping Up?
Every day I get an email from RetailWire
Why Do You Need to Rethink Your Hotels' Loyalty Program?
There’s no question that guest loyalty is still important to the health of hospitality brands in 2017, one might argue that it’s more important than ever, now that travelers can base their booking decisions on the millions of re...
Key to being customer-centric: Count on cloud + data + API.
A guest or a consumer doesn’t differentiate between 'experiences' coming from a retail brand or a hotel property, so hotel companies need to move fast, and focus on customer-centricity in today’s complex world of accommodation s...
Who Owns Customer Service?
Customer service is what I’m all about, it is my life’s mission to help companies create a customer service experience that customers think is amazing;  So, I thought it would be nice to own the domain name CustomerSer...
OTAs Undercutting Hotels Ė A Billion Dollar Sinkhole.
Did you realise that on average, the direct hotel price is undercut by an OTA rate one in four times?  This level of undercutting is costing hotels over $1Bn a year* in direct bookings
Why Prefab Building Methods Stack Up for Hotels.
Once the hallmark of budget hotel chains, modular construction is emerging as an efficient, low-waste technique for boutique and big-name hoteliers in the US and the UK
The Future Is Now: Robots And Artificial Intelligence In The Workplace.
While it may be some time before we commute to work in flying cars or seek a transfer to our company’s lunar outpost, another concept once thought outside the realm of modern reality is now increasingly ordinary in the contemporary wo...
Attribution Models: The Secret Ways Guests Discover Your Hotel.
As digital marketing gets more sophisticated, the topic of attribution models has come up over and over in conversations with clients: every hotel wants to know what, where and how their guests are booking online
Anticipatory Customer Service: The Radar OíReilly Standard.
Some of you may be familiar with the 1970’s and 80’s hit TV show M*A*S*H, based on the novel and movie by the same name, the series premiered in 1972 and played for eleven seasons and while, most refer to the show as a sitcom, s...
Follow-Up On Voice Reservations Inquiries with Personalized Emails and Phone Calls.
If you’re like most hotel marketing and revenue leaders, chances are that one of your major near term strategic goals is to drive more direct bookings and thus reduce the costs of customer acquisition
What Airbnb's App Can Tell Us About Travel Messaging.
Here are a few things: In the past few years, much has been made of Airbnb’s impact on the hospitality industry, between 2010 and 2015, the number of travelers who stayed with an Airbnb host grew from 47,000 to 17 million per yea...
How To Blow a Soft Bubble Without Even Trying.
From a deep, long lasting recession, the hospitality industry jumped overnight, (about three years ago) into a period of enthusiastic and unbridled growth
Itís Due Time for the Lodging Industry to Catch-Up With the Commercial Airlines.
For years now the lodging industry has been trying to catch-up with the global commercial airlines; It started back in the days when airlines offered 3 classes on the same aircrafts and it took some time but in the late 70’s/early 80&...
How to instill Brand Loyalty in your Employees!
When I was starting out, Companies, to my mind, were these giant edifices of stone and steel with high ceilings and vast cold interiors, with crisp air of detachment and clipped, formal conversations; I felt that I and several other people ...
How do Organizations in Travel Manage Change and Transformation?
Many of us make resolutions for change and transformation when we’re bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at the start of the year, there’s optimism from having a clean slate of sorts
And Some Think The Telegraph Is Dead....
Wow – with digital and other technology colliding with nearly every aspect of hospitality, it not only makes one’s head spin, but it pushes our industry to speed way the heck up, which is new to the hotel business, versus the te...
Guest Expectations: Hotel Customer Relations Challenge.
In this digital age, use of social networks has become the new word-of-mouth communication channels amongst peers, spreading the news about your hotel’s handling of customer relations may have a new delivery method but it can still ma...
Airbnb & Noise Data: How the Data Handshake Improves Customer Experience.
Data’s value increases when it’s shared, and you can make money by selling it, sharing data allows marketers to better understand who their best customers are, which consumers they should market to, and with what specific offers
Where Consumers Shop For Online Travel.
When consumers plan their leisure travel, they quickly discover that there's often more than one way to get from here to there
Sometimes Doing Whatís Best for Customers Isnít Always Going to Make Them Happy.
What does it mean to be a customer-centric company? That seems to be the question of the week, it started off with one of our subscribers emailing in the question, followed by two reporters wanting my take on this now-popular phrase for the...
Hotels Give To Get.
An analysis of complimentary services and rooms, the offering of complimentary services and amenities by US hotels is on the rise
The Reservation Benchmark.
In pursuit of our mission to help hoteliers recapture guest relationships and increase conversions on their websites, we conducted a small piece of research
Ways Chatbots Could Change the Hotel Industry.
With the widespread adoption of in-house apps, instant messaging and even robots, hotels are on the cusp of a chatbot revolution
The Ship Is Sinking, Yet the Band Plays On.
Amazing Customer Engagement Ideas: A Special Report From the IBM Amplify Conference:  Common sense must always prevail – especially when it comes to customer service, that said, sometimes companies create strict rules and policie...
Before You Select a Franchise Partner, Do Your Homework and Check the Math.
Henry Ford once said, 'Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress; working together is success'; That has never been more true than in today's hotel franchise environment where there are a lot more franchise options for ow...
The Hotel Matrix: How Information Shapes Success in Hospitality.
Remember that scene at the end of The Matrix where Neo sees the entire world in binary code? Armed with the understanding that everything is information, he can suddenly do whatever he wants, not even the secret agents can compete with his ...
Up Close and Personal Digitally.
The Wall Street Journal reports on how retailers are striving to keep consumers, current and potential, on their sites, physical and virtual and the tools and technology they have deployed offer a template for hoteliers to em...
United Airlines Computer Outage†Is Customer Service Crisis Case Study.
Last week United Airlines had a computer outage that lasted two and a half hours and caused 200 flight delays and six cancellations - keep in mind, this wasn’t a single unhappy customer complaining to a gate agent at the airport - thi...
Adding the Personal Touch in an Age of Digital Communications Goes a Long Way.
There’s no replacing the personal touch in hospitality, in an age when chatbots and messaging platforms are speeding up communication, the importance of slowing down to talk with guests is more important than ever
Talking Data with Hilton: Jonathon Wardman, Vice President CRM.
This month in Talking Data, our authro spoke with Jonathon Wardman, Vice President CRM at Hilton about hotel guest data, how Hilton is leveraging the use of data, and the success of the much publicized Stop Clicking Around campaign
Millennials will book direct. Here's why:
Savvy, ambitious and loyal, the millennial traveller can spot a great deal across the ether - but what exactly can you do to catch their eye? The infographic reveals
Is Competition Healthy for Innovation?: Redefining the Concept of the 'Innovation Race' for Better Results.
Most of us love to watch a race, we love to see winners, losers, the eliminations, we like to observe others as they go through the highs and lows of a hard-fought competition: Arguably the concept of the ‘innovation race’ has s...
Visit Unplugged Collection
 Most Recent Articles
Is it Illegal for a Hotel to 'Walk' a Confirmed Guest?
Wednesday, 26th April 2017
'Ladies and Gentlemen, our flight is overbooked today and we’d like to ask if there are any volunteers to take a later departure', the recent incident in which a bona fide paying seated customer of United Airlines was forcibly removed from the plane in order to accommodate a flight crew, has been drawing universal attention

Accessible Tourism for All: An Opportunity within Our Reach.
Tuesday, 25th April 2017
All tourists want unique experiences tailored to their needs and among the more than one billion international tourists that travel each year, a high percentage consists of families with young children and/or seniors, and persons with disabilities or other special needs

Coffee, Tea or Laptop?
Tuesday, 25th April 2017
Last week was a bad week for the airlines, the United Airlines customer service debacle hurt all airlines, not just the United brand, although It’s not uncommon for flights to be overbooked, delayed and cancelled, passengers get angry, airline personnel get angry and 'Travel hassle' can be very stressful on everybody

Are Asian Hoteliers Today Overwhelmed by Data?
Monday, 24th April 2017
Exclusive Interview: Over recent years, Asian hoteliers have witnessed a huge influx of data delivered by online reviews, social media and the ever-increasing number of travel sites
 Most Read in this Section
Top 10 Trends in Hospitality for 2017
Wednesday, 7th December 2016
Just 10 years ago, Facebook morphed into a mainstream business tool, Twitter arrived, the iPhone exploded on the scene and Android phones were born, today, the pace of change has accelerated dramatically

Key to being customer-centric: Count on cloud + data + API
Wednesday, 15th March 2017
A guest or a consumer doesn’t differentiate between 'experiences' coming from a retail brand or a hotel property, so hotel companies need to move fast, and focus on customer-centricity in today’s complex world of accommodation shopping

The Costly Effects of Bad Customer Service on Hotels
Friday, 9th December 2016
Ultimately every hotel manager wants to provide the best in guest satisfaction and in today’s world, hotel guest satisfaction is based on customer service and it extends beyond check out

Itís Not Just About Big Data, Leverage Small Data, Too
Monday, 9th January 2017
Small data results from internal resources like PMS, channel manager, website etc

Lodging Brands Proliferation, Extension, Expansion or is it Brands Inflation?
Wednesday, 14th December 2016
Exclusive Views: I would like to apologize in advance if some of you find what I wrote here somewhat blunt, maybe even provocative, my intention is to try and make you think 'outside the box' and I hope you will see my points more clearly once you finish reading this

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