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The Guest Services Team Is Now Part Of The Hotel Marketing Department.
By Doug Kennedy
Wednesday, 11th August 2010
 
It is official; the walls on every hotel worldwide are now made of glass and are completely transparent; the outside world can now see into your hotel lobby and witness how real guest are treated in the real-world daily.

For those who thought that TripAdvisor had revolutionized the hospitality industry, be assured that we have so far only seen just the beginning.

Now that TripAdvisor has just recently integrated with facebook by offering it's "Trip Friends" link, those who are researching future travel plans will rely less on the number of stars or diamonds on the plaque behind the front desk; they will also relay less and less on online guest reviews posted by strangers. Instead, they will be reaching out to their own network of facebook friends for advice and input.

On one level, this is really nothing new to our industry which has always been judged by the subjective opinions of others. Long before the days of Tripadvisor postings, those traveling to unfamiliar destinations would often confer with friends, associates, and colleagues on the best places to visit and stay. It's just that today's travelers have more "friends" to confer with and much faster tools for connecting.

Although providing excellent guest service has always been important for future word-of-mouth advertising, the numbers today are exponentially that much greater. In the past it was theorized that an unhappy guest would tell 9-10 others; today's unhappy guest can easily notify 90, 900, or even 9,000 about their perception of bad service while they are still experiencing it!

This is why it is vital that hotel operations managers communicate frequently with their frontline operational team members and let them know just how important their jobs are to the hotel's "brand management" efforts.

This also is not new news; the legendary hoteliers I've worked for and worked with in this business are keenly aware of the importance of their frontline staff; they know that a warm, receptive welcome at registration begins with the way the GM greetings the front desk associate in the back hallways, employee entrance and staff break rooms.

Those managers who know the names of their employee's families, pets, and children are the same ones who's front desk associates know the names of repeat guests and who welcome all guests upon arrival. The managers who show flexibility in dealing with the scheduling needs of their staff to accommodate medical appointments and school conferences, are the same managers who find their own guests always rave about how flexible service is at their hotel.

So if you are one if the growing number of enlightened hoteliers who recognize that the operations team is now part of hotel marketing, this is all really good news for your hotel. Take great care of your associates; extend gestures of hospitality to them daily.

Then you can be certain that your property will capitalize on the positive reviews and feedback your real world guests will share and post.

Founded in 2006, Kennedy Training Network (KTN) is the lodging industry's best source for training programs and services in the topic areas of reservations sales, hospitality and guest service, and front desk revenue optimization. Services including customized, on-site training workshops, private, individual hotel team webinars, and reservations/front desk mystery shopping assessment and coaching reports.

Additionally, KTN is also a resource for conference keynote and break-out sessions for management companies, brands, and associations.


For more information, visit www.kennedytrainingnetwork.com for details or e-mail doug@kennedytrainingnetwork.com
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