The Latest Technology is GREAT! But it's Still the PEOPLE that Matter!

By Monika D'Agostino Chief Consultative Sales Officer, Consultative Sales Academy | November 04, 2012

Technology is all well and good, but what if the hotel experience doesn't match expectations?

Some websites are really sharp, but then you arrive at the hotel to discover that WiFi only works in the business center, the phone works but it takes forever to get somebody to pick it up and your front desk person doesn't pay attention when checking you in.

In today's business and personal environment we often forget that it is human beings who are experiencing our services. There are so many articles, websites, resources that help companies promote and market their services through technology. We hear all the time - Do you have an app for that? But there's no app to replace customer service in human interaction.

We all agree that it's really important to have an on-line presence, to market products and services in our virtual world and to be ever present and on top of Google searches, and to actively maintain and manage our website presence. But the customer experience doesn't stop after you hit the "Buy" or "Book" button. It's actually where it begins...

There is nothing more annoying than websites that load slowly, which serve as vanity pieces rather than resources. But it's always refreshing when websites are "smart" and easy to navigate. Especially when it comes to booking hotel rooms or airfares we all want it to be fast, easy and cheap. But, cheap can come with a high price when we don't do our fact checking prior to our trip.

We might end up with a hotel that is next to a highway rather than a quiet room where we can get a good night's sleep before an important business meeting. Yes, the location could be convenient, but it also needs to meet our needs.

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Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.