Empowering the Front Desk to Be Part of an Innovating, Engaging Experience
Via One on One as Well as Virtual Communications
By Marco Albarran Managing Director, Remarkable Hospitality, Inc. | March 22, 2015
The Service Panorama
The latest news regarding the overall panorama of hospitality and tourism has been very positive, especially in the lodging industry, which interestingly is demonstrating higher occupancies, and RevPAR being driven by increasing ADRs all across the board. This presents a double-edge sword scenario, (keeping in mind that this is not happening to all establishments, but those in a strong market, which I observe almost all of us are in one) as on one side of the blade, the industry is experiencing a lot of business, so we have the power to decide who we take in (when it comes to reservations and front desk). On the other side of the blade, it tends to create this attitude of "take it or leave it" because we have other people behind you waiting to do business with us without hesitation. I am experiencing both sides of the story here in many service-orientated businesses I deal with, but of course we want to focus on the hotel and similar businesses for the purpose of this article. Here is a great example of this, and I am going to use the front desk/reception area as the key focus, given this is where the majority of the moments of truth are occurring.
Prior to the Great Recession, we either witnessed or experienced the "take it or leave it" attitude given the state of the market at that time. I can certainly say it was a sad thing to see, and guest felt discouraged, with no choice in the matter and have to go with the flow. Once 2008/09 arrived, many markets were realizing how they were wrong in having approached the guest service experience in this matter. Any guests that had the opportunity and pockets to travel and stay in hotels had a choice of where to stay, so logically, price and also the lodging facilities that did not deviate from the hospitality service equation did very well, and reaped the rewards throughout that difficult era. Today, it seems that there is an improvement in the overall take it or leave it" attitude, however, one again, I am seeing that many establishments quickly forget what happened to them during the down times.
Service and Technology Currently
Little by little, this whole talk about the guest experience and the personalization of the guest came about, technology came into play and the lodging industry started to cautiously enter the social media arena in the last few years. It is still a very green and immature area, and at the same time very overwhelming if you ask pretty much about anyone.
The Burning Question on Every Hotelier's Mind