An unapologetic look at Hospitality

Entries from June 2011

+google +alerts +hotel +wisdom

June 28, 2011 · Leave a Comment

Someone is selling a set of silver plated dessert spoons (ca. 1945), on AuctionDeals.com there is a postcard for sale and someone posted a cell phone video of Miss Memphis 2011 on YouTube. Oh, and five women, all being charged with disorderly conduct,  got kicked out of the lobby, where legend has it the Mississippi Delta begins. Neither management nor Memphis Police are clear what started the altercation.

Go on, ask me what on earth I am talking about!

All these are nuggets I found using Google Alerts. All of them are about the Peabody Hotel in Memphis. I love the Peabody Hotel and especially their ducks, but that is a different story.

Peabody

The grand hotel of the South

I couldn’t have found all these interesting tidbits if I just followed the Peabody’s official channels. I am sure that management was aware that Miss Memphis was visiting, or that the hotel is currently hiring new staff (no really, they are)… But I don’t think I would have found a press release about five women being arrested on their Facebook or Twitter page (and to be fair, they probably just had a bit too much to drink, happens to the best of us). That is the beauty of Google Alerts, it shows me not only what you want me to see, but also everything people write about you. Can you see where this going? This is reputation management for cheap! (more…)

Categories: Hospitality · Search
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Blame yourself, not the customer!

June 26, 2011 · Leave a Comment

Ever booked a hotel at a great rate only to find an ever lower price the next day? Happens all the time right?

But if the sign outside your front door says 59 dollars, maybe it’s not such a good idea to list your room on mytotallycheaphotelrooms.com.au (yes I made that one up) for 79. That’s what happened to an obviously annoyed tripadvisor reviewer.

…and if we had not paid in advance, we would have moved on. Rate we paid was around $79 and when we arrived there was a sign outside advertising rooms “from $59”. I feel we vastly overpaid for what we got.

Oops! But what is really surprising is the response from the management of the property.

If you paid a 3rd party agency in advance, we are unable to accommodate that kind of issue. Booking direct with ANY hotel is always the best method of booking.

Come again? No, it’s highly unlikely that this guest will come again. I have no idea what happened here, but not refunding because the room was booked through a third party agent, really? Of course I have no idea which third party agent the customer booked through, but it seems to me that the hotelier padded the room rate with the commission he is paying out to the OTA.  Of course booking direct is sage advice, but not as an excuse for your unwillingness to accommodate a customer.

NO REFUNDSYou are the master of your domain! You set those rates on the various channels, or at the very least should be aware of how you allow third parties to adjust them. To the consumer it makes no difference. We all make mistakes, but this could have easily be turned into a positive.

While we do indeed offer rooms at a lower price, one of those rooms would not have accommodated your party as they contain only single beds without room for a roll-away.

It’s sad to see that in an industry dedicated to people’s comfort this kind of stuff is going on. Worse yet, that we hide behind 3rd party agencies to cover our own shortcomings and even feel the need to do so on a review web site with millions of visitors. But… this is the beauty of social media. The customer has a voice. It’s now our job to learn to deal with that voice. Of course anyone that puts a sign in the lobby saying “Absolutely NO refunds without Manager’s approval” may have a hard time with that learning process!

What are your horror stories about dealing with unhappy customers? Leave a comment and let me know.

Categories: Hospitality · Social
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Jack, you don’t know Twitter! (Why having one account for multiple hotels sucks)

June 24, 2011 · Leave a Comment

More and more I notice that hotels operators are trying to consolidate their social media effort by establishing a single account on social networks. It seems easier, if you have limited staff (or your resources are otherwise stretched) to house all your activity under one stream. Now your social media person/marketing wizard only has to manage a single account for all your hotels, motels, hostels, resorts… you name it! Seeing how these are all similar products you can use the one single account to promote multiple destinations and your social contacts now only have to friend/like/follow you once. What’s not to love?

It sure beats having to manage several Facebook, Twitter and what have you accounts, but the benefits are quickly outstripped by the drawbacks once you sit down to think about it. Let’s start with why people follow you to begin with. (more…)

Categories: Hospitality · Search · Social
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@Hospitalitystat Twitter top 10

June 13, 2011 · Leave a Comment

As you know I have got this side project going on (www.campsydney.com), collecting interesting stats about how hotels use social media. I just used all that information to come up with the first ever “Hotel Twitter Top more than 10 less than a 100”. The results and full analysis are over this way!

Categories: Hospitality · Social
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