Thursday, September 23, 2010

Hotels Remembering Your Preferences to Gain Loyalty


* System: New database called "Mystique" catalogues employee observations about guests for all of the company's 60 hotels. Replaces an old system that couldn't share information as easily between hotels.
* Comment: Ritz doesn't ask guests to fill out a form - it instead relies on hotel staff to notice what guests like and dislike, and tailor services accordingly.


* System: "Rewarding Welcome" system asks guests for their preferences in pillow type, bed type, room location, extra towels or refrigerator. It now shares the information with eight brands, and 2,600 hotels.
* Comment: Guests fill out a form to participate, so the system is entirely optional.


* System: This year Hilton's guest recognition technology is being expanded to include in-room preferences, such as pillow, blanket, need for a crib or rollaway and early or late check in.
* Comment: In 2007, the hotel company hopes to roll out RFID-tagged cards for frequent guests to carry so that the hotel can track them around the property. Example: If the guest walks into the bar, the bartender can have his favorite drink ready before he has to ask. The company is also testing a way for its TVs to greet guests with a customized message when turned on.


* System: In April, Hyatt is rolling out an "e-concierge" system so that guests can tell the hotel in advance about their preferences for amenities life golf, spa and restaurants.
* Comment: Hyatt has a centralized guest history system that captures preferences like room type, amenity type, bed type and location near or far from an elevator. It has special codes employees can log into the system for preferences such as a guest who prefers grapefruit peeled and sliced in a certain way.


* System: Starwood (which includes brands like W Hotels, Westin, and Sheraton) doesn't have a tracking system other than its Starwood Preferred Guest Loyalty program.
* Comment: The properties on its more luxurious end, like W, have internal guest-recognition systems. If a guest expresses a love for a certain sports team, the welcome desk will always provide that guest with a game schedule and a list of TV channels on which the team is playing. W asks guests if they want information about preferences to remain with one property, or expect it ot be honored throughout the chain.

Build a stronger business by paying attention to your customers and showing that they matter when they return.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Technology Tip: Synchronization is used to replicate and synchronize files across various computers. SugarSync can also be used to backup files by having them saved to a source outside your computer. SugarSynch offers a 35 day free trial with 10 gigabytes of file storage. After the trial, the 10 gigabytes can be maintained for $25 a year. Five other storage plans exist from $50 a year for 30 gigabytes to $250 a year for 250 gigabytes.