Service

Airline travel goes elite to compete

The biggest trend in travel these days is a desire for individualized and customized vacation experiences. And given the harsh economic conditions in the airline industry and the hyper- competitive market, airports and airlines are going the extra mile to attract more affluent flyers.

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Hotel guest directory done right

The guest directory of Berlin’s Minilofts, an apartment hotel owned by two architects, gets my vote for one of the best I’ve ever seen….and used. Written by the hotel manager, who works part time at the English language magazine for Berlin, the 18 page guide is comprehensive and perfectly geared towards its guests, which Minilofts describes as “international guests….(with) an independent streak and a fascination with culture.”

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Phones to replace hotel keys?

The key card could become a thing of the past after a hotel chain announced it would allow guests to access their rooms using their smartphones. Instead of a key card, guests could download an application to their mobile device that would enable them to open their door simply by holding their phone to a sensor. If successful, this would mean that guests could choose to avoid the hassle of checking in at the front desk.

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InterContinental equips concierges with iPads

The hospitality industry is nothing if not competitive, so utilizing new technologies makes good sense as a means of differentiation. Engaging new technologies, we’ve seen Sheraton’s use of interactive tables, Mama Shelter’s installation of iMacs in every room, the Algonquin’s use of Kindles and the Townhouse Hotel’s emphasis on Twitter. The savviest now realize that achieving marketing success means figuring out how to rivet the attention of consumers obsessed with sleek mobile devices. Now continuing along this technological path comes InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, which recently announced that it is equipping its concierges with Apple’s recently launched iPad.

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Delivering Better Customer Service

There is at least one silver lining to the recession – better customer service. Just as companies are dealing with slumping sales and sinking employee morale, skittish customers want more attention, better quality and greater value for their money. These same customers are very aware that their support is important to companies, especially as others decrease their spending. As the economy continues to present challenges, expect more companies to upgrade their service or face deeper trouble.

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Taking hotel loyalty marketing to a new level

Back in November, we wrote about Loyalty Marketing in Turbulent Times, whereby loyalty programs can be a key differentiator among competition these days, as individuals are taking a closer look at these programs for added value and benefits. Although hotels have also had these programs for years, they recently have had to relax restrictions to keep loyal members on board.

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Magazine publishing for everyone and every niche

The web has replaced the news element of magazines and the way news is delivered keeps getting more and more personal. Micro niche blogs, RSS feeds, and personalized Google homepages help us focus on/filter what we care about and tune out the rest. This is coupled with changing consumer tastes – they are more individualized than ever, and expect to have their unique interests addressed.

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Airport offerings evolve

Face it, flying these days can be only for the birds but airports around the world are offering fun and soothing options to make the travel experience a little less stressful. It used to be that the only way you could kill time at an airport before a flight was by eating fast food or drinking at a bar. Times have changed and nowadays you can indulge in a massage, mani/pedi or an oxygen session and even karaoke!

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Is ‘First Class All the Way’ still OK?

‘First Class All the Way’, follows Sara Duffy, founder of SRD International and her Los Angeles based multi-million dollar, five-star travel concierge business.

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More luxury services in the skies

To stay in the luxury game, it’s just as important to astound guests with a platinum standard of amenities and services, to elicit the “wow factor” among experienced consumers. In Accenture’s “Customer Satisfaction in the Multi-Polar World” survey, more than half of consumers reported their expectations for better service increased over the past five years. One-third said they were higher than a year ago.

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