Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Doug Kennedy

Doug Kennedy
Doug Kennedy is the president of the Kennedy Training Network.

7 trainer tips for hotel reservations

If you're like most hotel managers, chances are you are highly focused on securing more direct bookings and thus reducing the costs of customer acquisition. If so, here are some train-the-trainer style tips for providing your reservations and/or front desk colleagues with the skills they need to covert today's over-informed, channel surfing callers.

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Leadership lessons learned

Earlier this month I observed a difficult situation playing out at hotel where I was a guest, and it provided an invaluable reminder of just how important effective leadership is when things go wrong in the hotel business.

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Best practice for the era of electronic inquiries

As anyone who has worked in the profession of hotel sales and catering sales for 10 or more years knows, the skill-set required to be a top performer is quite different these days. Today's sales superstars still have to have exceptional 'people skills', which today is more formally referred to as emotional intelligence.

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Use new technology to deliver authentic hospitality

It has come to pass that the number of phone calls made has declined, and at most hotels the job of PBX Operator has been folded into the front desk. Guests now receive personal calls directly on their mobile phones, and hotel websites answer most basic questions that guests used to call about such as directions or transportation. In the meantime, the number of reservations booked online has increased while voice reservations have declined.

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Are you giving your guests enough RevPAH?

As I often say in my hospitality workshops, we in the hotel industry are in a very unique business of selling space and time, so we had better be REALLY good at the intangibles. Although we charge them for rooms, the guests are buying an overall experience that is made up mostly of human interactions. With hotel brands so quickly …

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Why do our rates change? We discount when it’s slower!

Every day your hotel sales, reservations and front desk colleagues are fielding questions from both prospects and guests regarding why it is that the rates are so much higher during certain periods as compared to other dates. For convention hotels, the question might be “Why are the rates so much higher in mid-October than July?” For the catering sales manager …

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Use video email to outsell the competition

Based on what I hear from the hotel sales and catering sales managers I train each month, the vast majority of inquiries for groups, meetings, conferences and catering events are being received electronically. Some come in via direct email; others arrive after a planner completes a “contact us” inquiry form at the hotel’s website. Most, however, arrive via third party …

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Conquering complaints™: part two

With the proliferation of online guest reviews and social media postings, training all your guest contact colleagues to properly respond to guest complaints is more important than ever before in the history of the lodging industry. As we explored in part one of this series, the first step in conquering complaints is to understand their root causes.  Last month we …

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A complaint is like a carrot…

Recently I was asked by a long-term client to offer a training module specific to handing guest complaints.  Now I’ve always covered service recovery as part of my existing hospitality excellence training, focusing on using proactive hospitality and anticipating needs in order to avoid complaints before the occur. However, this resort client’s staff had already been through that many times …

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Focus less on latest amenities, more on guest relations

According to the J.D. Power 2016 North America Guest Satisfaction Index, the hotel industry may be reaching a customer satisfaction plateau as hotel guests come to expect amenities that used to be special perks, such as free wifi, complimentary breakfast and premium bed linens.

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