🍍 Working cross-functionally to design a better guest experience
Plus: The “day-to-night use journey”
This week we’re looking at how Dominic Longo leads training and franchise operations for 1,000+ hotels as vice president at Sonesta. (Here’s part one if you missed it)
As soon as Dominic moved into the corporate role he created committees with every department in the service operation to answer the question “How do we provide a better experience for our guests from the check-in to the check-out?”
Composed of members from the front office, transportation, housekeeping, F&B teams, sales, and management teams, the committees defined and outlined their needs, including the tools and training needed to provide a great guest experience.
“Every department had a voice, but we focused on starting with a line-level up strategy. The line-level staff knows best because they’re in the trenches every day.”
Processes had to be developed to support this goal of providing a better guest experience.
“We learned that our teams wanted a process for how a front desk agent checks a guest in, to the questions that they ask – all the way to delivering the expectations of that guest today and what was expected of their experience.”
Providing an exceptional guest experience requires involvement from more than just guest-facing roles. “We looked at our housekeeping process and provided new guidance: from clarifying expectations to the defining process for making a bed and cleaning a room. This ensured that every housekeeper hit every checkpoint in the process and that the supervisor inspected the room thoroughly to ensure quality.
“Everybody had a clear understanding of how our guest expectations would be met and how to hold all the staff accountable in providing that experience.”
Tomorrow, we’ll look at how Dominic and his team incorporated online guest feedback into operations improvement. Stay tuned…
Why guests prefer all-inclusive experiences
As covid variants continue to spread, many people are still wary of travel. But their comfort levels appear to increase when they choose to stay in one location they don’t need to leave — because it has everything they could dream of.
This is why hotel companies are increasing their bets on all-inclusive resorts, where travelers are often willing to pay a premium for convenience, enhanced health and safety measures, and an overall complete vacation experience. These resorts are recovering at a much faster pace than expected, says Geraldine Guichardo, Global Head of Research for JLL's Hotels & Hospitality Group, and hoteliers are both adding new inclusive hotels to their portfolios and forming partnerships with — or acquiring — all-inclusive companies.
Even if you don’t run a traditional all-inclusive property, how can you cater to guests by offering more on-site amenities?
The “day-to-night use journey”
Last week’s Design the Future summit from Skift contained glimpses into what “all inclusive” might look like in an urban setting. NeueHouse’s Jon Goss said he was looking at the “day-to night use journey” as part of their analysis of how people engage with hospitality spaces.
Guests were spending time having Zoom meetings during the day, but then in the evening gathering for arts and culture events.
I’m curious: what are you seeing here with your properties?