Hotel-rooms-to-order-modular-units-for-customer-service
Aravind Ramachandran

Hotel rooms to order: Modular units for customized service

​ What does a traveler need in his/her hotel room? That's a hopelessly vague question! The answer necessarily depends on the objective of the trip – personal, business or social – as well as how much of the trip is to be spent in the hotel room, and several other factors. And when a hospitality services provider doesn't know what a customer needs, what can be done to ensure customer delight? How can inventory be managed effectively? One, we try to figure it out from historic behavior. That brings us to predictive data analytics, which happens to be a pet favorite approach of mine to many real ...
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Instant-feedback-challenge-and-opportunity_COVER
Aravind Ramachandran

Instant social feedback: Opportunity and challenge in customer service

Once upon a time, there was a fictional hotel CEO who had three big worries: Even happy customers rated the hotels in her chain as "average" or "good", but never "Excellent " or "Outstanding" no matter how hard they tried While she knew overall satisfaction levels, she had no visibility into what specific areas of the chain's services pleased the customer and what did not Unhappy customers would very often go ballistic on social media and ruin the reputation of her hotel chain  T hat 'time' is right now, and that CEO could represent a large number of people in the industry who seek t...
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Conversations-from-HEDNA_COVER
Aravind Ramachandran

Conversations from the HEDNA European Global Distribution Conference

HEDNA - the Hotel Electronic Distribution Networking Association - describes itself as " the only global forum exclusively dedicated to the advancement of hospitality distribution through strategic collaboration and knowledge sharing ". For a quarter of a century, the association has led the way forward in electronic distribution in the hospitality sector, especially through events such as the recently concluded HEDNA European Global Distribution Conference. Today, we catch up with Christine Updegraff, Director – Account Management, Hospitality Business at IBS Software who is a regular attende...
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Analytics and ancillaries to fix the sharing economy
Aravind Ramachandran

Analytics and ancillaries to fix the sharing economy

​ Alternative lodging platforms (such as AirBnB ) are essentially enablers of the sharing economy, because they successfully solve what economists call the two sided platform problem. In this context, people willing to let out their home/room as well as people seeking such lodging must be brought together and simultaneously utilize the platform for it to have any relevance in the market. If any one side is missing or reluctant, then the transaction cannot happen – either the host's room will lie vacant, or the potential lodger will go without a roof above his/her head! But that isn't the whole...
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Repeat business vs Reviews: Which do you trust when choosing a hotel room?
Aravind Ramachandran

Repeat business vs Reviews: Which do you trust when choosing a hotel room?

Every traveler who ends up in a bad hotel room (and is surprised by it) is a victim – a victim of an imperfectly functioning marketplace. Ponder what goes into such a flawed transaction that destroys the customer experience that is so valuable in the hospitality industry. The vendor (hotel) sets a price that assures an appropriate (or higher) return for its capital and operating costs He/she realizes that the actual room won't sell enough for the price he/she seeks Some analysis is done about the demand for room quality that matches that price Substitute visuals (usually stock images, or even ...
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